Lisa Zimmer-Chu

  • Getting Out By Going in, 2012, Repurposed objects 24" X 13" X 26"
  • Blackberries Over Time, 2012, Repurposed and found objects, Board-35" X 9.5". Hourglass 22" X 10"
  • I Stopped For Blackberries (detail), 2012, Repurposed objects, 5.5" X 8"
  • The Stories We Tell, 2013, Repurposed and found objects, 17.5" X 23"
  • The Birth of Consumption, 2014, Repurposed and found objects, 27" X 67"
  • My Laundry, 2015, Repurposed objects, 7" X 7"
  • Climate Ribbon Tree, 2019, Repurposed objects, 3' X 5' X 7'
  • The World Is On Fire, Collaborative mural, lead artist Leana Rosetti, 2020, Acrylic paint, 12' X 25'
  • LIFE ReImagined: A Quest, 2020, Repurposed and found objects, 3' X 5'
  • Deeper and Deeper, 2019, Repurposed objects, 8" X 6.5" X 6"

This work spans 10 years of grappling with the climate emergency and interconnected social injustices.  It was created in very different communities in VA (unceded Manahoac, Massawomack, and Shawandasse Tula land) and CA (the Huichin home of the Chochenyo Ohlone people), and coincides with raising two children, reflecting my concern for their future and that of many generations to come.  I believe in art as a transformative tool for both the artist and their public.  Because it’s part of culture, art is a powerful tool to affect cultural change.

As a painter (BFA, MSU), I’m inspired by my relationship to the materials I work with.  Considering resource use and the effects of consumption, I am committed to working with repurposed and found objects.  Using objects in unintended ways creates a juxtaposition,  inviting others to consider materiality and its’ source (including labor, extraction, production, transportation, and disposal). While many materials I use are manufactured, my assembly of them is clearly handmade.

As a Creative Arts Therapist (MPS, Pratt Institute), my love of art is deepest when it provides a connection to the maker and their perspective, feelings, ideas, culture, experiences, and our shared humanity.  My work is full of relationship, metaphor and symbolism as I strive to connect in some way with those who share it.

In 2012  in Virginia, I began exploring the essence of our failure as a society to engage with the horror of the interconnected climate and social justice emergencies.  The chronology of this conceptual work illustrates a path of first “Getting Out By Going In,” connecting with my innermost sense of purpose and challenging myself to align my priorities accordingly.  Then came a series on the concept of time as it relates to human impacts on a changing climate, and vice versa (“Blackberries Over Time,” and “The Stories We Tell.”)

I engaged fellow-artists by founding the Mother Earth Art Show (Artists exploring the connections between Mothers and the Earth) at my community art center, for which I created “The Birth of Consumption.” I co-led the Sustainable Quilt Project (“My Laundry”) and organized regional green fair art activities, broadening the dialogue through interactive art.  I also served as the Visual Arts Director for VSA Arts of Loudoun, a county program on disability and the arts.

Moving to the SF Bay Area in 2017 landed me in a very different place at a very different time.  I connected with other artist activists and created the “Climate Ribbon Tree”, collecting ribbons with declarations of  “what I love and hope never to lose to climate chaos” from climate strikers, school children and their families, art show visitors, and futurists.  I joined a team of artists to paint “The World Is On Fire” with the Clarion Alley Mural Project ( – Video by Maya Curry “LIFE ReImagined: A Quest” Â is my pandemic piece, leading to a collaboration (The Art of the Green New Deal, Be The Green, EarthGames and the students of University of Washington) to create a playable game based on my piece as a prototype, by the same name. (

And because one cannot over-contemplate their priorities and purpose, I revisit that theme in “Deeper and Deeper.”

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  • Artist Info

    • East Bay, CA
      US - East
    • (703) 554-5780

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