Calley was honored to paint The Annunciation, as the front entry mural for the beautiful Annunciation Church in Waimea.
“I was delighted to be invited to paint a series of sacred mural paintings and stained glass chapel windows by Father Robert Wynne and the congregation of Annunciation Church, right up the road from our home. Unaware of a worldwide tradition of painting Mother Mary in cultural contexts, I was surprised when Father Bob asked me to paint a Hawaiian Mother Mary. He insisted that I do research and familiarize myself with a variety of black, Hispanic and Asian depictions of Mother Mary. I did, and I was really intrigued.
This little story comes to mind. “When I was a little girl, I asked the priests at St. Francis Church (hometown, Ridgefield Park, New Jersey) for permission to clean and restore the little grotto near the back entrance to the church. The priests questioned not only my motives, but also my intentions as if, because I was a child, I were going to deface the little homemade hillside that I loved. They called my mom and grandpa, and questioned them, and receiving assurances, I was granted permission to go to work on a Saturday.
Grandpa gave me a toolbox, and I added a towel, a bucket and cleaning supplies. I worked and worked and worked. I swept, rearranged some stones, tidied up every inch of it, washed the benches, weeded and finally, I got to the top of that sacred little hill. I carefully washed the Mother Mary statue that I loved. Something special happened between Mother Mary and me that day…something that is alive and sublte, a deep, direct connection and communication. It was Grace.”
It is said that the Angel Gabriel appeared to Mother Mary as a radiant beam of sacred light and as he proclaimed to her that she was chosen to conceive a child and that child would be the Son of God. As he spoke to her, beautiful white lilies appeared, symbolizing the purity and grace of the Virgin Mother.
The Annunciation, Archangel Gabriel’s announcement of the forthcoming birth of Jesus to Mary, has often been depicted throughout time. The oldest known fresco painting of The Annunciation dates back to the 4th century in the Priscilla catacomb. Nearly every great master has painted the Annunciation, especially during the middle Ages and the Renaissance.
Depictions of the Annunciation go back to early Christianity, with the Priscilla catacomb including the oldest known fresco of the Annunciation, dating to the 4th century. It is has been a favorite artistic subject in both the Christian East and as Roman Catholic Marian art, particularly during the Middle Ages and Renaissance, and figures in the repertoire of almost all of the great masters.
Artists such as Sandro Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, Caravaggio, Duccio and Murillo among others have created Works on the subject. The mosaics of Pietro Cavallini in Santa Maria in Trastevere in Rome (1291), the frescos of Giotto in the Scrovegni Chapel in Padua (1303), Domenico Ghirlandaio's fresco at the church of Santa Maria Novella in Florence (1486), and Donatello's gilded sculpture at the church of Santa Croce, Florence (1435) are famous examples.