Tufts University Art Galleries
The Tufts University Art Galleries is the university's center for visual arts where exhibitions, lectures, performances, and artist residencies converge to animate the intellectual life of the greater Tufts community and beyond.
The Tufts University Art Galleries oversee the exhibition spaces in the Shirley and Alex Aidekman Arts Center on the Medford/Somerville Campus, the galleries at the SMFA campus, and the Tufts University’s Permanent and Public Art Collection.
For updated information as to when we may re-open, please refer to the gallery’s website and official announcements from the University. While there is no replacement for seeing artwork in person, please download our TUAG mobile app for a virtual tour that includes images and gallery texts of our current exhibitions.
For more up-to-date information regarding the COVID-19 response at Tufts University, please visit coronavirus.tufts.edu.
How are you doing out there? how are you doing in there? Who or what are you holding? public intimacies comes at a time of uncertainty, perhaps before a time of real cogent analysis of what’s been lost and what comes next but marking a sea change in how we can be together. Passing time, negotiating loss and ambivalence, broadcasting missives from bedrooms, calling lovers and friends on the phone, checking in, being uncomfortable and making others uncomfortable, sitting with disappointment, we make ourselves public through screens and digital space to feel like there is a public, or maybe there will be one again. We don’t know. Utilizing sincerity, persona, absurdity, play, and entanglement, artists in public intimacies make work mediated through the video screen, phone messaging, the online broadcast, and performance documentation, broadcasting personal relationships, desire and intimacy outwards into shared discursive spaces. Thinking through this present moment of the always at home, the past when it felt like there was a choice, and the hope for a future not hopelessly predetermined by the new now of social distance, these artists make and maintain spaces that are improvisational and provisional, intimate and confessional, asking others to enter and inhabit and to try and figure out how to be themselves. Curated by Abigail Satinsky.
Artists: Brandon Alvendia, Alex Bag, Sadie Benning, CovidTV, Autumn Knight, and Wanda Raimunda-Ortiz
Additional programming: SMFA student program, curated by Graduate Fellows Anne Harris, MFA '22 and Flor Delgadillo, MFA '22
Screening Schedule (programs will be released on the first day of the screening schedule, and will remain up for the duration of the exhibition):
September 8 – 20
Sadie Benning, It Wasn’t Love (1992)
Alex Bag, Untitled Fall ’95 (1995)
Wanda Raimunda-Ortiz, Ask Chuleta #11: Appropriation (2011)
September 21 – October 4
Autumn Knight, Sanity TV: On location in Berlin, Germany, 2018
Autumn Knight, THE LENGTH, 2020
October 5 – 18
CovidTV via Twitch – live and recorded programming
October 19 – 31
Brandon Alvendia via Twitch - live and recorded programming
Visiting Artist Program
Each year, the Art Galleries oversee the SMFA Visiting Artist Program and invite renown artists to visit with students and present lectures that are free and open to all. We present artists in collaboration with the exhibitions program, faculty interest, and area institutions. Talks are typically held in Anderson Auditorium at SMFA at Tufts but are sometimes at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, or on the Tufts' Medford / Somerville campus.
Join us online for the Fall 2020 semester!
Fall 2020 Online Programs
Click program links to register to attend
Sept 17, 6 pm
Panel: What is an abolitionist practice? Contemporary and historical perspectives on art and racial justice movements in Boston and beyond
Abolish and defund the police have become a rallying cry for the Black Lives Matter movement in protests across the country. As abolitionist Mariame Kaba has said, “Building a world without police is actually a collective project that will also mean that many, many other things will need to change too.” How can we imagine abolition as a collective project that has moved and can move through arts and cultural institutions in Boston and across the United States? In this panel, artists, cultural workers, and historians will consider abolition as a horizon and discuss how the arts and culture can contribute to radical imagination and new possibilities. Panelists include Kai Grant, owner and chief curator, Black Market Nubian; Kerri Greenidge, assistant professor, Department of Studies in Race, Colonialism, and Diaspora; Michelle Millar Fisher, curator of contemporary decorative arts, MFA Boston and co-founder of Art + Museum Transparency; Marlon Forrester, visual artist and educator; Kris Manjapra, associate professor, chair, Department of Studies in Race, Colonialism, and Diaspora; Anni Pullagura, curatorial assistant, ICA Boston; moderated by Abigail Satinsky, curator of exhibitions + programs, TUAG.
Oct 1, 6 pm
Screening + Artist Talk with Jibade-Khalil Huffman
Join us for a screening of Jibade-Khalil Huffman’s recent film Zero, 2020, followed by a conversation with the artist. Composed in three acts, Zero layers together found footage from Star Trek and an almost unbearable accumulation of reverse cinematic car crashes, overlaid with a soundtrack of theme songs, sound effects, and Huffman’s own text and voice. At almost feature length, Zero is a meditation on the deep layer of depression and anxiety that our cultural obsession with media masks and on the violence this fascination begets. Presented as part of Jibade-Khalil Huffman: Now That I Can Dance on view and online through March 2021.
