The Tufts University Art Galleries are the center for visual arts where exhibitions, lectures, performances, and artist residencies converge to animate the intellectual life of the greater University community and beyond.
The Art Galleries oversee the exhibition spaces in the Shirley and Alex Aidekman Arts Center on the Medford/Somerville Campus, the galleries at the SMFA at Tufts in Boston, and the Tufts University’s Permanent and Public Art Collection.
Tufts PUBLIC is a new program of yearlong, temporary public art projects designed for spaces outside the Art Galleries and throughout the school’s Medford/Somerville and Boston campuses.
Wave Farm (in Residence) Library + Atrium / SMFA at Tufts
Remis Sculpture Court / Medford/Somerville Campus
Tufts PUBLIC 2018–2019 features the transmission art organization Wave Farm in residence through artist installations and an active low-power AM radio station for the SMFA at Tufts building at 230 Fenway, open to students, faculty, and visiting artists.
Executive Director Galen Joseph-Hunter brings two projects from Wave Farm’s 20-year history of presenting artworks that engage the electromagnetic spectrum and hosting artist residencies in upstate New York. On the Medford/Somerville campus in Aidekman’s Remis Sculpture Court, Heidi Neilson presents Sonic Planetarium,an audio-spatial model of satellites in earth’s orbit. Sound files representing individual satellites play directionally across a speaker array as the actual objects pass far overhead, as if you can hear into space. Neilson’s Go GOES Radiotelescope, a portable station for receiving images and weather information from NOAA geostationary spacecraft, will be installed outside on campus during the fall and spring months as short-term performances.
At SMFA at Tufts, Jeff Thompson will present an installation of Every Radio Station, which makes the FM spectrum physical through 95 hand-built FM radios—one for each slot in the FM band—assembled into a 30-foot line of speakers along the Weems Atrium central staircase. All of the radios play simultaneously, letting visitors hear the entire spectrum at once, or walk closely along the line to hear stations individually.
In the SMFA library, Wave Farm will launch an SMFA Radio Station. Open to the entire SMFA community, the AM station will host experimental sound works, as well as interviews with visiting artists and programming from faculty and classes, in addition to streaming Wave Farm’s creative community station WGXC 90.7.
Heidi Neilson: Go Goes Radiotelescope Thursday and Friday, September 20–21
12:30 p.m. Outdoor Plaza in front Aidekman Arts Center, Medford
Artist Response is an ongoing initiative in the SMFA's Well Space and the Aidkeman Arts Center’s Media Wall that highlights how artists have used creative strategies to respond to historical and contemporary social crises through direct action, solidarity efforts, and critical reflection.
ELECTION September 4–December 20 Well and Weems Atrium at SMFA / Media Wall at Aidekman
For the fall 2018 semester, Artist Response will address electoral politics with an installation that includes gerrymandered district maps from across the United States produced by Moon Duchin, associate professor of mathematics at Tufts University and 2018 Guggenheim Fellow. Duchin’s maps are part of her long-term project on the geometry of gerrymandering, an application of mathematics to civil rights. Artist Response will also present artist Zoe Leonard’s prose poem “I want a president” from 1992, and TVTV’s landmark documentary Four More Years, an iconoclastic view of the American electoral process, captured through TVTV’s candid coverage of Richard Nixon’s 1972 presidential campaign and the Republican Convention in Miami. This exhibition iteration is part of For Freedoms, the first artist-run super PAC, which aims to inspire deeper political engagement in our elections with over 100 national projects in the fall of 2018.
Artist Response: Election Teach-In Thursday, October 4
Learn what’s on the ballot for the fall 2018 election and how it affects you. Associate Professor of Mathematics Moon Duchin will present on the Voter Rights Data Institute and their work combating gerrymandering. Register to vote and hear more about local and national issues at stake.
Visiting Artist Program
The Visiting Artist Program brings leading voices in the field of contemporary art to SMFA to share their work. Visitors present public artist talks, as well as give performances and workshops and participate in symposia in dialogue with the SMFA and Tufts community.
