From seniors to citizens: Out the window

Graphic by Aiden Menchaca / The Tufts Daily

Senior spring to social security. On the hill to over the hill. Graduation to … grandchildren? Here’s what seniors have to say before all is said and done.

Gabriella Melchiorri, a senior at SMFA, already knows how she wants to decorate her retirement home.  

“I have these very specific paintings that I made when I was around 15. One of them is a pink peony flower, and … there’s also a large tulip painting. I envision them being with me wherever I live,” she said.

Melchiorri grew up on Cape Cod. In middle school, she briefly flirted with a career in marine science. 

“Art was always on my mind … Once I knew that being a marine biologist was not really my forte, I knew that I was going to go absolutely head over heels into the art world,” she said. At the age of 16, she took a fateful journey into Boston.  

“I actually discovered the SMFA when I was on a trip to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum with my mom. The Gardner was a huge factor into my college choice, so it always has a very special place in my heart,” she said.

Melchiorri hopes that the Gardner’s influence on her life will blossom like the flowers she has painted. 

“I interned at the Gardner during the entirety of my junior year [in college] … Once I finished the internship, I realized how badly I wanted to work in a museum environment,” she said. 

With the future looming large in her vision, Melchiorri has submitted applications to several full-time jobs at various art museums and companies. 

“My goal is to find a job where I can continue to grow as a budding art professional,” she said. 

Someday, Melchiorri hopes to rise to the rank of head curator at an art museum. In that capacity, she could discover new artists and lift their work into the limelight, but she also hopes to gain acclaim through her own work. 

“In terms of my own personal art practice, I would definitely like to [do] commission work and then also … my own independent animation projects that I would enter into film festivals all over the world,” she said. 

Of course, Melchiorri has not yet nailed down her first job after graduation. Unfortunately, several museums and commercial art companies to which she has applied have frozen their hiring operations, and no one can say for sure when businesses will open again.  

“This whole circumstance has taken my plans and thrown them out the window,” Melchiorri said.

In the past, the world outside of her window has provided her with artistic inspiration. She has painted its flora and photographed its birds, and even her senior project, an animated short film about a sea witch whose lively mind teems with colorful amoebas and small aquatic creatures, grew out of her experiences by the ocean in her youth.  

At present, Melchiorri desires to stay around Boston for the rest of her life. If her wish comes true, then her childhood hometown will remain in close proximity until her intended total of three or four grandchildren come calling at her door. Inside her house, they will find themselves surrounded by artistic portrayals of Melchiorri’s life experiences. 

“I always knew that art was something that I was so passionate about that I couldn’t not pursue it,” she said.