School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University to hold virtual annual art sale Nov. 9-23

New England’s leading contemporary art sale moves online and goes global for first time

A man's eyes stare out from behind a saffron yellow foreground in a painted image advertising the SMFA Art Sale

BOSTON and MEDFORD/SOMERVILLE, Mass. (Oct. 22, 2020)—The School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University (SMFA at Tufts) will host its 38th annual art sale from November 9 – 23, 2020. The sale is moving online for the first time to keep artists and patrons connected but still safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Art lovers worldwide will be able to browse nearly 600 works by more than 300 students, alumni and faculty from across the globe. The curated works available for sale were selected by a jury of esteemed artists, curators and gallerists.

Previously, the sale was limited to local members of the SMFA at Tufts community. Now, SMFA artists from across the globe are able to offer their works to art collectors everywhere.

The sale provides crucial visibility to emerging and established artists who may have limited visibility because of the global pandemic closing countless museums and galleries. The annual sale is also SMFA at Tufts' biggest fundraiser, with the proceeds of each sale supporting the contributing artist and a dedicated scholarship for students from underrepresented groups.

"Cha Cha," Gonzalo Fuenmayor (Image courtesy of the artist)"Cha Cha," Gonzalo Fuenmayor (Image courtesy of the artist)

This year’s sale also prioritizes work from Black, indigenous, LGBTQIA+ and feminist communities, providing artists often overlooked by mainstream contemporary art communities with an opportunity to have their work seen widely.

Among the artists involved in this year's sale are Marlon Forrestor, Anthony Peyton Young, Helina Metaferia, Jamal Thorne, Cobi Moules, Gonzalo Fuenmayor and Mima McMillan.

Jurors for the SMFA art sale include Akili Tommasino, associate curator of modern and contemporary art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Nina Johnson, SMFA alumna and director of Nina Johnson Gallery in Miami; and Shinique Smith, SMFA alumna and artist.

Additionally, between six and nine complete pieces from the SMFA at Tufts’ “Exquisite Corpse” project will be available for purchase as part of the sale. A project inspired by the link between the current pandemic and the influenza pandemic in 1918, “Exquisite Corpse” uses a drawing technique developed by the surrealists in which multiple artists co-create art by drawing on a single piece of paper together.

The special project was developed by Jen Mergel, contemporary artist and SMFA at Tufts board member. Mergel saw this exercise as an opportunity to create meaningful connections between creative minds during a time of social distance.

Participating “Exquisite Corpse” artists include SMFA at Tufts faculty members Ethan Murrow, Ria Brodell and David Antonio Cruz, and alumni Sheila Pepe, Jed Caesar and Nicole Cherubini..

The 2020 art sale is sponsored by Judi and Tim Ritchie, Jessie and Sam Rubenstein, Carol and Richard Daynard, Around the Corner Framing, Art New England, Boston Art Review,, Cube, Fortress, Stanhope Framers and U.S. Art.

SMFA at Tufts Art Sale
Nov. 9-23


About the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University

Founded in 1876, the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University is a unique art school affiliated with both a major art museum—the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston—and a Tier-1 research university. Originally established within the museum, the school began its relationship with Tufts when the university began providing accredited degrees to SMFA students in 1945. SMFA officially became part of Tufts University’s School of Arts and Sciences in July 2016. SMFA at Tufts provides an exceptional fine arts education that allows students to craft individualized programs of study while being mentored closely by world-renowned faculty and staff. Graduates are creative thinkers and problem-solvers who succeed in a wide variety of careers. SMFA at Tufts is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design and is a member of the Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design (AICAD). For more information, visit

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