null Your SEO optimized title

Questions - text  717-723-8099


Julia Swartz Bio 

Lancaster County native Julia Swartz has always been drawn to beauty. Whether nurtured by her genes or her surroundings, this love for aesthetics manifested in her appreciation for art, flower gardens, and creating a beautiful home. Even as a child, she'd tinker with her mother's paints, honing her skills on canvas. Throughout grade and high school, Julia eagerly enrolled in any available art classes.


After graduating from Lancaster Mennonite High School in 1970, Julia briefly studied oil painting under the late Jay McVey of Ephrata. However, for the next fifteen years, her focus shifted to raising her family.

Once her youngest child started school, Julia reignited her artistic passion. She joined the Lancaster County Art Association (LCAA), learning from instructors like Ann Fields, Fred Witmer, Dr. Ronald Sykes, and Lynn Yancha. She also actively participated in workshops led by artists like Zoltan Szabo.

In 1999, Julia received a life-altering diagnosis of non-Hodgkin's large cell lymphoma. With the unwavering support of her church family and friends, and after undergoing chemotherapy, she emerged victorious against cancer. This experience propelled her artistic journey to even greater heights.

Inspired by a trip to the New York Art Expo in 2001, Julia embarked on a dedicated exploration of oil impressionism. True to her self-taught spirit, she delved into art books and magazines, frequently visiting museums and galleries to absorb as much knowledge as possible. This intensive learning period resulted in her signature style: richly textured, bold, color-filled impressionist oil paintings created with a palette knife. Julia thrives on exploration and experimentation, rarely repeating a subject. Her canvases showcase a captivating range, from landscapes to animals, florals, figures, and portraits.

Since 2003, Julia has exhibited and sold her work in several 100 juried art exhibitions, garnering numerous awards along the way.  Notably, she has also been commissioned to paint various subjects, including a portrait of President Judge Michael Georgelis, which now graces the Lancaster County Courthouse alongside other past presidents.

While witnessing the delight of her clients upon receiving their commissioned pieces brings her joy, Julia's true artistic satisfaction lies in facing a blank canvas, armed with an idea, the boundless opportunity to create an image that evokes emotion in the beholder.

For many years, owning her own gallery remained a cherished dream for Julia. This dream became a reality in March 2007 when she opened her gallery on Gallery Row in downtown Lancaster. Seven years later, she expanded by opening a second location in Intercourse, PA. Her husband, Terry, managed this branch.

In 2015, after nearly a decade, Julia decided to close the Lancaster gallery to prioritize her family, including her growing number of grandchildren, and her aging father. Additionally, macular degeneration, a condition she'd had been diagnosed with in 1996, had begun to significantly impact her vision. Despite this, Julia's unwavering spirit prevailed. "I can still paint impressionist style, and that is the style I truly love, so I feel blessed. My passion to paint continues!" she declared.

As of June 2019, Julia continues to paint with unwavering passion, balancing her artistic pursuits with the joy of spending time with her grandchildren. Whether tending to plants in her greenhouse, creating in her home studio, or decorating her home, Julia's life exemplifies a dedication to artistic expression and a love for beauty that continues to bloom.

In May 2020, Julia and Terry fully retired from their brick-and-mortar galleries, transitioning to an online store and home studio model. The COVID-19 pandemic solidified their decision to embrace this semi-retirement. Julia remains actively engaged in creating art in her home studio, while Terry focuses on managing their website, printing, and framing. They are still readily available to connect with art enthusiasts.