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.
Upcoming & Current Exhibitions
Suara Welitoff: Right Now This Moment
January 23 – April 7, 2019
Grossman Gallery, Anderson Auditorium
Suara Welitoff’s appropriations of the past are a strategy for summoning an awareness of time as we are living it now. The exhibition surveys 12 videos spanning 2013 to 2018 (including the premiere of three works) and chronicles Welitoff’s practice of reworking footage from historic films, television, and the internet. Welitoff investigates how disrupting traditional structures of filmic time and narrative can alter our expectations of moving images. Repetition is key to our experience of Welitoff’s image and language fragments. Through her use of continuous loop and slowed motion, she achieves a temporality in which duration is the dominant experience rather than time moving forward, effectively resulting in an endless present. In contrast to technical methods of control and standards of digital perfection, Welitoff embraces the formal potential of accidents and inaccuracies, including pixilation and audio-visual glitches, viewing them as chances to improvise. At a time when the acts of selecting, modifying, and re-circulating are increasingly central to creation and communication, Welitoff’s works invite us to consider how our sensory relations to the mediated world are forever under revision.
About the Artist
Suara Welitoff (b. 1951 Jersey City, NJ) lives and works in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Since 1998, her work has been included in exhibitions and screenings throughout the U.S. and Europe. One-person exhibitions include Krakow Witkin Gallery, Boston; Anthony Greaney, Somerville; 186 Carpenter, Providence; Document, Chicago; James Harris Gallery, Seattle; Le Rete Projects, Milan; and Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. She has participated in group exhibitions with Galerie Anita Beckers, Frankfurt; Regina Rex at Bunker259, Brooklyn; Marburger Kunstverein, Marburg; deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, Lincoln; Worcester Art Museum, Worcester; Strozzina CCC, Florence; Performa 05 at Participant Inc, New York; NGBK, Berlin; Threadwaxing Space, New York; and Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston.
Welitoff’s work is in the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Worcester Art Museum, Worcester, MA; deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, Lincoln, MA; List Visual Arts Center at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA; Deutsche Bank, New York; Fidelity Investments, Boston; Barr Foundation, Boston; and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, in addition to numerous private collections. Welitoff is the recipient of several prestigious awards including the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum Rappaport Prize (2012), the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award (2009), and the Boston Museum of Fine Arts Maud Morgan Prize (2002).
Suara Welitoff: Right Now This Moment is accompanied by a brochure with an essay by guest curator, Susan L. Stoops, Independent Curator of Contemporary Art. Previously, Stoops held the positions of Curator of Contemporary Art at the Worcester Art Museum (1999-2014) and Curator at the Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University (1984-1999).
Opening Reception Suara Welitoff: Right Now This Moment
Wednesday, January 23
Anderson + Grossman Galleries
Chantal Akerman's News From Home Screening and Conversation
Suara Welitoff with Malcolm Turvey, Sol Gittleman Professor in Film and Media Studies
Wednesday, February 6
In Conversation Suara Welitoff + Susan L. Stoops, Artist + Curator Talk
Saturday, April 6
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.
WAVE FARM PRESENTS:
SMFA 1630AM Live Broadcast
Thursday, April 4 6-8pm
Radio Opera with Yvette Janine Jackson + Gregory Whitehead Friday, April 5
Distler Hall / Medford
Sonic Planetarium, Heidi Neilson AM Receiver Workshop, Jeff Thompson Friday, April 5 2:30-4pm Remis Sculpture Court / 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.
Gabriel Sosa: Let Me Explain To You What This Means January –April
Media Wall / Aidekman + Well / SMFA at Tufts
Drawing upon the experiences of artist Gabriel Sosa’s work as a court interpreter, this drawing- and text based installation addresses the pitfalls inherent in translation, as well as the role of those obstacles in the American justice system. In courts of law, interpreters are responsible for assuming the voices of those who cannot be understood, which implies that translated text or speech is innately more intelligible or accessible than the original. Inspired by After Babel by George Steiner, a seminal text on translation theory, Sosa’s installation critically interrogates the challenges present not only in translation but in communication itself.
