Since 1899, the School of the Museum of Fine Arts has awarded Traveling Fellowships (formerly called Traveling Scholarships) to select alumni. As one of the largest endowed art school grant programs in the country, the Traveling Fellowship program provides funds for artists to further develop and inform their practice.
Each year, SMFA at Tufts awards ten Traveling Fellowships to selected alumni. Fellows receive up to $10,000 to pursue travel and research related to their art.
The program has provided critical early-career support for many notable SMFA graduates, including Nan Goldin, Mike and Doug Starn, Ellen Gallagher, Omer Fast, and recent graduates such as Evelyn Rydz, Gonzalo Fuenmayor, and Daniela Rivera.
History of the Travel Fund
In 1894, James William Paige left a bequest of $30,000 to the Museum School to establish a travel fund. Income was to be used to send SMFA students to Europe, where they would study art for a period of two years. By 1899, the first Traveling Scholar, Mary Brewster Hazelton, sailed to Europe. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, recipients typically traveled to Paris, Rome, or Florence and received $800 per year for two years. Today, SMFA Travelling Fellows journey across the globe, to places as diverse as the American West, Antartica, and Shikoku, Japan, and receive grants of up to $10,000 each.
- Only SMFA graduates of the BFA, Combined Degree, Diploma, Post-Baccalaureate, MFA, or MAT programs may apply.
- Alumni may be working in any contemporary visual art discipline.
- Anyone who previously applied, but has not yet won a Traveling Fellowship, is encouraged to apply again.
- Previous winners of a Traveling Fellowship (or, previously, "Traveling Scholarship") are not eligible.
August 20, 2023 – Submissions Due
September 2023 – Winners Announced
Juliana Rowen Barton is a historian and curator whose research centers on the confluence of race, gender, and design. She is the Director of the Center for the Arts and Curator of Gallery360 at Northeastern. As an independent curator, she works on Designing Motherhood, a first of its kind exploration of the arc of human reproduction through the lens of design. Throughout her career, she has worked on exhibitions and programs at the Center for Craft, the Barnes Foundation, Center for Architecture/AIANY, Museum of Modern Art, and Philadelphia Museum of Art. Barton holds a PhD and MA from the University of Pennsylvania and a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia.
Tess Lukey (she/her) is a member of the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head Aquinnah and the Associate Curator of Native American Art for the Trustees of the Reservations. She is based at both Fruitlands Museum and the deCordova Sculpture Park & Museum. Her curatorial and research work focus is the intersection of historic and contemporary Native American art. She specializes in pre-20th-century Native American materials, but also has experience in Maya art history and folk art. She received her MA in Native American Art History with a minor in Museum Studies from the University of New Mexico and a dual BFA in Art History and Ceramics from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design. She has worked for the Society of Arts and Crafts and the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the John Sommers Gallery, the Maxwell Museum of Anthropology, and the Hibben Center for Archaeology Studies in Albuquerque, NM. In her spare time, she is a traditional potter and basket weaver practicing the techniques of her own Indigenous community.
Helina Metaferia is an interdisciplinary artist working across collage, assemblage, video, performance, and social engagement. Metaferia received her MFA from Tufts University’s School of the Museum of Fine Arts and attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. Her work was included in the Sharjah Biennial, United Arab Emirates; and she’s held solo exhibitions at Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA; RISD Art Museum, Providence, RI; and Museum of African Diaspora, San Francisco, CA. Her work is in the permanent collection of institutions including Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA; and the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, New York, NY. Metaferia’s work has been written about in publications including The New York Times, Financial Times, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, Artnet News and The Art Newspaper. Metaferia is an Assistant Professor at Brown University in the Visual Art department, and lives and works in New York City.
Traveling Fellows recipients may have the opportunity to show in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. The artists selected for an exhibition will be chosen from the previous two years of Traveling Fellows' cohorts.
How to Apply
Applications will open on May 15, 2023. All Traveling Fellows applications will be processed online through Slideroom. Requirements are noted below and in the online application.
Questions regarding the application criteria and process should be directed to Meera Chauhan, Exhibitions Assistant.
For technical assistance with Slideroom, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Forms and Attachments
All forms are available online as part of the application
Traveling Fellows Pre-Screening Form
You will need to indicate your SMFA degree program, year of graduation, and current email address. (Note: "@smfa.edu" email addresses are no longer active after graduation and will not be accepted.)
Artist Statement (limit 1500 characters)
- Travel Proposal
Please tell us about your proposed destination(s) and give a detailed explanation describing why the Fellowship would contribute to your artistic development. Be specific in telling the jury why this opportunity suits your practice at this juncture and why the particular location(s) will enrich your work, either through expanding skills, research, or experiences. (limit 2500 characters)
- Provide a timeline of travel and estimated budget. Please download provided template and upload to SlideRoom.
- Media Files
Provide digital documentation of five (5) works completed within the last three (3) years. Select the format most appropriate to the artistic medium or discipline representative of your work (i.e. images, video, audio, writing, modeling, etc.) that will provide context for your practice and research interests. If you are providing video or audio, work samples can be up to ten minutes in duration and writing samples should be less than 5 pages. Work samples should demonstrate the artistic merit of your work as well as relevancy to the travel proposal. Applicants are encouraged to provide descriptions for the specific work submitted but it is not required.
File Restrictions: Slideroom can accept any media file type. However, the following formats are optimized for browser-based viewing. There are also limits placed on each file's size, noted below.
Images: 10 MB; .jpg, .jpeg, .png, .tif, .tiff, .bmp, .tga Audio: 60 MB; .mp3, .wma, .ogg, .flac Video: 500 MB; .m4v, .mov, .mp4, .wmv, .flv, .asf, .mpeg, .mpg, .mkv Documents: 20 MB; .pdf 3D Models: blend, .3ds, .dae, .obj, .fbx, .dwf, .osg, .osgt, .osgb, .ive, .lwo, .lws, .ply, .wrl, .iv, .shp, .stl, .bvh, .flt, .ac, .x, .dw, .3dc, .geo, .gta, .kmz, .vpk
- Image Release Form
We will only ask for image release permissions from applicants who are awarded Traveling Fellowships. All materials submitted by other applicants will be used for the sole purpose of jurying and will not be used in public promotion.