Julia Swartz, a lifetime resident of Lancaster County Pennsylvania, has always
had an eye for things of beauty. Whether it was genetic, her environment, or
both, she has always been interested in art, flower gardens and decorating her
home. Even when she was a little girl, she would borrow her mother’s oil
paints and begin developing her skills in applying paint to canvas. While
going through grade school and high school, Julia took advantage of what few art
courses were offered.
After graduating from Lancaster Mennonite High School in 1970, Julia briefly
studied oil painting with the late Jay McVey of Ephrata PA, but marriage and
children absorbed most of her time for the next decade and a half. It wasn’t
until Julia got the last or her three children off to school, that she began to
get more serious about her artistic talents. Julia joined the Lancaster County
Art Association (LCAA) and began studies with tutors, Ann Fields, Fred Witmer,
Dr. Ronald Sykes and Lynn Yancha and attended workshops such as those offered by
Julia was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s large cell lymphoma in November 1999, but
after many prayers by her church, family, and friends, and after 6 months of
chemotherapy treatments, the cancer was gone. Since the cancer experience,
Julia has taken her artistic talent to an even higher level.
A trip to New York Art Expo and several other New York galleries in 2001 was the
spark that began a serious study of oil impressionism on canvas. True to her
self taught ways, she armed herself with stacks of art books, and magazines, and
made many more visits to Museums and galleries observing and absorbing all she
could. Thus began her current look of very textured, bold, color on color,
palette knife, impressionistic oil on canvas paintings. Julia loves to explore,
create, and try new things so you will rarely ever see her paint the same thing
twice. “It would be boring to paint it again,” says Julia. Thus her subjects are
wide and varied, from landscapes to cats, flowers, figures and portraits. Who
knows what will be next.
Since 2003 Julia has exhibited and sold her work in over 50 juried art
exhibitions and won numerous awards. Peoples Choice Award from Lancaster Museum
of Art 2005, 1st
place Oil Painting from Bel Air Arts Festival 2005, Best of Show Canandaigua NY
Arts Festival 2004, to name a few. Julia has been commissioned to paint many
subjects to the satisfaction of her customers including President Judge Michael
Georgelis, whose portrait now hangs alongside the other past President Judges in
the Lancaster county courthouse. While it is rewarding to see the pleased looks
of customers as they view their commission for the first time, what Julia loves
most is a blank canvas and an idea in her mind’s eye, an opportunity with no
limits or boundaries to create an image that creates a feeling when looked upon.
For many years, Julia dreamed of having her own gallery. In March 2007 Julia
joined Gallery Row in downtown Lancaster by opening her own gallery. In July
2014 Julia opened a second gallery in Intercourse PA. Her husband Terry, manages
the Intercourse gallery.
Julia feels very fortunate to be able to do what she loves, paint everyday, and
talk with her customers. More of her work can be seen at her web site www.juliaswartz.com.
Julia Swartz Gallery, 3518 Old Philadelphia Pike, Intercourse PA 17534,