This installation is in conversation with Zoe Leonard’s I want a president (1992) on the exterior of the SMFA building and as a takeaway at Medford on view for the 2018/2019 academic year.
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.
Spring 2019 Visiting Artist Program Schedule
Chantal Akerman’s News from Home with Malcolm Turvey Wednesday, February 6, 2019
6-9pm Anderson Auditorium, SMFA at Tufts
Join us at SMFA for a screening of Chantal Akerman's News From Home (1977) and a conversation between artist Suara Welitoff and Malcolm Turvey, Sol Gittleman Professor in Film and Media Studies at Tufts University.
In this seminal, experimental documentary film, Akerman (1950-2015) reads letters from her mother over images of her new found home of New York, questioning the very notion of location in the modern world. Welitoff and Turvey will discuss the importance of this film on avant-garde practices in the US and Europe and its profound impact on Welitoff's own moving image practice.
Beckwith Lecture In Conversation: HARRY DODGE & AMY SILLMAN
Wednesday, March 6, 2019
7pm-8:30pm Harry and Mildred Remis Auditorium, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
In conjunction with the exhibition Harry Dodge: Works of Love, Los Angeles-based artist and writer Harry Dodge joins painter Amy Sillman in a public conversation for the Annual Beckwith Lecture, established in 1978 by Leo and Betty Beckwith to bring curators and cultural thinkers of national and international stature to the School of the Museum of Fine Arts.
About the artists: Amy Sillman was born in 1955 in Detroit, Michigan, and currently lives and works in New York. Sillman is known primarily as a painter whose work is fundamentally engaged with drawing, but with many adjacent interests including animation, writing, the comic, the poetic, color, time, and form. Her work has been the subject of numerous exhibitions at institutions in the USA and internationally, and is represented in New York by Gladstone Gallery. Her current solo show, Landline, is on view at London's Camden Arts Centre until Jan 6, 2019. Sillman's 2014 mid-career survey exhibition, one lump or two, was curated by Helen Molesworth and initiated at the ICA Boston. Her works are held in numerous prominent institutions, such as the Museum of Modern Art, New York; The National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.; the Whitney Museum of American Art, NY; The Hirshhorn Museum, Washington D.C.; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, and many others. Sillman currently holds the position of Professor at the Staedelschule in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. A monograph is forthcoming in 2019 from Lund Humphries Ltd, London, with a text by the author/curator Valerie Smith.
Harry Dodge is a Los Angeles-based artist and writer whose interdisciplinary practice is characterized by its explorations of relation, materiality, and the unnamable with a special focus on ecstatic contamination. His work has been exhibited at many venues nationally and internationally including solo exhibitions, Mysterious Fires (2017) at Grand Army Collective, Brooklyn; The Inner Reality of Ultra-Intelligent Life (2016) at Pasadena’s Armory Center for the Arts; The Cybernetic Fold (2015) at Wallspace, NY; and Meaty Beaty Big and Bouncy (2013) at The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Connecticut. Recent group exhibitions include the New Museum’s 40th anniversary exhibition Trigger: Gender as a Tool and a Weapon and exhibitions at MOCA, LA; and the Hammer Museum, LA. His solo and collaborative works are held in numerous prominent institutions, such as the Museum of Modern Art, NY; Hammer Museum, LA; and Museum of Contemporary Art, LA. In 2017 Dodge was awarded a Guggenheim Foundation fellowship. Dodge is permanent faculty of the School of Art at California Institute of the Arts. His new book My Meteorite (Or, Without the Random There Can Be No New Thing) is forthcoming in 2019 from Penguin Press. Dodge’s show Works of Love, first exhibited this summer at JOAN in Los Angeles is on view at the Tufts University Art Galleries in Medford January 17 – April 14, 2019.
