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Boxed Art Gallery: An SMFA student-project funded through the Tufts Student COVID Response Program (TSCR) at Tisch College

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SMFA Communications sits down with Ned Carlson, BFA + BA ‘23, who won a grant from Tisch College’s Tufts Student COVID Response Program to create Boxed Art Gallery, a professional platform for the SMFA and Tufts communities to exhibit work and foster connections during the COVID-19 pandemic. 


Tell me about Boxed Art Gallery. How did this idea come about?

Boxed Art Gallery came from my desire to increase the number of exhibition opportunities for developing artists, especially students, at Tufts as well as the greater Boston area art scene. 

The mission of Boxed Art Gallery is to tackle two central issues that were exacerbated by the spread of Covid-19:

First, while Tufts University and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts are both highly inclusive creative environments; I want to create more opportunities for students to exhibit work, spaces that are easy to access and encourage exposure and growth. 

Second, given that the pandemic has forced many of us to work in social isolation, I wanted to develop a place where we could gather virtually, and reflect upon what the experience of the last few months has meant in our lives and in our artwork. At a time where police brutality, systemic racial oppression, and other crucial issues have come to the forefront of the national discussion, I feel that a platform to share artwork such as the Boxed Art Gallery is more important now than ever before

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image of student Ned Carlson
Ned Carlson, BFA + BA '23

What is the TSCR Program and what has it been like to work with Tisch College so far?

The Tisch Student COVID Response Program provides students with grant funding for projects that respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. When I first learned about the program through several faculty members and a series of emails, I had already been thinking about starting an online gallery since the pandemic began, and thought my idea suited the TSCR program goals perfectly. I am continuing to work with Tisch College staff now that the site is launched and am excited to explore how it will develop.

Who can submit work and when?

Anyone can submit work—There are no barriers for entry with regards to submitting work to the Boxed Art Gallery, and artists of all skill levels are highly encouraged to take advantage of this amazing opportunity to express themselves and share their artwork on a professional platform. This includes all Tufts University students, faculty, staff, and alumni.

I cannot stress enough how central the idea of encouraging creativity is to the Boxed Art Gallery. This platform exists for the people of Tufts University, and it will thrive because of the unbridled creative energy that we as students, faculty, staff, and alumni bring to anything we are involved in. It is part of what makes Tufts great, I can’t wait to see what work people submit to the Boxed Art Gallery.

Our first call for work started on July 1st, 2020. Submissions are accepted on a rolling basis so I encourage everyone to submit work as soon as they can. Applications for the Boxed Contest will close in early August.

Where can people learn more about Boxed Art Gallery?

You can follow the Boxed Art Gallery on Instagram @boxedartgallery, visit our website at
boxedartgallery.com, or send us an email at boxedartgallery@gmail.com. Additionally, you can reach out to me personally on Instagram @nedcarlson

Images courtesy of Ned Carlson.

Contributions by Rebecca Welch, BFA '22