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Challis Walker Calandria (1912 - 2000) was an American sculptor and painter.
Calandria was educated in New York City. At the age of twelve she had her first instruction in sculpture (outside of school) which caused her decision to enter art schools after high school graduation. She attended the Art Students League of New York for two years studying sculpture with William Zorach. Following this, she went to Paris in 1933 where she studied at the Académie Colarossi with Marcel Gimond, sculptor. Her Paris studies stretched into a six-year period during which time one of her sculptures was shown at the Salon des Tuileries, and a book for children which she wrote and illustrated was accepted (translated into French) by a Paris publisher. It was also published by Coward McCann in New York City.
She met her future husband in Paris, Juan José Calandria—a highly esteemed sculptor—who was later appointed Uruguayan Consul to New Orleans where they settled in 1941. In New Orleans Challis turned to painting and exhibited extensively in New Orleans and the southern states. Before going to New Orleans she held a successful one-woman show of sculpture at the Georgette Passedoit Galleries in New York City.
In juried shows she received many honors from the museums of New Orleans, Monroe, Louisiana, El Paso, Louisiana Art Commission and others. She held a one-man show at the Downtown Gallery and a two-man show with her husband at the New Orleans Museum of Art and the Houston Museum. The above honors were awarded to her Kiln, Mississippi landscapes and still lives. Her portraits may be seen in the Civil, Federal and Supreme Court buildings in New Orleans, LSU auditorium, Tulane Law and Engineering Schools, Newman and Marion Abramson Schools in New Orleans, the New Orleans International Airport and others.
One of her most impressive public commissions is a portrait of Archbishop Philip M. Hannan of New Orleans, placed permanently in the ceiling of the St. Louis Cathedral, New Orleans in the French Quarter.
Awards garnered by Challis Walker Calandria include a first prize in sculpture, Delgado Museumof Art, 1945 and a host of numerous awards.
With talent vast and varied, Challis Walker Calandria was equally at home as a sculptor, portraitist, fine arts painter and teacher. She died in 2000.
This biography was submitted by the artist's son Andres Calandria and is held in the Archives of AskART
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