Oct 13, 12–1:30 pm
Panel: Indigenous-Led Cultural Regeneration + Commemoration
Artists Sarah Kanouse and Nicholas Brown will converse with Faries Gray and Elizabeth Solomon, both of the Massachusett Tribe at Ponkapoag, and Kristen Wyman and Nia Holley, both of the Nipmuc Nation and part of the Eastern Woodland Rematriation Collective, on the ongoing work of cultural regeneration and commemoration, with a focus on Boston-area Native history. This discussion coincides with TUAG’s presentation of Kanouse and Brown’s Ecologies of Acknowledgment, which examines the land-use histories of Deer Island in the Boston Harbor.
Oct 21, 6 pm
Student Screening, curated by Flor Delgadillo & Anne Harris
As this unforeseeable shift to quarantine unfolds a new world before our eyes, we invite you to view a virtual student screening event of video, animation, and performance. Current SMFA at Tufts students share the art they have made through the calls of what stayed the same and what changed during this COV-19 pandemic. How have they dealt with quarantine, re-imagined their artwork, and gained inspiration in new ways inside or outdoors? What stuck with them every day and what helped keeps them going.
Oct 29, 6 pm
2020 Talks: Channeling
2020 Talks is a series of events organized by Claire Barliant, Daisy Nam, and Meg Rotzel that aims to anticipate the future by reflecting on the past. Tufts University Art Galleries is pleased to host the next event, Channeling, which invites a group of artists to describe how they "channel" history to make their work. Artist and SMFA at Tufts Faculty Ria Brodell's ongoing series of intimate portraits, "Butch Heroes," features forgotten figures from the past who openly disregarded conventional rules about gender. Actor, storyteller, and vocalist Valerie Stephens, who grew up in Boston, assumes the guise of renowned personalities such as Nina Simone with uncanny accuracy in her captivating performances. Of course, channeling takes on new meaning in our current moment of doomscrolling and Zoom fatigue, and we will also address how being limited to screens affects our lives and spirits at this time.
Nov 6, 12 pm
Workshop: General Sisters: We Do Not Have to Abandon Ourselves to Enter
An opening is a marker of beginning, of welcome, of exclusion, of rules both implicit and explicit, of celebration, and of movements from inside to outside, or outside to in. But what is the opening when we cannot enter? This discussion workshop, with artists and educators Dana Bishop-Root and Ginger Brooks Takahashi of General Sisters, will ask questions with and of the Tufts community and reflect on expanding the binary of open and closed that the pandemic has intensified. Through queer multiplicities of access, safety, and adaptation, we will build knowledge and imaginaries together that de-climax and de-linearize the opening. We will propose possibilities for openings as portals through which we may still enter, both together and individually, en route to collective wellbeing. This workshop coincides with TUAG’s presentation of General Sisters’ Singing We Must Rage, on view at in the Remis Sculpture Court and SMFA at Tufts Well Space for the 2020/2021 academic year.
Nov 12, 6 pm
Panel: Building Histories: Collections, Monuments, and Racial Equity
Museums and historic monuments are the guardians of collections and histories that often times carry with them legacies of institutional racism and colonialism, one of the effects of which has been the presentation of limited cultural, geographic, gender, and racial perspectives. The psychological and societal impacts of these visible inequities have become increasingly evident. How can architecture and design be used to build spaces of not only inclusion, but of repair? How can public art and new monuments be used to re-contextualize historical narratives and create spaces that move beyond diversity and towards social engagement and transformation? As part of a series of conversations led and inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, this panel will bring together an architect, architecture historian, an artist, and a curator to reflect upon how their work in their respective fields, contributes to racial discourse, and works towards a vision of racial equity. Co-sponsored with Tufts Department of Art History and Architecture.
Dec 2, 6 pm
Jibade-Khalil Huffman: Now That I Can Dance
Exhibitions Across Campuses
Tufts PUBLIC is a program of yearlong, temporary public art projects designed for spaces outside the Art Galleries and throughout the school’s Medford/Somerville, SMFA, and Boston Health Sciences campuses.
SMFA Billboard: Kameelah Janan Rasheed
Public Artwork outside of SMFA 230 Fenway Building / Boston
September 8, 2020—June 2021
A newly commissioned text-based billboard project by artist and learner Kameelah Janan Rasheed, whose large-scale text banners, xerox-based collages, and architectural interventions all make inquiries into the intertwined spiritual, sociopolitical, ecological, and cognitive processes of learning/unlearning. Organized by Abigail Satinsky.
Artist Response is an ongoing initiative in the SMFA's Well Space and the Aidekman Arts Center’s Media Wall that puts historical and contemporary artists’ projects responding to social crises in dialogue. Utilizing a range of critical and creative strategies, these works speak to a historical continuum of how artists reflect and resist their social moments.
