When I Grow Up | Lily Fess


"Lily, a Florida native with a love for art, saving the turtles and polar bears in our world, and sweet potatoes. Her family is her rock and they have nothing but love and support for each other. She gives more than she takes and will always try to connect to the people around her. She's there when you need advice or a shoulder to cry on or annnny information about the Beatles. She has a love for art and all the beauty in the world."
-Molly Strange

Lily Fess is a rising junior from Orlando, Florida. She is majoring in Art History. Lily loves her hometown, museums, and believes that everything is better on vinyl. She has an eye for beauty and it follows her everywhere she goes. 

When I Grow Up

Art History isn’t the most common (or considered the most interesting) major by a long shot, so I am so excited to share my passion and tell you a little about what the world of Art History entails and means to me!

Although I come from a rather large family (oldest of four siblings) and love spending time with my friends, I have always been somewhat (completely) an introvert. During my “me” time, I enjoy reading, listening to The Beatles and Otis Redding on vinyl, napping, and of course completely nerding out in art museums. Art History has given me a safe environment to do something that involves my introspection and gives me a chance to enjoy working with people in an area I truly adore. I don’t consider myself an artist by any means, but I spend a lot of downtime (procrastination time) painting and drawing. I’ve also enjoyed learning about the why’s, how’s, and psychology behind art. I never in a million years thought I would be able to turn this love and interest into a career. Many others have voiced to me that they “just don’t get art”. One of the cool things I can do with my major is apply historical context with visual analysis in order to find, and explain to others, a better understanding of both what the art was made to represent, and what it can be interpreted as to the subjective experience of the viewer.

Art History has given me a safe environment to do something that involves my introspection and gives me a chance to enjoy working with people in an area I truly adore.

This past summer before my sophomore year began, I was given an incredible chance to intern under the Exhibitions department of The Orlando Museum of Art. Not only did I get to see the inner workings of the museum, I learned all of the nuances and extensive behind-the-scenes work that goes into every detail of each exhibition. I recently took part in a student-lead exhibition at Auburn’s own Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art this past spring! Along with 8 other students in my 19th Century Art History class, I hand selected art works from the vaults of the museum - which are surprisingly very impressive - to be featured in our Exhibition of 19th Century Plein-Air paintings. With all of this experience I feel completely confident that I am on the right path. This summer I am so excited to go to Paris with one of Auburn’s Art History study abroad programs and put all of my knowledge to use! After I eventually graduate, I am planning on getting my Master’s in Art History and Museum Education so that I can pursue my dreams of working as a curator at a museum (my favorite is the Victoria and Albert Museum in London). Who knows where I will end up, but I am so excited to become more involved with and find my place within the world of the arts- and share it with others like you!


I am from Orlando, so moving to Auburn was a huge transition for me. Though Auburn might not be the most urban space, I have found the perfect diversity of every personality and type of person I could want in our little home of Chi Omega! As I said earlier, I am an introvert, and recruitment was not going to be a fun experience for me - strangers!!! no!!! – I found my safe haven in Chi O when I walked into those doors every day. The girls I talked to genuinely wanted to learn about me. They cared about my past and how I felt, not what dorm I was living in that semester. Something that I will always remember is when Carolyn Morris (an upcoming Senior), upon finding out I was from Orlando, asked how it had been dealing with the Pulse Nightclub Shooting which had occurred two months before. After being asked aboutDisneyworld all day, it was a weight off my chest to tell her how traumatic and still upsetting (to this day) the event was to me and the city as a whole. After just Ice Water Tea’s I knew this place was special, and I was so right. I have found the most selfless, passionate, and accepting friends anyone could ever ask for. I have found people who lift each other up when they are down, who look past differences in cultural, political, and familial background to see the real you. I will forever be thankful to Chi O for giving this out-of-state introvert a home and a group of girls I can truly call my family!