Past Beckwith Lecture Speakers: Arthur Jafa + Christina Sharpe Alaina Clare Feldman Eva Respini Ben Davis Jorge Fernandez Torres Veronica Roberts Jen Mergel Kim Berman Jacquelynn Baas Linda Dalrymple Henderson Lynn Cook W.J.T. Mitchell Okwui Enwezor Hal Foster Alfredo Jaar Nancy Spero Dave Hickey Carolee Schneeman Dan Graham Lynda Benglis Stan Brakhage Bill Viola Karen Finley Mary Frank Lorna Simpson Barbara Kruger John Cage Julie Taylor John Baldessari John Wilson Allan Kaprow Elizabeth Murray Robert Irwin Yvonne Rainer Robert Wilson
Visiting Artist Lecture BOUCHRA KHALILI
Thursday, March 14, 2019
6-9pm Anderson Auditorium, SMFA at Tufts
Bouchra Khalili is a Moroccan-French artist who lives and works in Berlin and Oslo. Encompassing film, video, installation, photography, and prints, Khalili's practice articulates language, subjectivity, orality, and geographical explorations to investigate strategies and discourses of resistance as elaborated, developed, and narrated by individuals- often members of political minorities. Khalili is the inaugural Nagle Artist in Residence at SMFA at Tufts, a new program that brings international artists into the school's graduate community for short- term residencies.
Khalili's new film, 22 Hours, explores the legacy of the Black Panther Party in Boston and will debut at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston in March.
SMFA Visiting Artist Screening and Conversation SKY HOPINKA with Darren Edward Lone Fight
Thursday, March 28, 2019 6-9pm Anderson Auditorium, SMFA at Tufts
Sky Hopinka (Ho-Chunk/Pechanga) creates moving-image works that explore ideas of indigenous homeland and landscape, language as a container of culture, and the play between the known and the unknowable. Following a screening of his short films, Hopinka will discuss his practice with Darren Edward Lone Fight (Mandan/Hidatsa/Arikara Nation), guest faculty in the Consortium for Studies in Race, Colonialism, and Diaspora at Tufts University.
Wave Farm Presents: SMFA Live Broadcast Thursday, April 4, 2019
4-6pm SMFA Library, SMFA at Tufts
Wave Farm’s year-long residency at Tufts University Art Galleries culminates in a two-day event across both campuses, Wave Farm Presents featuring SMFA 1630AM Live Broadcast at the SMFA Library on Thursday, April 4 from 4-6pm.
TuftsPUBLIC: Wave Farm in Residence continues with installations by sound artists Jeff Thompson, in the SMFA’s Weems Atrium, and Heidi Neilson, with a two-part project in the Remis Sculpture Court, as well as through the ongoing experimental sound art station SMFA 1630 AM in the SMFA’s Library and at wavefarm.org/listen.
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, Igor Vamos, and Jasper Waters 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
Museum of Capitalism Panel Discussion
Friday, September 14
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.
Panelists include Boston artists and organizers Ngoc-Tran Vu and L’Merchie Frazier, Los Angeles artist Liz Glynn, Andrea Steves from Museum of Capitalism, Writer and Consultant Danya Sherman, City Life/Vida Urbana including Steve Meacham and others, and the Massachusetts Poor People’s Campaign, moderated by Jules Rochielle Sievert, Creative Director at NuLawLab at Northeastern University.
Heidi Neilson: Go Goes Radiotelescope Thursday and Friday, September 20–21
12:30 p.m. Outdoor Plaza in front Aidekman Arts Center, Medford
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 project is partnered with For Freedoms, a national platform for civic engagement, discourse, and direct action for artists in the United States, 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.
Fall 2018 Visiting Artist Program Schedule
Carmen Winant, Visiting Artist Lecture
Wednesday, September 26
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
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
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.
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.