Celebrating the Life & Art of Phyllis Lilllyman

Posted on 12/01/2022
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Phyllis M. (Tartaglia) Lillyman passed away on Wednesday, December 29, 2021. One year later, the Gifford community continues to celebrate her many contributions to the school. Upon her retirement in 2015, the Board of Directors dedicated the board meeting room to Phyllis Lillyman and renamed it the Lillyman Gallery in gratitude for her 40 year tenure.

She began at Gifford as an art teacher who had an amazing ability to help children express their feelings and talents through art. As a natural extension of her role, Phyllis became the school historian documenting school events, the evolution of programs, and capturing every

individual who has worked and learned here over the years through the yearbook, newsletters, videos, and photos she compiled and archived.

Phyllis moved to her own Beacon Hill apartment in her twenties and attended Boston’s Butera School of Art. Phyllis also attended the Worcester Art Museum 
School, as well as the Boston Museum School of Fine Arts, earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Tufts University. Phyllis worked as a commercial artist for Filenes in Boston creating fashion illustrations that appeared regularly in the Boston Globe as well as other city newspapers. In her early 40s, she accepted a faculty position at the Gifford School where she established the art program and graphics department, overseeing all school publications until retiring 40 years later.

Phyllis was an exceptional contemporary artist, continuously creating large (taller than her!) canvas paintings consisting of unique shapes, texture and depth. Her works have been shown and acclaimed in Boston and New York. She will be missed and remembered by her husband Joseph of 60 years who still serves on Gifford’s Board of Directors. Family, friends, and colleagues gathered for a Celebration of Phyllis’ Life and Art on Sunday August 14th, 2022 hosted at the Gifford School.

Phyllis’ most recent art was on display at the celebration. The students at The Gifford School carry on her legacy by showcasing their original works from the visual arts, woodshop, technology lab, and multimedia studio programs each spring at the Phyllis Lillyman Art Show, named in her honor.