The following information was submitted by her son, Andres Calandria:Challis Walker Calandria was born and 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 Student's League in New York City for two years studying sculpture with William Zorach. Following this, she went to Paris in 1933 where she studied at the Academie 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 Cowar d McCann in New York City.
She met her future husband in Paris, Juan Jose 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-man 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, 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.
Her most recent public commission is a portrait of Archbishop Philip M. Hannan of New Orleans, which has been placed permanently in the ceiling of the St. Louis Cathedral.
Awards garnered by Challis Walker Calandria include a first prize in sculpture, Delgado Museum, 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.