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Findlay Market, Cincinnati

never forget

Artist Statement on "Never Forget"


"When I saw the news story of our fallen heroes in Dallas, I was shocked and horrified. Even though I have no affiliation with the police, my heart burst open for all of the heroes in blue and their families.  That week, I decided to deal with it the only way that I know how which is to create a painting rather than sit and cry all day.  This painting wanted to be painted.  I feel more like the witness than the creator and was even surprised by the results.  

The police officers in Dallas and all over America are deeply loved, appreciated, and supported by millions of us.  In fact, the Angel, St. Michael, is depicted in the upper left corner (behind officer Michael Krol) and I have no doubt that each of these wonderful martyrs for Good were directly escorted into heaven that day.  The officers included in the painting are Michael Krol, Lorne Ahrens, Brent Thompson, Patrick Zamarripa, and Michael Smith.  To prepare for each portrait, I read each of their obituaries and imagined myself to be a family member experiencing my love for them and their loss.

Those who perished in a selfless act of saving lives that day represent the spirit of Goodness which is found in every police officer.  This painting is about a moment in history but it is also a painting about now and even our future.  That same spirit of Goodness is here alive among us and Goodness will prevail.

What has grown from this horrible act is our respect and admiration for the first responders who are ready to give their lives in service of others.  God bless you all."

Slain officers tribute will be delivered to Dallas | WKRC

CINCINNATI (WKRC) - The police chief of Dallas, Texas will soon get a visit from a Cincinnati police officer and a local artist.They will go bearing ... When five police officers were killed in a well-planned ambush, local artist Holly Schapker wanted. ... A timely message because of Sunday's August 7, police involved shooting. Read the story.

On July 7, 2017; Holly and Cincinnati police officer Princess Davis delivered the original painting to the Dallas police department along with a personal metal print to each of the family members at a private reception in Dallas.

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Never Forget

Never Forget 24x24, dedicated to the courageous police officers who lost their lives on July 7, 2016

Angels of Liberty

Angels of Liberty 50x84, dedicated to the lives lost on September 11, 2001

Artist Statement on "Angels of Liberty" 9/11 Commemorative Memorial, Green Township


“Fifteen years is not nearly enough for the grieving to be complete, for the losses to be forgotten, or the scars to have healed, but these past fifteen years have been enough to give me, as an artist, perspective on my painting.

When I painted this work, the Angels and the fire-fighters, police, and other first responders were just emerging from the horrible black cloud of death and debris. The lesson for me of 9-11, and I believe for many of us, is the presence among us of the heroism, generosity, and selflessness of the firefighters, police and other first responders. These people are our heroes and the events of 9-11, as horrible as they were, have brought these angels among us to greater recognition by all.

Accordingly, I sent a free lithograph to every firehouse in the New York City area and granted any request by the families of the victims. The response letters that I have received are treasured.

If I were to paint this painting today, the dust would be settled, the skies no longer black, and the people of service who saved so many lives that day would be prominent in the foreground.”

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