Mary and Infant Jesus snuggling within a circle of gold silhouette animals and an outer circle of gold silhouette leaves. Green scroll background.

    Inspired by Realism: Reconquering the Figurative Image of Mary

    May 4 – Extended into September, 2015

    Mary is the first Christian. We call her the perfect Christian, or the archetypal Christian. Whether woman or man, to be a Christian always means, in some ways, to be like Mary.

    Holly Schapker illustrates this in a very tangible and realistic way. To depict Mary she could have chosen the way of symbols, which she does in a secondary manner. Her immediate concern, however, is to invite the spectator to a world inspired by the realism of creation as to find Mary in the life and faces of real people. Holly Schapker's art has reconquered the figurative image of Mary. It is a telling and beautiful tribute to a religion which professes the God incarnate.

    About Holly Schapker

    Holly Schapker graduated Magna Cum Laude from Xavier University's Art Department and studied under Michael Scott and Cole Carothers. She taught art at the Baker Hunt Institute in Covington, Kentucky and painting at Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio.

    Even though she considers herself an outdoor painter, Holly spends a great deal of time working in her studio in the Over-the-Rhine section of Cincinnati, Ohio.

    "The creative process is never ending for me. I try to observe and learn in every minute and, hopefully, my paintings depict my quest for truth and beauty. While I paint in the studio or outdoors, I relinquish my personal control of the brush to the Universal energy which results in a timelessness gift I humbly receive. It is a privilege to be a painter and I try never to forget that. I hope that others enjoy my work." – Holly Schapker

    For more on the artist, visit

    Artist Statement

    “It is impossible to have too much confidence in Mary” – M. Eugene Boylan

    There’s Something about Mary

    Mary is not just the most popular name for a female baby everywhere in the world, it is the hope and aspiration of tens of millions of parents, perhaps more, that the little angel born into their life will have the character, the honesty, the wisdom, and charity of the Blessed Mother. Regardless of a name, there is something of Mary in all of humanity – God’s gift to women in particular. These are images of the women I have observed or known or admired, in whom I see Mary personified, images co-created with God. Please take time to try to see Mary in each of them as you view the work. 

    In the Exhibit...

    Enjoy these selected pieces chosen from over forty works on display.

    Our Lady of the Way
    Witness, Queen of Peace
    Mother Nature
    Homage to Raphael
    De Christiana Amore