Artist Response: Ecologies of Acknowledgment
View video online
September 8, 2020—May 2021
A video installation and series of letterpress takeaways, Ecologies of Acknowledgment by artists Sarah Kanouse and Nicholas Brown explores the question of how to write a land acknowledgment that goes beyond recognizing Native territory to accept the relationships and responsibilities that come with living on occupied land. With a focus on Deer Island in the Boston Harbor, the works explore eco-political relationships connecting past, present and future. Organized by Abigail Satinsky.
General Sisters: SINGING WE MUST RAGE
Remis Sculpture Court, SMFA at Tufts Well Space
September 8, 2020—March 2021
General Sisters is an artist collaborative and community project that started with the idea to build a neighborhood-driven grocery store in North Braddock, PA where food scarcity and lack of access to nutritious and sufficient options is intrinsically tied to the systemic racial, economic, and environmental oppression. From this beginning and ongoing aspiration, General Sisters' artist projects have opened out into a series of investigations and engagements that think through the ways collective wealth is generated by gathering around a table, cultivating soil, sharing and building knowledge together, visualizing possibilities, and collective acts of nurturing. At Tufts University Art Galleries, installed at both the SMFA at Tufts Well Space and Remis Sculpture Court at Aidekman Arts Center in Medford and through workshops throughout the academic year, General Sisters will create gathering spaces that ask questions with and of the Tufts community and reflect on our current pandemic moment through the lens of queer multiplicities of access, safety, and adaptation.
In-person visits to our Medford galleries are limited to Tufts campus community for now to ensure the health and safety of our communities. We hope to welcome back all of our audiences at the start of the Spring semester to view our exhibitions on view through March 2021. Until then, enjoy our full slate of online programs and virtual tours of selected exhibitions listed below.
Jibade-Khalil Huffman: Now That I Can Dance
Aidekman Arts Center / Medford
September 8, 2020—March 2021
360 Virtual Exhibition Tour
Trained as a poet and visual artist, Huffman uses collaged image and text to address slippage in memory and language, particular to race and visibility. In Now that I Can Dance, Huffman takes a critical look into the subtle negotiations of the creative life and the unspoken expectations of performance—of self, race, and image. Borrowing its title from The Contours’ 1962 song, Do You Love Me, the exhibition includes new video and film installations of deftly edited media from the 1980s and 90s, Huffman’s childhood, that allude to an overarching futility. Applicable to anything from desire to our current state of politics, Huffman’s new work is presented alongside photographic lightboxes and prints of densely overlaid texts and images that collectively dissolve the screen, and its full range of associations, as a singular site of experience and formation.
Huffman’s past exhibitions include Ballroom Marfa, MOCA Cleveland, the Hammer Museum, MOCA Detroit, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, Portland Institute of Contemporary Art, The Jewish Museum, Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia, The Studio Museum in Harlem and Swiss Institute, New York. Educated at Bard College (BA), Brown University (MFA, Literary Arts), and USC (MFA, Studio Art), his awards include the Grolier Poetry Prize, the Jerome Foundation Travel Grant and fellowships from the Lighthouse Works, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and the Millay Colony for the Arts. Huffman was a 2015-16 Artist in Residence at the Studio Museum in Harlem and lives and works between Washington, D.C. and North Carolina. Huffman is represented by Anat Ebgi, Los Angeles.
This is the first one person-presentation of Jibade-Khalil Huffman’s work in New England. Organized by Dina Deitsch, director and chief curator.
Janice Lourie: The Woven Image
Aidekman Arts Center / Medford
September 8, 2020—March 2021
360 Virtual Exhibition Tour
One of the pioneers of the digital image, computer scientist, musician, weaver, and graphic artist, alumnus Janice Lourie (b.1930), J57, has been producing complex visual imagery using text and architecture for over 30 years. Tufts University Art Galleries are thrilled to present her newest body of work in conversation with her earliest achievements at IBM—where she filed the company's very first software patent in 1970—to mark her incredible career that has fused computer science and the arts for more than half a century. Organized by Dina Deitsch with Liz Canter.
SMFA Radio Station: SMFA 1630AM
SMFA Library Annex, 230 The Fenway
A co-production of the Tufts University Art Galleries, Wave Farm, and the SMFA Library, the SMFA 1630 AM radio station brings traditional AM and online broadcasting capabilities to the school. Wave Farm, a pioneer of sound and transmission art, is an upstate New York-based nonprofit arts organization driven by experimentation with broadcast media.
The SMFA radio station endures as a legacy of their year-long 2018/2019 residency at Tufts University Art Galleries, and offers students, faculty, staff, and affiliated artists a venue for both conventional and experimental broadcasts. AM transmissions are hyper-local and accessible exclusively within the school. The online stream can be heard anywhere via https://wavefarm.org/listen or the Wave Farm app (available on the iTunes App Store).