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New Fine Arts Faculty Boost Social Justice Perspectives in Curriculum

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Image of the SMFA Atrium with people walking up stairs

The School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University (SMFA) is furthering its leadership in the realm of humanities and social justice in the arts by bringing aboard a trailblazing group of faculty from diverse fields of artistry and scholarship.

SMFA at Tufts welcomes eight new professors of the practice to its faculty, including scholars whose work centers on themes of social and racial justice. This group of internationally recognized artists work in a wide range of mediums from print, paper, and animation to performance, sculpture, and virtual reality.

“Our student body has increasingly become more diverse over the years--both demographically and in the subjects they want to explore with their artistic process and research. It is important that our faculty reflects this diversity,” said Nancy Bauer, dean of SMFA at Tufts. “We couldn’t be more excited for this new group of artists and educators to join our community. Not only are they top-tier established artists and academics who bring with them fresh perspectives and international experience, but their work and scholarship also explore topics that are of deep importance to our students and larger world.”

They are joined by fellow new faculty members Claudia Mattos Avolese, a senior lecturer in the Visual and Material Studies Department, and Kelli Morgan, a professor of the practice in the Department of History of Art and Architecture in the School of Arts and Sciences at Tufts, who is also the inaugural director of Curatorial Studies at Tufts and holds a secondary appointment at SMFA.

Below is a list of the faculty members and links to their bios:

Cristobal Cea Chilean artist whose work focuses on the relation between digital media, history and memory

Kate Conlon Multi-disciplinary artist whose work explores the various ways that we make sense of the world

Guadalupe Maravilla Visual artist, choreographer, and healer

Claudia Mattos Avolese  Scholar whose recent research focuses on indigenous arts in Brazil, the imaginary of the forest, and ecology

Triton Mobley New media artist and researcher; interests include interventionist works, guerrilla performances, and installations 

Rick Moody  Award-winning author of six novels, three collections of short stories, a memoir, and a collection of essays

Kelli Morgan  Professor of the Practice and inaugural Director of Curatorial Studies and specializes in critical-race curatorial analyses. 

Ng'endo Mukii  Award-winning film director and writer most well-known for “Yellow Fever” 

Laurel Nakadate  Photographer, filmmaker, video, and performance artist 

Mike Smoot  Artist that focused on past, present, and future social-political-economic-ecological interactions, phenomena, and potentials