2019 Pre-College Program
July 7- July 26, 2019
Residential and commuter options available
Join our community of artists and makers and spend your summer building a portfolio of new and exciting artwork! In line with SMFA at Tufts’ approach to interdisciplinary art making, the goal of the Pre-College Summer Studio Art Intensive program is to coach students through creating conceptually sophisticated artwork. As you learn to work with new materials and deepen your understanding of familiar mediums, you will make connections to bigger ideas.
Over the course of the program, you will participate in foundations classes that will blur the lines between disciplines. Taught by a team of qualified artists and educators, these classes will include instruction in technical skills such as drawing, painting, sculpture, and digital media. As you work on open-ended projects, you will build a portfolio of materially complex, intentional works of art.
In tandem with these foundations classes, additional programming including group critiques lead by instructors and visiting artists; field trips to local museums and galleries; and a Critical Studies class that will focus on analysis and the contextualization of art within the real world, will support you in thinking deeply about what it means to make art.
The program will take place at SMFA at Tufts, located in the heart of Boston's Fenway neighborhood, allowing young artists easy access to the city and Boston’s many art destinations – the Museum of Fine Arts, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, the Institute of Contemporary Art, the SoWa Art and Design District, and many galleries.
Residential students will have the opportunity to experience life on our beautiful Medford / Somerville campus just outside the city – a short 20-minute shuttle ride from SMFA at Tufts. Staying in our Medford / Somerville dorms will give students the opportunity to live, eat, and have fun with students from other pre-college programs while gaining access to the many amenities of our residential campus.
Join us for your summer studies and share the Tufts experience!
Over the course of three weeks, students will explore the following questions:
How do artists examine, critique, and better the world around us?
How can art transcend medium by combining and transforming materials in order to communicate something new and meaningful?
Work one-on-one with a faculty or graduate student mentor to develop your portfolio
Expand your art practice with the introduction of new materials and ideas
Refine your approach to making art and create in your own studio space
Collaborate with other young artists to make meaningful work
Live in the Tufts’ Medford campus dormitories and experience life as a SMFA student
Take advantage of visits to local museums, such as the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
2019 Curriculum & Schedule
Foundations Classes: Drawing and Painting, Sculpture/3D, and Digital Media
During the three weeks of the program, students will participate in three foundations classes that are geared towards instruction in drawing/painting, sculpture/3D, and digital media. Students will work with a range of materials from acrylic paints and charcoal to wire, found objects, and digital animation. These classes will help students build technical skills while supporting them in making connections across mediums. Each class will build towards a final project that allows students to use their learning to explore ideas and materials that interest them.
Critical Studies Class
This class will connect visiting artist talks, field trips, and other explorations of making art in the context of the real world. The Critical Studies class will introduce students to analysis and critique while supporting them in writing and thinking critically about art, including their own.
Students will have the chance to work one-on-one with summer program faculty mentors to help develop their portfolios. They will also have individual meetings and daily access to members of the SMFA at Tufts admissions team who are ready to answer questions about building a portfolio and putting together college applications.
On the last day of the program, students will participate in a final exhibition attended by family, friends, faculty and other members of SMFA at Tufts’ community. Students will have the chance to learn what it’s like to work in exhibitions as they collaboratively curate and install the show.
Sample Schedule (subject to change)
* Note that breakfast and dinner are for residential students and will be served in the dining hall on the Medford campus. Lunch and snacks will be served at the SMFA campus for both residential and commuter students. Tufts will provide residential students shuttle transportation to/from the SMFA each day.
Residential Student Experience
We endeavor to make every moment of the student experience at SMFA at Tufts memorable for our students. Every piece of the student-life experience, from our dorms located on our Medford campus, to our dining halls, our athletic facilities to our check-in and orientation is designed to inform and enable students to have a healthy, fulfilling, and safe summer.
Check-in and Orientation
Check-in will begin in Medford at 9am on Sunday, July 7th. Students are welcome to arrive on campus and check in anytime between 9am and 5pm. During check in, room assignments will be distributed and students will have the opportunity to meet their RAs and roommates and unpack.
Students arriving internationally or from the West Coast may have the option to arrive on Saturday if there is no possibility of arriving on Sunday. For students arriving from out of town, there is a shuttle service from the airport and train/bus station for students arriving from out of state. We provide a lot of details about travel after you have been admitted to the program.
Residential students are required to attend Orientation, which will take place from 5-6 on July 7, at SMFA. During Orientation, we will review the overall program schedule, discuss policies and safety, and answer questions. Students will also have the opportunity to confirm their course schedules and staff will be on-hand to address any issues.
