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"Exquisite Corpse as a Collective and Connective Act"

For this year's SMFA Art Sale, independent curator and longtime SMFA at Tufts supporter Jen Mergel volunteered to develop a special project based on her research of pandemic-responsive art—specifically the link between the 1918 flu pandemic and the Exquisite Corpse techniques of the Surrealists.

In collaboration with the Tufts University Art Galleries team, Jen invited SMFA alumni, faculty, and friends to counter pandemic isolation and connect by co-creating on a single page. She encouraged participants to "let their expressions create a moment of closeness—materially, experientially, and with purpose—despite the distance."

The results are an exceptionally unique series of 10 works on paper by a phenomenal community of 24 participants. Each work is made by a special combination of three individuals, and will be custom framed. The roll out of the sale will mirror the anticipation of the Exquisite Corpse process: a moment to await the next unknown creation. For the course of the sale, every three days at 3 pm a work by three artists will be available for $3,000. 100% of proceeds from all sales will directly support underrepresented student-artists through a dedicated scholarship at SMFA at Tufts.


Jen Mergel would like to thank the entire SMFA at Tufts Team for their co-conspiratorship realizing this project (especially Dina Deitsch, Monica Manoski, David Thacker, and Darin Murphy). And she is exceedingly grateful to all of the Exquisite Corpse project participants for sharing their creativity so generously. Please visit their personal websites, below:

Hannah Barrett

Lisa Brennan-Jobs

Ria Brodell

Nathan Carter

Jedediah Caesar

Nicole Cherubini

Kate Costello

David Antonio Cruz

Furen Dai

Victoria Fu

Steve Locke

Robert MacDonald

Ethan Murrow

Samantha Nye

Sheila Pepe

Rachel Perry

Daniela Rivera

Evelyn Rydz

Beverly Semmes

Gabriel Sosa

Laurel Sparks

Gessica Silverman

Cullen Washington, Jr.

Yu-Wen Wu

The School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University would like to thank the following professionals for their in-kind support and expertise: Amanda Accardi of Around the Corner Framing, Camilo Alvarez, Andrew Witkin of Krakow Witkin Gallery, Nina Johnson of Nina Johnson Gallery, and Laura Beth Reese.