Studio Art Pre-College

2019 Pre-College Program information coming soon.

July 7- July 26, 2019 (residential and commuter options available).

Learn from a faculty of professional artists and educators who will encourage you to push limits and engage with new art mediums. Renowned visiting artists will present their work and visit your studio space to give advice on your artistic path.


    • Spend time with practicing artists who will present their work and give you advice on your artistic path
    • Take field trips to the world famous Museum of Fine Arts, Boston which is across the street – in addition to The Institute of Contemporary Art, The Isabella Stewart Gardner, The Harvard Art Museums
    • Prepare for college admissions by building your portfolio in our studios
    • Access our studios in print and paper-making, woodworking, digital animation, and the advanced production lab (optional third week only)
    • Curate your own art exhibit at the conclusion of the program (optional third week only)
    • Make lifelong friends who share your passion for art

    You will get one-on-one mentoring throughout the week to help further cultivate your artistic vision. You will  be matched with a faculty or graduate student mentor who, during regular meetings, will help you develop your portfolio and discuss your work.

    Whether or not you are interested in applying to art school, you will gain the early professional skills necessary to document and present your work. You can attend a college application workshop and get one-on-one portfolio reviews by our admissions staff. 

    Faculty and Visiting Artists

    Learn from a faculty of professional artists and educators who will encourage you to push limits by engaging in new art mediums. Renowned visiting artists will present their work and visit you in your studio space to give advice on your artistic path.

    Museum Access

    SMFA is located across the street from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. As a student in Pre-College you will have access to the museum in your classes and for other field trips. The MFA has incredible resources to discover and inspire you in the fine, decorative, and performance arts. 

    Studio Space

    As part of the Pre-College program you will have an assigned studio space that will be your work area during the open studio periods. Mentors and faculty will visit you here to check in on your progress and process. 

    Studio (Third Week Only)

    The optional third week represents a time to expand into other mediums. You can drop one or two of your foundation classes and pick up different studio classes such as digital animation, performance, printmaking, papermaking welding, or woodshop, while you continue to work on your portfolio.

    Art Show Curation (Third Week Only) 

    One of the highlights of the third week is the student-organized final exhibition. With the help of our professional curatorial staff, you will curate, market, and install the final exhibition. This experience will teach you firsthand what goes in to producing an exhibition, from understanding the size of the space, to lighting, exhibition flow, and how to hang and install work. 

    Program Outcomes

    Program Outcomes
    • Refine your art practice while developing new technical skills
    • Build your college admissions portfolio
    • Grow a foundational understanding of the interdisciplinary approach to art

    2018 Curriculum & Schedule

    Each session starts with a two-week program that digs into the foundations of the interdisciplinary approach to art embodied at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts. This two-week program is organized into 4 blocks each day from Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm. During these blocks, students will work on foundational skills, learn to put art in context, and have the opportunity to work on a portfolio of their own

    Students have the option of signing-up for a distinctive and exciting third week focused on preparing serious artists who want to continue to build their portfolio, learn to write an artist statement, participate in a critique, curate an exhibit for friends and family, and work on a new skill in a new medium. This third week allows students to build upon the work produced in the first two weeks through specialized workshops and expanded studio access.

    Weeks 1-2 Schedule

    Optional Week 3 Schedule

    Foundations: Build foundations in various art disciplines in order to explore new ideas and concepts. Our two-week program offers three foundations classes:

    • Drawing and Painting
    • Sculpture and Installation
    • Digital Media

    Students attending our optional third week will have the opportunity to stay with their foundation classes from weeks one and two, or choose from the following options of studio classes:

    • Digital Animation
    • Performance
    • Printmaking
    • Papermaking
    • Welding
    • Woodshop

    Art in Context: Hear ideas from contemporary thinkers about art, the business of art, the history of art, and the controversies and challenges of public art.
    Open Studio: On Thursdays, you will have the opportunity to work with a mentor as you build your portfolio and develop your artist’s statement.
    Art Show Curation (third week only): Learn to curate, market, and set-up an art show as you put together a final exhibition for family and friends. and invite your friends and family to see the results.

