Submit Work to the Art Sale
New and prior participants must pre-register for the Art Sale. Once you've registered, you need only to drop off your work on November 1 or 2. We'll have labels ready for you and a consignment form for you to fill out.
Works may not be registered at drop-offs. If you do not pre-register your work online, you will not be allowed to submit your work to the sale.
Preparing Your Work for Submission
We receive approximately 4,000 works of art from more than 400 artists each year. All artwork is stored in large open bins with cardboard in between each piece. Work is frequently moved throughout the course of the Sale, making it impossible for us to accept fragile pieces. Although we have experienced staff handling all artwork, and damage to work is infrequent, we ask that you carefully read the following preparation guidelines.
Submission of fragile work is discouraged, however, you may cover fragile surfaces with clear plastic, and you may attach cardboard collars or corners to protect expensive frames.
Please Note: We must be able to see the work clearly while it is in storage. If the work is covered and we cannot quickly identify what it looks like, then it will not be displayed.
If your medium is not covered here, email SMFAartsale@tufts.edu for further information or to discuss options.
2-D/Wall Hanging Work
- All 2-D/wall-hanging work should be wired or have D-rings. Clip frames will not be accepted.
- Plexi-glass is preferable to glass.
- Multiples or groupings of small work should be installed as one object (mounted on a board). We suggest painting the backing board a flat white.
- Diptychs and triptychs of medium and large size work should be wrapped together in such a way that we are still able to see the image. Each piece of the work should be clearly labeled in sequential order. Please attach an image of the work in its correct orientation to each panel. This will help ensure that the work is shown correctly. We suggest using D-rings at the same height on all panels or frames of diptychs and triptychs.
- Professionally sealed shrink-wrapped pieces are preferred.
- Photo sleeves are fine, but must be closed with double-stick tape.
- All shrink-wrapped pieces must be free of loose or excessive tape, which will stick to other pieces in the bins.
- We recommend using foam core board as a backing for all shrink-wrapped works. Corrugated card is not acceptable.
- We will not accept shrink-wrapped canvas or panels.
- If the pieces are to be displayed on specific pedestals or shelves, please include it with the understanding that the piece will be sold with the shelf or base included with the work.
- If special installation is required, please provide detailed instructions.
Multiples (small sculptures, textiles, jewelry, ceramics, etc.)
- Every piece must be labeled individually by the artist. Works that are not properly labeled will not be accepted.
- Labeling: The INVENTORY NUMBER for each of your pieces must be clearly written on the label along with your NAME and the PRICE. Inventory numbers are provided to you at drop-offs.
- You may already have a tag or a label that you prefer to use. It is ok to use such labels on your pieces, as long as you also include the inventory number, name, and price.
- While we will provide blank labels at drop-offs, the process can take time, so we strongly recommend that you label your works ahead of time.
- If your pieces are sold as a pair, this information must be clearly labeled on both pieces.
- If you are a jeweler working with precious metals or stones, you may also include a list of materials on your labels.
- Two exhibition copies of any video work should be included in your drop-off package: one as a playable DVD, and one as a QuickTime file (using either the H.264 or MPEG-4 codec) on a flash drive or recordable DVD.
- Sale copies are typically submitted as a finite edition of well-packaged DVDs and/or personalized flash drives. Please include as many of the final package as you are allowing us to sell in the edition and have them packaged in such a way that a buyer can be given a final package to take at the time of purchase.
If you have questions on video submissions, contact David Thacker at 617-627-0023.
Art Sale Submission FAQ
All SMFA at Tufts alumni, current students (including CE and part-time), faculty, staff, patrons, visiting artists, and others with a recognized affiliation with the school.
Participants must register online between September 4 and October 21, 2019. If you encounter any registration difficulties, please email SMFAartsale@tufts.edu.
All artists must submit an Art Sale Consignment Agreement after they register. Additionally, in order to process payment for any works sold in the SMFA Art Sale, you will need to register for PaymentWorks. If you plan to donate all proceeds from the sale of your work, then you do not need to sign up for PaymentWorks, but we will still require you to complete an Art Sale Consignment Agreement.
