Born in Lindsay, CA in 1944, Sally Chiu was a student of the Santa Barbara school system until she graduated from high school. She pursued her interest in art at the St. Martin’s Art Institute in London, where she studied figure drawing and painting. She also studied printmaking with Corita Kent at Immaculate Heart College in Los Angeles and rounded out her education at the University of California at Santa Barbara.
During the ‘80s Chiu was a partner at a frame shop in Santa Barbara. It is during this time that she began experimenting with faux finishes and restoration, producing many beautiful hand-finished cabinets and pieces of furniture.
Chiu has made several visits to India and Mexico for personal spiritual journeys. It was during these trips that she found inspiration for her complex, sophisticated and spiritual work. Her interest in the layers of brilliant colors exposed on old buildings in the countries of her travels is stated, subtly, in the many layers of colors and glazes in her paintings. Her passion and involvement in the world is expressed through her work, becoming evident in the collage elements, text and photographs that she often uses. In addition to her paintings, Chiu assembles small, three dimensional shrines inspired by East Indian and Mexican religious icons.
Chiu’s current body of paintings are color fields, often with words like “Freedom,” “Integrity,” or “Focus on the Intrinsic” layered into them. Chiu says, “In the past years, so many sad events have happened in our country that I feel a need to express my feelings through chosen words and sayings. Even though most of my work through the years has chronicled my life and the world around me, I have always tried to make beautiful paintings in the process. That is always my goal. I feel very fortunate that I can share this with people who love art. It is a language we can all communicate with.”
Chiu lives and works in Santa Barbara, CA and is represented by Sue Greenwood Fine Art in Laguna Beach, CA and The Frameworks and Caruso Woods Fine Art, in Santa Barbara, CA.