Even as she has many heroes, Calley’s leading hero has long been renowned 88-year-old biologist, conservationist, Pulitzer Prize winning author, and father of biodiversity, Edward O. Wilson. Had you asked Calley, “Who is the one person with whom you would most like to have dinner?”, her answer would have been instantaneous ~ E. O. Wilson. Calley had studied his work on biodiversity and based her paintings upon his work. Her work directly reflects his.
She knew if any scientist would recognize the creative power of this work, it would be him. To that end, she enthusiastically tried contacting him repeatedly over six years. Her dream was to have him see, appreciate, and comment, and, when least expected, the miracle happened!
When Calley was selected as the featured artist for the World Conservation Congress in 2016, she and her assistant worked seven days a week from morning til night for four months to complete the painting borders. There wasn’t a free moment to look at the schedule, so Calley was overjoyed to find out that E. O. Wilson would open the congress, and speak several times. She met him four times during the congress. After the opening session, Calley dashed to the front row just as the person sitting next to Professor Wilson left. Their conversation opened up a line of personal communication on the importance of art to “exponentially expand the reach of this knowledge.”
A treasured honor, E. O. Wilson asked Calley if he could share a RAMA painting for the frontispiece of his new book: The Origins of Creativity. He chose the one Calley recommended, and most respectfully and enthusiastically asked to change the title to THE REALITY UNSEEN…a much more appropriate name for the work of art, which depicts 52 animals in gold leaving the Earth ~ a reality few see or understand.