    Student Life

    Check-in and Orientation

    Check-in and orientation will begin at 8:30am on the first day of each session. The orientation program will include:

    • Welcome from Program Director
    • Introductions of Faculty and Staff
    • Building information and safety
    • Reminders about class schedule, logistical information
    • Group assignments and introductions

    Lunch will be provided from Monday – Friday for each week that the student is enrolled in the program. We will be collecting information about allergies and other health issues as a part of the application and enrollment process.

    University Facilities

    Students will have full access to Tufts university’s facilities on the Medford campus 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. The Medford Campus is accessible via subway (T) or ride share service. The SMFA is located a block away from the Green Line E train T stop "Museum of Fine Arts", and from bus stops that run along Huntington Avenue.

    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 collecting details regarding allergies, accessibility concerns and otherwise.

    Tufts also has robust procedures in-place for students with primary care needs, acute or emergency illnesses or injuries and mental health / counseling needs. 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. For counseling and mental health needs, SMFA students have access to Harvard Vanguard’s Behavioral Health practice. SMFA cannot guarantee that Harvard Vanguard will be able to see visiting students or minors on a limited term basis. To understand options, you may contact Harvard Vanguard directly. 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.

    Campus Safety

    Tufts campus is considered very safe amongst U.S. college campuses. The Boston Fenway campus is located in Boston and the Medford / Somerville campus is located just five miles outside Boston, students will need to take normal precautions of people living near a large city but crime on campus is unusual. Tufts University maintains its own police department and Tufts Emergency Medical Services provides medical aid to the university community 24 hours a day.

    Tufts campus is equipped with an emergency blue light system and dormitories require a fob for entry and a key for access to bathrooms and bedrooms.

    For more information, please visit our Campus Safety page.


    Stephen St. Francis Decky – Digital Media Instructor and mentor
    Stephen St. Francis Decky is a multimedia artist whose work has appeared in galleries, festivals, and collections nationally and internationally, including The New Britain Museum of American Art and The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. He is currently Visiting Assistant Professor of Film and Video Arts at Lycoming University in Philadelphia and previously taught at the SMFA at Tufts, and has worked as a consultant for multi-channel video installations in New York City, Boston, and Montana. He received his MFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and Tufts University. 
    View website

    Alaina Montuori – Sculpture and 3D instructor and mentor
    Alaina Montuori is a visual artist and art educator from New Jersey,who has been working in the Greater Boston area since 2009. Alaina received her MFA from SMFA/Tufts University in 2012, and has since continued to expand her art practice from her home studio. While at the Museum School, Alaina's work centered around large-scale installations of televisual 'sets' - creating spaces for her performative persona to act within. She is perpetually interested in creating spaces in which art to can happen within ­ activated through objects, props, and experiences of her own design. Alaina is a past recipient of the Feast Mass Boston grant, has shown and curated work locally over the years, and continues to develop the next generation of artists through dedicated teaching in the Boston area.

    Ashley Wood – Summer mentor and Program Coordinator
    Ashley Wood is an artist and educator who has worked as a visual arts instructor, art education advocate, and arts program coordinator. As a writer and photographer, she is interested in making work that addresses the inadequacy of words and images to tangibly represent feelings, people, and places. Ashley earned her MFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and Tufts University, and currently works full-time as a high school visual arts and humanities teacher at the Francis W. Parker Charter Essential School in Devens, MA.

    Michael MacMahon – Drawing and Painting instructor and mentor
    Michael MacMahon received his MFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and Tufts University and is now a member of the painting faculty at Tufts University and the SMFA. His art challenges the viewer to find balance between orientation and disorientation; navigation is central to the work as spaces and places exist at once as tangible and intangible. He has shown his work nationally and internationally, and has been the recipient of numerous grants and awards including the Dana Pond Award for Painting.
    View website


    2019 Pre-College Program information coming soon.

    July 7- July 26, 2019 (residential and commuter options available).

    Admitted Students

    We are excited to welcome you at the SMFA Studio Art program this summer and are busy organizing the studios and ordering supplies. In preparation for your arrival please fill out and submit these SMFA forms as soon as you can.