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Holly Schapker fine artist

meet the artist

My studio is in a renovated 140 year old building in the Over-the-Rhine

section of Cincinnati,Ohio. It used to be the commissary for hot dog

carts around the city but now houses my paintings. I think of myself

as an evangel-artist, where every piece I create gives record of my
personal journey; seeking union with God. In sharing my own spiritual

path, I hope others recognize their own relationship with the Loving


In the upper room of my studio, I paint at an easel which was made

from a mahogany table found in someone’s trash and I believe

St. Joseph guided the hand of my stepson, the carpenter who created

it. A painting of Our Lord is behind me, watching every stroke of paint

applied to the canvas.

No piece of art manifests without struggle.

I always find myself at a stage in the creative process where I cannot see the resolution. In this
moment, the work is lifted up in relinquishment for God’s glory and I’m eventually given eyes to
see how the painting is to manifest. Each piece is a gift. Therefore, I sign my works with my
initials only; giving credit where credit belongs. “HS” stands for the Holy Spirit.

I graduated from Xavier University in 1992 and then studied for endless years under Michael
Scott who resides in Santa Fe, NM. Soon after, I taught beginning and advanced painting at
Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio. After I completed an Ignatian pilgrimage and the
Spiritual Exercises in 19th Annotation, my interest turned from representational landscapes
toward sacred art like a moth to a flame. The unexpected gift of my life as a painter of sacred art
is that my works continue to draw in the most wonderful people in my life and I gain experiences
for which I am eternally grateful. My hope is that in the end, this will all be held up for the
greater glory of God.


Artist Statement on Paintings

"I create rhythms within my work which portray the language of the heart. The current focus of
my journey is painting works honoring all members within the Body of Christ; whether that be
Our Lady, her children, the saints, angels, or even Our Lord Himself. Many pieces include a
unique texture created by natural objects or materials found in my studio. My aim is to create
timeless images of the Christian spirit. The creative process is never ending for me and it always
includes prayer. I try to observe and learn as I breathe and my paintings depict my quest for
holiness, truth, and beauty.”


Artist Bio

Holly Schapker resides and works in Cincinnati, OH. She graduated from Xavier University’s
Art Department in 1992. She then continued her painting education by studying under Michael
Scott for ten years, whose fine art teaching process has a strong focus on painting outdoors. For
the past 15 years, she has focused her time and talents on Catholic art. Her work has been the
subject of many publications, including print, television, and radio. Holly has been invited to
demonstrate her painting techniques and creative process to universities all around the nation.
She taught Beginning, Advanced, and Thesis Painting at Xavier University. In addition to her
painting demonstrations, Holly travels to give lectures as a creative catholic and hosts spiritual

Outdoor painting and research has taken her on travels through Florence, Rome, Tuscany, Assisi,
Cinque Terre, Italy; Paris, Lyon, Nice, St. Tropez, and Burgundy, France; Cotswolds, York,
Oxford, London, England; Bilboa, Barcelona, Montserrat, Spain; Georgetown, ME; and
Charlevoix, MI. Ms. Schapker's paintings and drawings can be found in several corporate
collections, universities, schools, and churches. She has been commissioned by the Archbishop
of Cincinnati; the Midwest Jesuits; Xavier University; the Atheneum in Cincinnati, OH; The
Bellarmine Retreat House, Barrington, IL; the Women’s Committee at the Cincinnati Art
Museum, the Ronald McDonald House, and many others. Ms. Schapker's work is also in the
collections of numerous private collectors throughout the world.

She was an arts grant recipient by the City of Cincinnati and recognized as one of twelve
“notable female alumni” at Xavier University. Holly has received a special Presidential Citation
at Xavier University in 2015 and was inducted in the Mother of Mercy High School Alumni Hall
of Excellence in year 2009.

