Holly Schapker

Selected Works



Schapker graduated Magna Cum Laude from Xavier University with a bachelor’s degree in painting.  She also taught Beginning, Advanced, and Thesis Painting at Xavier.  For ten years, she continued her painting education by studying under Frank McElwain and Michael Scott, whose influences and creative processes have a strong focus on plein air paintings. Outdoor painting and research have taken her on travels through Florence, Rome, Tuscany, Assisi, Cinque Terre, Italy;  Cotswolds, York, Oxford, London, England; Bilboa, Barcelona, Montserrat, Spain; Georgetown, ME; and Charlevoix, MI.  Much of her work reflects those travels.


Her work has been in many publications, including print, television, and radio. Recently, she has accepted invitations to exhibit at the St. Louis University Museum of Art, John Carroll University, among others.  Schapker was an Arts Grant recipient of the City of Cincinnati and recognized as one of twelve, “notable female alumni” at Xavier University.  She was inducted into the Mother of Mercy Alumni Hall of Excellence in May 2009.  Locally, the artist’s work is included the collections of numerous private and corporate collections, such as: The Women’s Committee at the Cincinnati Art Museum, The Cintas Center commemorative mural at Xavier, the Ronald McDonald House, as well as The Over-the-Rhine Chamber of Commerce.


Over the course of the last twenty years, her path has been a spiritual journey.  For Schapker, painting is a spiritual exercise that defines and forms who she is. She says, “I am more a witness to the creation of the work than the creator. I am open to the work.  I listen and allow it to give me the answers. There is point in the process where I experience timelessness and my heart is guiding my hands, focused in the present, and filled with love.”


There are rhythms within the work, which reflect the language of the heart.  Schapker is a colorist who sees every representative shape is used as an opportunity for color.  The current focus of her work is representational painting, many including a unique texture created by solid objects incorporated into the work such as actual maps, leaves, or twigs.  Her aim is to create timeless images of the spirit in humans and nature.