Fall 2018 Visiting Artist Program Schedule
Carmen Winant, Visiting Artist Lecture Wednesday, September 26
6 p.m. Anderson Auditorium
Artist Carmen Winant is an assistant professor at Columbus College of Art and Design, and former dean of the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. Current and upcoming group exhibitions include Being: New Photography,Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; Another Echo,Sculpture Center, Queens, NY; and Greater Columbus, Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus, OH. Solo exhibitions will take place at 17 Essex, New York, NY; Stene Projects, Stockholm, Sweden; and Cave, Detroit, MI. Winant is also a writer, specializing in the often-contradictory promise of contemporary feminist politics—also the subject at the center of her creative practice—and regularly contributes to Aperture, Cabinet, Time, The Believer, and Frieze magazines. She is currently at work on an experimental book about the nature of practice.
Cecilia Vicuña, Visiting Artist Lecture Wednesday, October 10 6 p.m. Anderson Auditorium
Cecilia Vicuña is a poet, artist, filmmaker, and activist featured in the exhibition Cecilia Vicuña: Disappeared Quipu at the MFA, Boston in October. Her work addresses pressing concerns of the modern world, including ecological destruction, human rights, and cultural homogenization. Born and raised in Santiago de Chile, she was in exile for decades since the early 1970s, after the military coup against elected president Salvador Allende. Vicuña’s multidimensional work began in the mid-1960s in Chile, as a way of “hearing an ancient silence waiting to be heard.” Her poems take multiple forms, becoming an act, a film, a song, or a collective performance. She calls this ritual, participatory work “lo precario” (the precarious), a bridge between art and life, the ancestral and the avant-garde.
She has exhibited her art around the world including at the Museu de Arte Moderna do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and the Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY. Her work was included in Documenta 14 in Athens, Greece, and Kassel, Germany, 2017. She is the author of 25 art and poetry books, including New and Selected Poems (2018), AMAzone Palabrarmas (2018), About to Happen (2017), Read Thread, The Story of the Red Thread (2017). She divides her time between Chile and New York.
Deborah and Martin Hale Visiting Artist Lecture: Fred Moten Wednesday, October 24
7 p.m. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Fred Moten is a poet and scholar whose work explores critical theory, black studies, and performance studies. Moten is a professor of performance studies at New York University and has taught previously at the University of California, Riverside, Duke University, Brown University, and the University of Iowa. His scholarly texts include The Undercommons: Fugitive Planning & Black Study, which was co-authored with Stefano Harney, and In the Break: The Aesthetics of the Black Radical Tradition. He has published numerous poetry collections, including The Little Edges, The Feel Trio, B Jenkins, and Hughson’s Tavern.
The Deborah and Martin Hale Lecture supports the active involvement of artists in the MFA, Boston, and SMFA at Tufts educational programs.
Upcoming & Current Exhibitions
Museum of Capitalism August 29 – October 25 Grossman Gallery, Anderson Auditorium
The Museum of Capitalism is an institution dedicated to educating present and future generations about the history, philosophy, and legacy of capitalism through exhibitions, research, and publications; through collecting and preserving material evidence, art, and artifacts of capitalism; and through varied public programming. The museum’s programs result from collaborations between researchers, curators, artists, designers, filmmakers, writers, economists, historians, scientists, and non-specialists from all walks of life, including those with direct experience in capitalism. The museumopened its inaugural exhibition in Oakland in 2017 with a series of multimedia installations created by a diverse network of artists, scholars, and ordinary citizens exploring the historical phenomenon of capitalism and its intersections with themes like race, class, and environment in the United States.