Selected Exhibitions and Accomplishments

2022 Encountering Mystery: Ignatian Art Show in the Sacred Gallery of St. Xavier Church, OH
2022 Virgo Potens: Marian Art Show in the Sacred Gallery of St. Xavier Church, OH
2022 Stations of the Cross: Commissioned by the Pastor of Our Lady of Victory Church, OH
2022 Laudato Si Art commissioned by the Brueggeman Center, Xavier University, OH
2022 Ignatian works commissioned by Loyola University, Maryland
2022 Commissioned cover art for Jesuits Magazine
2022 Works displayed at Marian University, IN
2021 Piece accepted into the 9/11 Museum, New York, NY
2021 Commissioned Tapestry for De Paul Cristo Rey High School, OH

2021 Cover Image of "Nourishing Love: A Franciscan Celebration of Mary" by Murray Bodo, OFM

2018 Works purchased for the offices of the USA Midwest Province of the Society of Jesus;
        Chicago, IL

2017 Spiritual Retreat:Hosting "The Heart of Mary with St. Ignatius", Milford, OH
2017 "Mary with Flowers" exhibition, University of Dayton; Dayton, OH
2017 Lecture for Legatus, Lincoln, NE
2016 Presidential Citation at Xavier University; Cincinnati, OH

2016 Spiritual Retreat: Hosting "Ignatian Spirituality and the Creative Process", Milford, OH

2016 “Adsum”, Creighton University, Omaha, NE
2016 Altar Piece at Bellarmine Chapel, Cincinnati OH
2015 “Adsum”, Marquette University,  Milwaukee
2015 “Inspired by Realism”, Marian Library, Dayton, OH
2015 “There's Something about Mary” exhibition at Xavier University
2015 Regina Maria Sivori, Pope Francis; Vatican City, Roma
2014 “Adsum”, Rockhurst University, Kansas City, MO
2013 Greenacres Artist Guild Exhibition Cincinnati
2013 Cincinnati International Fine Arts Fair, Cincinnati, OH
2012 Mother Seton, DPCR commission, Cincinnati, OH
2012 Adsum, Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School, Indianapolis, IN
2011 Lecture / Solo Show at John Carroll University, Cleveland
2011 Lecture / Solo Show at Naples, FLA
2011 Lecture / Solo Show at Phyllis J. Weston Gallery, Cincinnati
2011 Lecture / Solo Show at St. Louis University Museum of Art, St. Louis
2011 Commissioned piece for De Paul Cristo Rey High School, Cincinnati
2011 Lecture and Solo Show at Kennebunk, ME
2010 Lecture / Solo Show at Xavier University,Cincinnati
2010 Lecture / Solo Show at Mount Manresa Jesuit Retreat, Long Island
2007 American Impressionist Group Show, Chicago, IL
2007 Solo Show at Phyllis J. Weston Gallery
2007 Art Grant from Cincinnati
2006 Commissioned Mural for Xavier University
2005 American Impressionist Society National Show, Taos, NM
2005 Painting featured in German Documentary Film
2005 Solo Show at Phyllis J. Weston Gallery
2004 March 12 Art Show at Clossonís, Cincinnati
2003 Ronald McDonald House Holiday Cards
2002 April 19 Art show at Closson's, Cincinnati
2002 2nd place in national “Spirit of America” competition
2002 Signs of Summer show at Closson's, Cincinnati
2002 American Impressionist Show, CA
2001 “Flowers in Bloom”, Ault Park
2001 Invited to the Cincinnati Art Museum artists’ panel
2000 Commissioned Montage for Xavier University
2000 Pigtisse exhibited at the Cincinnati Art Museum
2000 Pigtisse permanently located at the Ronald McDonald House
2000 Commissioned portrait of Xavier University president, Fr. Hoff
2000 Commissioned Portrait for St. Aloysius Gonzaga School

Scholarly Articles
2012 Journal of Jesuit Business Education. The Journal of Jesuit Business Education is the peer-reviewed, interdisciplinary journal of Colleagues in Jesuit Business Education (CJBE). The journal is dedicated to the distribution of scholarly work and commentary with a focus on the distinctiveness of business education in the Jesuit tradition. Click here to read the article.

2011 Company Magazine - click here to read the article
2011 Xavier Magazine - click here to read the article

Holly Schapker fine artist
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