Hawai'i Ka'u Kumu (Hawai'i is My Teacher)
Hawai’i Ka’u Kumu (Hawai’i is my teacher) A Mural on the Spirit of Growth and Learning Then and Now, 1982 (16’ X 27’ each) Politec acrylic glaze painting on exterior concrete walls.  The University of Hawai’i’s 75th Anniversary Murals, The Campus Center, University of Hawai’i at Manoa, Honolulu, Hawai’i   

This was Calley's first major public commission in Hawai’i.  It was an intensive two-year journey of study, research, and experience within the Hawaiian culture, hula, work with many apprentices, and thousands of hours of painting.  This study became the foundation of all of Calley's work in Hawaiian cultural murals and mythological paintings. 
Hawai’i Ka’u Kumu (Hawai’i is my teacher) A Mural on the Spirit of Growth and Learning Then and Now, 1982 The University of Hawai’i’s 75th Anniversary Murals, The Campus Center, University of Hawai’i at Manoa, Honolulu, Hawai’i   (16’ X 27’ each) Politec acrylic glaze painting on exterior concrete walls.
Calley's hand-written legend for the Kahiko (ancient) left side of the mural.
Hawai'i is my Teacher, legend by Calley O'Neill
Calley had the great honor to fly to the island of Moloka’i courtesy of Dr. Noa Emmet Aluli of Moloka’i to meet with and interview Auntie Rachael Naki, a pure Hawaiian taro farmer.  Emmet also took Calley on a boat, a swim and a hike to the little boy, Sammy’s home to experience his Hawaiian family life and out in the wilderness.
Pictured here are kalo (taro) the staple food, uala (sweet potato vines) and moa, (chicken).
Calley studied hula with Kumu Hula Braddah Frank Kawaikapuokalani Hewett quite intensely.  That is a wonderful story in and of itself.  Suffice it to say that Braddah guided Calley in the protocols of the culture and the way to picture the culture in art.  For this and his extraordinary and immensely challenging, comprehensive teaching Calley is eternally grateful.  Braddah and his top haumana (students) are pictured in the mural in a kahiko (ancient) hula.  Mahalo Braddah!   Calley’s dear friend and neighbor, Louise Kaiulani Sausen and her daughter Lehua posed for the auana (modern) side of the mural.  It was Kaiulani that introduced Calley to her kumu, Braddah Frank Hewett.
Hawai’i Ka’u Kumu (Hawai’i is my teacher) A Mural on the Spirit of Growth and Learning Then and Now, by Calley O'Neill, 1982 (16’ X 27’ each) Politec acrylic glaze painting on exterior concrete walls.  The University of Hawai’i’s 75th Anniversary Murals, The Campus Center, University of Hawai’i at Manoa, Honolulu, Hawai’i   (Drawing)
Hawai'i is my Teacher, legend by Calley O'Neill
Calley spent countless hours in the Bishop Museum Photo Archives pouring through hundreds of old photographs in different subject areas such as fishing, plaiting, planting, thatching and everyday life.  This comes from an old sepia tone photograph that Calley fell in love with.
UH has a beautiful taro patch that at the time was mentored by Maui taro farmer/teacher and beloved kupuna (elder) Uncle Harry Kunihi Mitchell (1919 – 1990) from Keanae, Maui, shown here with two of his Haumana (students).  Uncle Harry’s taro patch at Keanae was painted on the kahiko (ancient) wall.  Uncle Harry was trained in Hawaiian healing and dedicated his life to the health and well being of the Hawaiian people.  At the bottom of the mural:  Calley’s friend and neighbor, Neil Izumi with Chad, Kaiulani’s son.
The murals attracted an excellent team of skilled volunteers to paint stones, plants, dark backgrounds and water.  The dark green backgrounds required a dozen layers of paint to achieve the rich forest green.  Pictured here are Calley’s top painting apprentices for the project.  The artist still sends gratitude out to these and the other people who helped grind the walls, including her dear brother, Rick Calley, her dear friend Ted Rauschic and many other UH students and community artists.  The two year long project would have taken three years without their help and dedication!  From the left: Kihi Haoa from Rapanui (Easter Island) On the top of the scaffolding, Linda Hsu from Taiwan To the right, Teresa Ho from China
The Hawaiians of old were farmers, not fighters.  They were highly skilled horticulturists who knew exactly what to plant when with precisely what mulch, and without the benefit of seasonal flooding provided their people with the healthiest diet in all Polynesia.
This shows the glaze painting work in progress.  The glazes are translucent and build color and vibrancy by multiple layering.
Calley’s dear friend and neighbor, Louise Kaiulani Sausen and her daughter Lehua posed for the auana (modern) side of the mural.  It was Kaiulani that introduced Calley to her kumu, Braddah Frank Hewett.
Visionary Design    Public Art, Painting  &  Murals 
Studio on the Big Island of Hawai'i