Get Ready for the 2023 SMFA Art Sale

The annual sale, a fundraiser for the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University, will be Dec. 8–10

Just in time for the holidays, the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University is once again opening its doors to the public for its annual art sale.

The sale, which runs Friday, December 8, through Sunday, December 10, will include more than 1,700 works created by some 550 alumni, students, faculty, and friends of the school.

a plywood stool

“Woodwerking 1,” plywood, milk paint, polyurethane, $200, by Carter Powers, A24 (BFA).

Now in its 45th year, the SMFA Art Sale is one of the largest public art sales in the region.

“There aren’t that many opportunities in New England to encounter such a wide range of prices, sizes, and mediums of art—especially contemporary art—in one sale,” said art sale manager Kara Howgate-Mello. “Whether you’re an established collector looking to invest in a more expensive piece, a new collector, or someone who doesn’t even consider themselves a collector, this sale has something to offer you.”

Proceeds from the sale are split between the artists and SMFA at Tufts. In this, the school’s largest fundraiser each year, “all of the funds that are raised for the school go back into immediate use as financial aid for current and prospective students,” Howgate-Mello said.

a woman ironing a shirt

“I Like Ironing Dad's Shirts,” archival inkjet print, $350, by Quincey Spagnoletti, AG24 (MFA).

This year, the sale organizers made a special effort to encourage more students to submit their works, and about 80 have contributed at least one piece, nearly twice as many as last year. In conjunction with the sale, students took part in a workshop with practicing artists who coached the students on not just how to price their art, but how to talk about it.

arch-shaped earrings by Tanya Crane

“Arch Earrings,” enamel on copper, sterling silver, surgical steel, $200, by Tanya Crane, professor of the practice at SMFA at Tufts.

“How do you talk about yourself, your art, what you are trying to say in your work, in a way that speaks to different constituencies, whether it’s collectors or other artists?” Howgate-Mello explained.

She said that aside from the crucial funds the sale provides, it’s also a chance for SMFA at Tufts friends and alumni to “come together as a community to celebrate what the school is producing currently and the trajectory of all of these artists who have touched our institution over the years.”

Among the works for sale this year are pieces by Yu-Wen Wu, Diploma ’87, a winner of the 2023 James and Audrey Foster Prize, whose works are currently on display at the Institute of Contemporary Art; and Gabriel Sosa, AG16 (MFA), one of WBUR’s 2023 Makers.

abstract painting by Angelia Gualdoni

“Pull From,” acrylic and oil on canvas, $4,000, by Angelina Gualdoni, chair of painting and drawing at SMFA at Tufts.

Dinorá Justice, AG14 (MFA), a 2020 Traveling Fellow with a current exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, is represented in the sale, as are current Traveling Fellows Julia Csekö, AG13 (MFA), Thalia Berard, AG19 (MFA), and Michael Potecha, A10 (BFA).

Browsers and potential buyers can preview the art through an online catalogue, from a $50 ink-on-paper drawing to a $20,000 painting and everything in between, including sculpture, photography, and jewelry. Phone orders will be accepted in advance of the sale.

The 2023 SMFA Art Sale hours are Friday, December 8, and Saturday, December 9, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; and Sunday, December 10, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. SMFA at Tufts is located at 230 The Fenway, Boston. For questions, email or call 617-627-0053.


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