Activities & Trips
We want your summer to be fun too! It is summer after all! Summerfuel will be planning trips and activities throughout the summer that will allow students to make friends, build relationships, and relax from the world-class academic work they will be doing in the classroom.
Weekend trips might include excursions to Six Flags New England, Crane Beach in Ipswich, downtown Boston, the Museum of Fine Arts, Duck Boat tours, Charles River Cruises, and more! The cost of any such excursions (including transportation, entrance fees, regularly scheduled meals, and supervision) is included in the cost of the program, although souvenirs, extra food, and other incidentals are not.
Activities on the Medford campus might include ice cream socials, midnight pancakes, trips to local coffee houses for poetry readings, lectures around campus, visits to Davis Square, etc. The cost of most of these activities will be included, however incidentals like coffee at the coffee house or public transportation fares for an optional activity will not be covered by the program.
Residential Students will get the full Tufts University experience by spending three weeks living on the Tufts Medford campus in one of our undergraduate dorms. Tufts partners with Summerfuel, a well-known provider of high school summer programming, to provide top quality residential and social experiences for its students. Rooms are air-conditioned, 24/7 security and hospitality is available, and accessible rooms are available upon request.
Bedrooms will be doubles on a common hall. Halls are divided by gender and age and students are grouped into smaller communities known as Resident Advisor groups. Roommates and RA groups are determined based on the pre-program housing questionnaire and taking into account age and geographic diversity. Full bedding and towels will be provided and will be replaced weekly. Wi-Fi is available throughout campus.
Resident Advisors (RA) will live on each hall and will work to create a strong, supportive residential community. A Resident Advisor’s role is to support students in every aspect of their summer experience while serving as a mentor and active leader. Summerfuel Senior Staff also live in residence and are available to help address student concerns and emergencies, day or night.
Residential program fees include three meals per day and brunch / dinner on Sundays in Medford. All meals on the Medford campus will be at Dewick-MacPhie Dining Center, conveniently located a few minutes from student housing. Dewick-MacPhie provides a wide variety of menu choices, including vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, and an organic salad bar. While at art classes at SMFA during the day, lunch and snacks will be provided. When we are off campus on weekends, meals will be provided off-site. Tufts/SMFA dining is able to accommodate most dietary restrictions and preferences. Please advise us of dietary needs during the application process.
Medford / Somerville Campus Students will have full access to the university’s facilities including the libraries, computer lab and student center. Students will also have full access to Tufts’ Steve Tisch Sports and Fitness center, featuring racquet courts, a swimming pool and cardio and weight-training equipment.
Boston Fine Arts Campus Students have access to supervised studios and resources including,the W. Van Alan Clark Library, the media stockroom (where you can borrow any equipment necessary for your art), the School Store, the computer lab. Learn more about our studios spaces.
Health & Wellness
SMFA at Tufts works hard to ensure the health and well-being of all of its students. Once accepted to the program, Tufts will ask all students to submit information related to their health and will collect details regarding allergies and accessibility concerns. Tufts and Summerfuel staff will work together to ensure students’ routine medical needs are met.
Tufts also has procedures in-place for students with urgent or emergency needs, illnesses, or injuries. Our procedures combine on-campus and hospital-based care depending on the nature and severity of the issue. A student’s emergency contact will be notified, if one is provided, in the event of an issue. Please see our Health & Wellness Services page for additional information.
For health and wellness emergencies, students should immediately contact Tufts University Police at (617) 627-6911.
Please note: medical fees of any kind will be billed to the student and are not included in program fees. Commuter students are responsible for their own healthcare.
Safety & Security
The safety and well-being of our students is of paramount importance to us. Each staff member is carefully vetted through a written application, personal interview, professional reference check and mandatory background check.
Residential staff will support students as they adjust to living in a dormitory and being responsible members of a summer program community. The residence staff will include a director, senior staff and one resident advisor for every ten students. Prior to the program, residence staff will be trained to lead student groups, manage student conflict and resolution and oversee all safety aspects on program. They will begin the program well prepared to meet the needs of all Tufts Pre-College Program students.
This summer's team will be led by George Kinzel, a 20+ year Summerfuel veteran. George has spent his previous summers directing the Summerfuel Amherst program before it was relocated this year to Tufts. Meet George
Supervision while on Medford/SMFA Campuses
Students are required to attend all classes in their program each day at SMFA and attendance is taken at each class and there will always be program staff present in the building to answer and assist with any requests.
