Art in high gear: Julia Jalowiec ’18

Julia Jalowiec, who graduated in May with a B.F.A. in art and a minor in art history, was not your typical undergraduate art student.

An adult in her 40s with four children, she had never even created art before 2013. Her decision to start art classes was spurred by a cancer diagnosis in 2012. Reeling from her 16th round of chemo, she made the decision to change the trajectory of her life and went back to school.

And this spring, she served in a position of honor as Commencement Marshal for SMU Meadows Division of Art during her graduation.

Jalowiec has been getting extra attention for her art lately. She was invited by the Dallas Farmers Market to exhibit her art on the 15-acre market’s South Pearl Street side. She said yes immediately — saying “yes” is a habit of hers — then realized she might have underestimated the scope of the project.

“They also said they have this 150-foot construction fence, and could I do something with it?” she says. “I was like, of course I can do something with it, and asked when did they want it done? And they’re like oh, a few weeks. I was, like, okay, I can do it. I just said yes, thinking, of course I can paint 150 feet in three weeks, right?

“This was a great opportunity to bring in fellow artists to assist in such a large and fast project,” she says. “It was about community and support of local artists. That is everything I am about. We all painted together and something incredible happened there. That mural changed the aesthetic of that entire street.”

Read more about Jalowiec at Meadows School of the Arts.

“What I want people to know is, if you look closely at SMU, there are opportunities to do anything that you want. There are things that will change your life. They’re just so incredible, and so beautiful, and the hearts of the people here are so great.”

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