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 the days listed above. We'll have labels ready for you and the necessary forms for you to fill out.
Works may not be registered at drop-offs. If you have not pre-registered your work online, you will not be allowed to submit your work to the sale.
Preparing Your Work for Submission
We receive an average of 4,000 works of art from more than 700 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 overly fragile work. Although we have experienced staff handling all artwork, and damage to work is infrequent, we ask that you carefully read the following preparation guidelines.
Although we discourage artists to submit work that is overly fragile, you may cover fragile surfaces with clear plastic. You may also 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 or other multiples)
- You must label your own works, and every piece must be labeled individually. 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 on your submission form and can also be 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 a label on your pieces, as long as you also include the inventory number and name and price information s.
- If you do not have labels, we will provide blank ones to you at drop-offs. This can significantly slow down the drop-off process, 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.
Sound pieces should be submitted on CD for display. If you have questions about sound art 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 members, staff, Medici supporters, visiting artists, and anyone else who has a recognized affiliation with the school.
If you are unsure about your eligibility to submit work, email SMFAartsale@tufts.edu.
Participants must register online between October 1 and October 22.
In addition to registering, all artists must submit an Art Sale/Consignment Agreement. Additionally, in order to process payment for any works sold in the SMFA Art Sale, you will need to fill out a W-9 form. If you are a non-US Citizen or a non-permanent resident, you may submit a Form W-8BEN in place of the W-9 form.
Note: if you plan to donate all proceeds from the sale of your work, then you do not need to fill out a W-9 or W-8BEN, but we will still require you to complete an Art Sale/Consignment Agreement.
Most mediums are welcome with the exception of work that is extremely fragile. We sell paintings, framed prints, drawings, and photographs, as well as jewelry, sculpture, ceramics, and books. Unfortunately, due to the lack of space, we can no longer accommodate performance or installation.
The maximum size wall-hanging work we can accept is six feet in any direction. Sculpture size 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. If your work is sticky, wet, or warped, we can’t take it.
Please submit only your best, most recent works from the last FIVE years. You may not resubmit work that was unsold in a previous Sale.
All works at the Art Sale are priced by the artist. Appropriate pricing is an essential, and often difficult facet of selling your work. We ask you to be realistic and reasonable when setting your prices. Overpriced works do not sell and we reserve the right not to display works we feel are inappropriately or unrealistically priced.
If you have never sold work before, or would like to speak with someone regarding pricing, email 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.
Unfortunately, due to a decrease in floor space and storage, we can no longer accommodate additional works by any artists.
All artists can submit 1 wall-hanging piece, 3D piece, or time-based media, and up to 4 shrink-wrapped pieces.
Yes, all artists, regardless of where they are from, may participate in the art sale. In order to process any type of payment from our Accounts Payable Office, an international artist must complete a Form W-8BEN (if a non-US Citizen or a non-permanent resident) in addition to an Art Sale/Consignment Agreement at the time the artwork is dropped off.
Several businesses do 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. Whichever method you use, make sure the finished product is professional and well executed and that the piece is rigid enough to withstand being handled by the general public. Please note – canvases cannot be shrink-wrapped. See the Preparing Works section (above) for more details.
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 15 minutes to complete the drop-off process and 30 minutes for the pick-up process. Please do not park in front of the School.
We do not accept shipped work. You must have your work dropped off in person during the designated drop-off times and all works must be registered online prior to drop-offs.
Works are priced by the artists and sold to benefit SMFA student scholarships with a minimum of 50% of the proceeds directed toward supporting SMFA and 50% of the proceeds directed back to the artist. During the registration process, artists are given the opportunity to direct more than the standard 50% to SMFA. 100% donations are encouraged and appreciated.
It depends. 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 (50%—100%) 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 your tax advisor to make that determination.
No, 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. The mere act of selling a hand-made artwork for the Art Sale does not create a fee-for-service arrangement between the artist and the University, as you are not providing services to the university. The university is essentially selling art inventory that belongs to the artist.
Any time Tufts University writes a check or makes a payment to any payee, the IRS requires Tufts to have the payee complete one of these forms so that the IRS can capture the payments made to the payee. The IRS looks at Tufts University as a "tax withholding agent" which result from any monetary payments made by our Payroll or Accounts Payable Office. Depending on your citizenship or residency, you will be required to fill out a W-9 that validates that you have a taxpayer I.D number. To the extent that you are visiting the US on a temporary visa and have citizenship elsewhere the IRS requires the W8-BEN to verify if any automatic tax amounts are required to be withheld from your gross payment.
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.
Thousands of works are rotated during the Sale. Though we make every effort to exhibit work from every artist, we cannot guarantee that your work will be on view at any specific time or during the time of your visit.
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) were. It may happen that you have no work to pick up. However, you must wait until pick-ups to find out what has or has not sold.
You should expect to receive a check approximately 30 days after the pick-up period concludes. All checks will be mailed to the address provided on your Art Sale/Consignment Agreement.
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.