The SMFA/Tufts exhibition will feature exhibits, artworks, and artifacts created and collected by the following artists: Jordan Bennett, Ben Bigelow, Center for Tactical Magic, Jennifer Dalton, Sharon Daniel, Blake Fall-Conroy, FICTILIS, Marc Fischer, Kate Haug, Kelly Jazvac, Michael Mandiberg, James McAnally, Valeria Mogilevich, Claire Pentecost, Tim Portlock, Jesse Sugarmann, Evan Desmond Yee, and Igor Vamos, alongside new commissions by Maia Chao and Michelle de la Vega.
Organized by Abigail Satinsky, Curator, Tufts University Art Galleries.
Museum of Capitalism Opening Reception and Conversation
Wednesday, September 12
6–8 p.m. Anderson Auditorium
Museum of Capitalism Panel Discussion
Friday, September 14
12:30–2 p.m. Anderson Auditorium
In this panel discussion, educators in history, economics, and political science will share their experiences with and approaches to teaching capitalism today, and will discuss the politics of its historicization, the intersection of political economy with cultural domains, and the pressures of public pedagogy in higher education. Moderated by Museum of Capitalism.
Museum of Capitalism Community Conversation: Housing in Boston
Tuesday, October 16
Join advocates for affordable housing and artists engaged in community activism around housing issues for a dialogue on current issues in the Boston housing landscape, including what roles culture and capitalism play. This program is part of Museum of Capitalism’s work as a speculative institution that allows us to better recognize the historical specificity, idiosyncrasy, and contingency of the present.
The Tufts University Art Galleries at the SMFA presented New York-based painter Joanne Greenbaum’s debut solo exhibition in New England.
Things We Said Today follows Greenbaum’s prodigious mark-making and uncanny color sensibility across media and surface. Using a language of abstraction that toggles between chaos and order, Greenbaum takes on architecture with a suite of recent, oversized canvases, punctuated by a series of sculptural pen drawings, watercolors, painted ceramics, and artist sketchbooks. In total, Greenbaum’s repetitive gestures and overlaying forms conjure the intensity and immediacy of a racing mind and unspoken thoughts amid the chaos of our time.
Things We Said Today was accompanied by a brochure with an essay by Kate McNamara, Director of Galleries and Exhibitions at Otis College of Art and Design.
Jillian Mayer: Slumpies “Sculptures that work for you,” Slumpies are designed to support visitors’ bodies as they use their portable screens and smartphones. They are a post-posture sculptural solution that leans towards an idea of function, relieving the human form of the duty of supporting its own neck while acknowledging our ever-increasing relationship with mankind's best invention. Mayer will visit SMFA for a public lecture on February 7th and a screening of her ongoing series, Day Off, Thursday February 8th at the Aidekman Arts Center in Medford.
Slumpies was presented as part of a citywide partnership of arts and educational institutions organized to recognize the outsized role greater Boston has played in the history and development of technology. The Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston initiated this partnership to link concurrent exhibitions and programs related to the themes of the exhibition Art in the Age of the Internet, 1989 to Today, on view at the ICA from February 7–May 20, 2018.
Documents of Resistance & James McAnally
Artist Response is an ongoing initiative that highlights how artists have used creative strategies to respond to historical and contemporary social crises through direct action, solidarity efforts, and critical reflection. As the ground rapidly shifts below our feet, these artists and projects share alternative narratives of how artists contribute to and are embedded within social movement culture. This first iteration includes a wall installation from Documents of Resistance, a project by Antonio Serna, connecting the present to a history of art and activism by artists of color, and a guest-curated project by critic James McAnally on the new formations of artist-organizing in St Louis in both arts spaces and on the streets.
The SMFA community is welcome to use the Artist Response space for meetings, self-organized programs and resource-sharing. Artist Response continues on Tufts’ Medford campus with a Documents of Resistance installation and a mixtape of creative activist tactics by Houston artist Carrie Schneider at Tufts University Art Galleries Media Wall.
James McAnally will be giving a talk as part of the Spring 2018 Visiting Artist Program on January 30, 2018 at 6 PM, Anderson Auditorium, SMFA.