In their senior year of high school, fraternal twins Samantha and Danielle Lauro decided that they would each choose their colleges without consulting one another. Coincidently, both sisters from Cold Spring Harbor, New York, ended up choosing Marist because it offered the perfect mix of business and art that the two were looking for.
Yet the coincidence didn’t seem to be much of a surprise for the sisters, who now as juniors in college, say they constantly find themselves drawn towards similar interests. Sam is a double major in business administration with a concentration in marketing and studio art, with a concentration in graphic design. Danny is a double major in digital media and studio art with a concentration in graphic design. She also has a minor in business. While both Sam and Danny found their passions at the crossroads of business and art, each plans to take their degree in a different direction.
“I really love branding, that’s what I’m passionate about,” Danny says. I want to ideally work for a company and help them put together logos, packaging, stationery…make the aesthetic work for anything they need.”Sam, on the other hand, wants to head art direction for a marketing firm. Though similar to what her sister wants to do, Sam says this taps more into her business side. “It’s basically coming up with the concept behind [a product] and then kind of delegating- you do this part. It’s about the conception of the art behind the product,” Sam explains.
The Lauro sisters’ appetite for creativity began at a young age, when like most students, they took art in school. Though Sam and Danny had supportive teachers who often pushed them to enroll their artwork in local exhibitions and galleries, they wanted more. They starting taking art classes out of school and quickly found unique ways to express themselves.
“From a young age, we developed really different styles,” Danny says. “Sam is really good at realistic art…but a lot of my stuff is more like graphic, geometric, more linear,” she says. Sam describes her style as more organic. “I like focusing on the human form, like the human face,” she says.
Finding independence while simultaneously being connected is something that Sam and Danny have come to master over the years. In the fall semester of their junior year, they both chose to study abroad in Florence, in part to trace back their Italian-American roots. While they were there, they got to meet their family in Naples, which they describe as an incredible immersive experience. Of course, they also were immersed in the art and culture that is so present in Florence.
“I took a sketchbook class, so I would just basically walk around Florence and sketch, and that was a dream come true,” says Sam, who enjoys sketching in charcoal and painting in acrylics, oils or watercolors. “I like the free movement of just color and texture and getting dirty with art. I don’t really like to be neat,” she says.
But for her sister, being neat is simply a part of the art-making process. “I like to have everything nice, clean, I like to use rulers, markers, I like everything to be perfect. It’s a good thing and a bad thing because sometimes I can get really wrapped up in making sure everything is perfect,” Danny says.
On campus, Sam and Danny both work at the Steel Plant gallery as student assistants, and help to aid in the setup of galleries and shows. When they are not doing that, they keep busy as members of the Honors program, campus clubs and internships.
Last year, Sam became the only sophomore to be chosen for the BNY Melon fellowship through Enactus, a club which she sits on the board of that practices ethical and sustainable business. Through BNY Melon, she will be traveling to nationals at the end of the year in Kansas City. “Basically the fellowship is becoming better with business management and product development. At nationals I’d be, I think, presenting and talking to business professionals, networking,” Sam explains.
Both Sam and Danny also spent last year interning at different companies and getting a taste for their future plans. “Last year I worked as the art direction intern at McCann Healthcare, and I absolutely loved it,” Sam says. “It was such a great environment because it combined business and art, which I had been trying to pursue my entire life: it actually came together.”
Seeing her dreams become a reality through an internship was something that Danny experienced as well, when she interned with a medium-sized firm and helped them put together sales presentations and case studies. “I was helping them design merchandise, it was basically just a little taste of what I want to do in the future. Now I have a clearer vision of the future for myself,” she says.
Even though Sam and Danny never originally planned on coming to Marist together, each relies on the other as an integral part of their support system at school. “Especially when you’re navigating things freshman year, no one has any clue what’s going on at all, [it’s good] to have someone there that you already know,” Danny says.
It seems safe to say that what began as a coincidental decision for Sam and Danny to both attend Marist has shaped into a part of their identities, as artists, but also as sisters. Sam says, “It’s good to have someone to bounce ideas off of, be there for you”—“always have your back,” Danny finishes.