Lissa Starnes

Lissa Zelaya


San Francisco Bay Area artist Lissa Starnes received her BFA from the Academy of Art University. Lissa studied with notable Bay Area artists - Manuel Neri, Nathan Oliveira, Howard Brodie, and Thomas Marsh, and was immersed in figurative studies with her early work combining the human figure as organic forms with abstract colorful displays of movement and mood. Privately, she was highly influenced by the Surrealists and unlocking the unconscious realms of dreamlike paradigms.  Her recent work reflects images that take on figurative aspects of the fungi and plant kingdoms incorporating surrealistic landscapes. 

A keen interest and research into the consciousness of trees and the networking of mycelium has awakened her world to educate others about the shared intelligence and sentient nature of the fungi and plant kingdoms as well as the healing properties they supply our own mankind.  Her goal is to enlighten the viewer with the networking that happens right beneath our feet and in front of our eyes to examine how we are all connected. “Healing is right at our fingertips. The earth supplies all of our medicine necessary for mental and physical health and the great knowledge of our ancestors from all parts of the globe should be revered and not forgotten nor forbidden.” 

Scientists have discovered that plants have at least 20 different senses, as opposed to our five basic senses, used to monitor complex conditions in their environment including such things as measure humidity, detect gravity, and sense electromagnetic fields. Plants are intelligent beings also deeply connected with us on a cellular level.

Ecological sustainability with conscious solutions, deforestation, ocean acidification, and plant medicines are among the concerns and interests depicted in her colorful paintings and photography.



Corporate Collections:

555 California, San Francisco, CA

Bank of America Building

Individual Collections:

Private Collection, San Francisco, CA

Private Collection, New York, NY

Private Collection, Los Angeles, CA

Private Collection, Mexico City, MX

Private Collection, Palm Springs, CA

Private Collection, Newport Beach, CA

Private Collection, Atherton, CA

Private Collection, Menlo Park, CA

Private Collection, Miami, FL

Private Collection, Palo Alto, CA

Group Shows:

Academy of Art, Sutter Street Gallery, SF 1985, 1986, 1987

Yoko Hamuchi Residence, Lombard Street, SF 1987

Atherton Collection Gallery, Atherton, CA 1990, 1992

Stanford University, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017

Pacific Art League, Palo Alto, CA 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019

Lissa Starnes is an advocate for NCEFT

Mission Statement: “NCEFT is dedicated to helping children, adults, and military Veterans with special needs reach beyond their boundaries through equine-assisted therapies, education, and research.”


Lissa Zelaya