Tufts University has collaborated with PaymentWorks to streamline the process of providing payments. The site allows sellers the ability to upload tax documentation, enroll in direct deposit, and check payment status.
Most mediums are welcome, except for work that is extremely fragile. We sell paintings, prints, drawings, and photographs, as well as jewelry, sculpture, ceramics, and books. The maximum size wall-hanging work accepted is six feet in any direction. Sculptures must be less than 29" wide x 23" deep x 21" high. The staff reserves the right to refuse any works deemed too fragile or hazardous to display, or too large to properly store. We are also unable to accommodate work that is sticky, wet, or warped. Unfortunately, we cannot accept work that went unsold in a previous sale.
All works are priced by the artist. Appropriate pricing is an essential, and often difficult facet of selling your work. We ask you consider fair market norms when setting your prices, as we reserve the right not to display works our staff deems inappropriately priced. If you would like to speak with someone regarding pricing, contact SMFAartsale@tufts.edu.
Artists may submit one hanging or free-standing work and four shrink-wrapped works. Amounts of jewelry, small ceramics and other multiple items are decided on an individual basis.
Yes, all artists, regardless of where they are from, may participate in the art sale. In order to process any payment, you must register for PaymentWorks.
Several businesses offer professional shrink-wrapping, such as framers and businesses specializing in printing and presentation. We recommend Around The Corner Framing (617-266-1800) or Framer’s Workshop (617-734-4995). Photographic sleeves are also acceptable. Please ensure that the finished product appears professional and is rigid enough to withstand handling by the general public. Please note – canvases cannot be shrink-wrapped.
There are parking meters alongside SMFA on Museum Road, as well as the lot next to the MFA and the garage behind the SMFA building, both on Museum Road. You should schedule at least 30 minutes to complete the drop-off and pick-up process. Due to city parking regulations, parking in front of SMFA is prohibited.
Unfortunately, we are unable to accept shipped work. Please have your work delivered in-person during the designated drop-off times. All works must be registered online prior to drop-offs.
You may have someone else drop off and pick up your work. That person must bring with them an Art Sale Consignment Agreement filled out in advance. Art cannot be accepted without completed paperwork.
The SMFA Art Sale is the signature fundraising event for the school—supporting financial aid for emerging artists. We encourage all participants to be as generous as possible and to consider directing up to 100% of the sale proceeds to support SMFA students. A minimum of 50% of the purchase price from each sale will be directed to the school’s fundraising goal.
This will vary on an individual basis. Given that you are an artist, your cost basis in your artwork will affect the amount of tax deduction you will be entitled to claim. Tufts University will acknowledge proceeds from your art donation as an "in-kind" donation. However, given the complex rules surrounding the deductibility of art donations and self-painted artwork, Tufts cannot place a dollar value on the deductible amount of your actual charitable contribution. Please consult a tax advisor to make that determination.
Tufts will not send you a 1099. A Form 1099 is an information return that is sent to both a service provider and the IRS and used to record non-employee/independent contractor fees that are paid to a vendor "for services provided" to Tufts University. Selling hand-made artwork does not meet the IRS “service” qualifications of a fee-for-service arrangement since the university is selling art inventory that is owned by the artist.
When it comes to paying income taxes, the amount that you may owe will depend on your individual financial circumstances and what other types of taxable income and deductions you will claim when filing your tax returns. Generally, a typical artist, who sells their artwork(s) at a gallery, will receive a payment for the artwork in the year it is sold. As such, the IRS will view any cash payments from the sale of your art inventory as gross revenue before deducting expenses that are attributable to the artwork. Please consult your tax advisor to make that determination.
We rotate thousands of works during the Sale. Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee any specific time during the Sale where your art will be on view.
We have reports available at the time you pick up your work telling you which of your pieces have sold and who the buyer(s) are. It may happen that you have no work to pick up, but all sale information will be available at pick-up.
This year you will sign up for PaymentWorks and can choose to receive a direct deposit. Direct deposit will be the quickest way for you to be paid. If you choose to receive a physical check instead, you should expect to receive it approximately 30 days after the pick-up period concludes.
Yes, you will receive a report when you arrive to pick up your unsold work which will show who bought your work, their address (if they have provided it), and which piece(s) they purchased.