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Engagement with other artists is an essential component of an art student’s academic experience. 

SMFA provides numerous opportunities for students to connect with and learn from established, contemporary artists. From intimate classroom and studio-based visits, to formal programming offered by the Tufts University Art Galleries and artist series at the neighboring Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, our students take full advantage of artists traveling to Boston and within our arts community. We support and engage with artists on the local, national, and international stage.

Artists in the classroom

Our faculty regularly invite artists to speak with their students and/or the larger SMFA community throughout the academic year. Classroom-based artist visits typically include a discussion of the invited artist’s practice and techniques as well as demonstrations and feedback sessions. Whenever possible, students are given the opportunity to share their work and participate in critiques.

Visiting Artist Program

Each year, the Tufts University Art Galleries oversee the SMFA Visiting Artist Program and invite renown artists to visit with students and present at public lectures. Invited artists compliment the galleries’ exhibition programming, faculty requests, and/or current topics in contemporary art. Talks are typically held on the Boston SMFA campus, next door at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, or on the Medford/Somerville campus.

Nagle Artist-in-Residence Program

The Robert Nagle Artist-in-Residence Program supports international artists to visit SMFA at Tufts for an extended time period. Artists-in-residence give a public lecture, lead workshops, visit courses in different disciplines, and conduct studio visits with graduate and advanced undergraduate students. 

*2021-2022 – Shu Lea Cheang
Shu Lea Cheang is a net art pioneer. Some highlights of her career include her project Brandon (1998-99), the first web art commissioned and collected by the Guggenheim Museum in New York, and her role representing Taiwan at the 2019 Venice Biennale. Her current projects in development include the computer hacking performance UNBORN0X9 and UKI, a work of "interruptive cinema."
*While originally scheduled for 2019-2020, Shu Lea Cheang's visit was delayed due to COVID.

2018-2019 – Bouchra Khalili
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.

Annual Beckwith Lecture

Established in 1978 by Leo and Betty Beckwith, the Beckwith Lecture features artists and cultural thinkers of national and international stature. This annual lecture is hosted by Tufts University Art Galleries. Learn more about the 2021 Beckwith Lecture featuring Claudia Rankine.

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

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