Xavier Magazine

Angelic Art

On Sept. 11, 2001, Holly Schapker acted out her grief and anguish over the terrorist attacks through a non-conventional way: art.

The 1992 graduate and adjunct faculty member in the department of art picked up her brushes and paints and created “Angels of Liberty,” an oil painting depicting fallen firefighters, police and others being escorted to heaven by angels in the aftermath of the World Trade Center collapse.

“I covered the wall of my studio with a canvas eight feet tall and began painting,” she says.

She painted for three months.

When she completed the 50×84-inch painting, she created lithographs and sent them to firefighters and police in New York, New Jersey and around the country. One such lithograph caught the eye of a German public television crew working on a documentary about angels, which traveled to Xavier to interview Schapker.

The painting also won second place in the national juried competition, Spirit of America.

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