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Student Profile: Lily Pisano, BFA + BA '20

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Student Profile: Lily Pisano, BFA + BA '20

In the heart of Brooklyn, one girl’s daily highlight was riding the subway. Sharing a small apartment with her family and commuting on the subway daily, she was constantly finding beauty and art in her routine. Sketchbook in hand, she would excitedly board the subway, studying the characters around her, and imagining their stories. As she got older, she began conversing with passengers, and learning about them. For her, the arts have always been a medium for connection and telling stories, and leveraging language and art together to effect change is at the core of her practice.

Lily Pisano now spends her days doing just that. Joining the best of both worlds through the School of Arts and Sciences and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts, Lily passionately pursues a major in International Literary and Visual Studies (ILVS) with an emphasis in Japanese and Chinese culture while also working toward her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. She has expanded her artistic repertoire, grounded in sketching and painting, to include 3D endeavors and pieces constructed in Jumbo's Maker Studio. At the same time, she has explored language to satisfy her passion for connection.

The unique ILVS major and opportunities at SMFA at Tufts have allowed Lily to continue her study of Japanese from high school without sacrificing her time in front of the canvas. She is now considering traveling abroad to Japan this spring and will continue to serve as head of decorations for the Japanese Culture Club. In her words, the Combined Degree program gives the gift of being able to "exercise both sides of your brain at the same time, which is what makes it tiring but so much more rewarding than solely going to an art school or a research university."

SMFA at Tufts is inherently different, she explained. Its urban location between world renowned art museums may feel different from Tufts' green quads and brick buildings, yet the abounding opportunities signature to Tufts are equally present. "There's always so much to do and not enough time to do it," Lily said, "and it's comforting to see people so willing to experiment in unique classes and clubs." To further bridge the gap between the two schools, Lily co-founded the campus arts magazine, Currents, to promote collaboration and showcase artistic work across the university.

Lily and her two co-founders also lead guided trips to the Museum of Fine Arts so all students, regardless of major, can connect and interact with art. Lily’s interests may seem disparate, but she has found that her intellectual flexibility is perfectly suited to the real world of today's industry. A few years ago, she interned at Eyebeam, an arts and technology organization, which she claims opened her eyes to merging art, technology, and business. Whether practical, educational, political, or professional, Lily asserts that "art can always transcend its context and enhance life."