Once back in Medford, after classes and on weekends, students may choose between an event organized by the residential staff or an individual pursuit such as classwork, laundry or relaxing in the dorm. Students are allowed freedom to explore with friends within specified areas surrounding the campus. In the evenings, students will check in with residence staff, and staff will often use that time to catch up on the day’s events. Tufts takes the safety of its students very seriously. As such, our current policy for pre-college students states that students cannot leave campus without the supervision of an RA or a staff member.
The Tufts and SMFA campuses are considered very safe among U.S. college campuses. Although crime on campus is unusual, we do have an open campus in a major metropolitan area and we expect our students to exercise good judgement and responsibility as they navigate the campus. Tufts University maintains its own police department, on the job 24 hours a day, if an emergency arises. Each location is equipped with an emergency blue light phone system and residence halls require a current and valid Tufts ID card for entry and a mechanical key for access to bedrooms. Emergency processes and protocol will be reviewed during orientation.
The Tufts dorms are accessible with a current and valid Tufts ID card, which is required for entry into the building and a mechanical key for your bedroom door. Tufts University security is on 24-hour patrol and available to any student that may need assistance. The Summerfuel office is located in the building’s entrance corridor and serves as the information and security hub for students.
A dedicated residential staff oversees student safety during the entirety of the program. Students are honor bound to follow clear safety protocols whether on campus or in the city, and are required to use the buddy system during free time.
Commuter Student Experience
Commuting to the Program
We know that for some students, living on campus is not the best option. We still welcome you to our program! For all students including commuter students, there will be an orientation from 5 to 6:00pm July 7 at SMFA, 230 Fenway, Boston. The pre-college program ends at 8:00pm on Friday, August 2 with a closing dinner at the SMFA. Saturdays and Sundays are not considered program days and students are not expected on campus during these days. During each day of the program, commuter students must arrive at SMFA campus at 8:45am. Students must depart from campus by 6:00pm. Students will have the option to sign up to stay working in their studios on several different days during the second and third weeks.
Commuter students and their parents are responsible for ensuring their student travels to and from campus safely and on time each day. For detailed information about traveling to the SMFA campus located at 230 Fenway, Boston, please see directions on our website.
Please note: commuter students are not permitted to enter any residence halls on the Medford campus. Breakfast and dinner are not provided for commuter students.
All students are required to attend Orientation, which will take place from 5 to 6:00pm on July 7 at SMFA. During Orientation, we will review the overall program schedule, discuss policies and safety, and answer questions. Students will also have the opportunity to confirm their course schedules and staff will be on-hand to address any issues.
We endeavor to make every moment of the student experience at Tufts memorable for our students. Every piece of the student life experience, is designed to inform and enable students to have a healthy, fulfilling, and safe summer.
Commuter program fees include lunch and snacks each day of the program. Tufts dining is able to accommodate most dietary restrictions and preferences. Please advise us of dietary needs during the application process.
All students will have full access to the university’s facilities including the libraries, computer lab, media stockroom, School Store, and student lounging areas. Students will also have full access to Tufts’ Steve Tisch Sports and Fitness center, featuring racquet courts, a swimming pool and cardio and weight-training equipment.
Health & Wellness
Tufts works hard to ensure the health and well-being of all of its students. Once accepted to the program, Tufts will ask all students to submit information related to their health and will collect details regarding allergies and accessibility concerns.
Tufts has procedures in-place for students with urgent or emergency needs, illnesses, or injuries. Our procedures combine on-campus and hospital-based care depending on the nature and severity of the issue. A student’s emergency contact will be notified, if one is provided, in the event of an issue. Please see our Health & Wellness Services page for additional information.
In any type of health & wellness emergency, students should immediately contact Tufts University Police at (617) 627-6911.
Please note: medical fees of any kind will be billed to the student and are not included in program fees.
Students are required to attend all classes and academic workshops each day. Attendance is taken at each class. SMFA at Tufts takes the safety of its students very seriously. As such, our current policy for pre-college students states that students cannot leave campus during class time without the supervision of a staff member. Commuter students’ commute to campus and time before 8:45am or after 6pm will not be monitored by program staff, although Tufts community members have Tufts University Police Department and other campus safety protocols available at all times.
The Tufts and SMFA campuses are considered very safe among U.S. college campuses. Although crime on campus is unusual, we do have an open campus in a major metropolitan area and we expect our students to exercise good judgement and responsibility as they navigate the campus. Tufts University maintains its own police department, on the job 24 hours a day, if an emergency arises. Tufts campus is equipped with an emergency blue light phone system. For more information, please visit our Campus Safety page.