2017 Awards and Fellowships

These prestigious awards and fellowships are juried by invited artists, curators, and cultural figures.

To be considered for theses opportunities you must:

  1. Read the criteria of each award carefully. You may cross-register artwork for multiple awards.
  2. Drop off and pick up your work between 10am - 4pm at Grossman Gallery on the dates listed below.
  3. Be prepared to exhibit your work as part of the Year End Show, April 28 - May 22.
    *Please note that this show overlaps with other events such as Cyclorama, Senior Thesis, and Review Boards. You must exhibit for the duration of the show.

Springborn Fellowship

Dr. Robert and Carolyn Springborn (BFA '76) have generously established a scholarship program to support students who have proven themselves to be excellent and highly motivated artists. The Springborn Fellowship program is the most prestigious undergraduate award at the SMFA. Through this program, the School will award tuition, fees and living expenses—$25,000 each to two undergraduate students moving in to their second, third, or fourth year of study.

Deadline Extended
Applicants must have a documented financial need for this award. Please email Shaun Thomas before 3/31/17 to determine if you are eligible. Following a review by the Financial Aid Office for eligibility, you will be invited to apply with details to follow. A three person independent jury will meet to review the submissions.

Eligibility: Approved through Financial Aid Office, Undergraduate, Full-time, Enrolled in Fall 2017
Submission Requirements: 2 works, artist statement
Drop-off Work: April 3, 10am - 4pm
Pick-up Work: April 5, 10am - 4pm

Yousuf Karsh Prize in Photography

The Karsh Prize (1st, 2nd, and 3rd place) is awarded annually to three talented students of photography. An outside jury awards the prizes in the spring and the winning works are included in the "Award Recipients and Graduating Students Exhibition". Winners will work directly with SMFA Exhibitions to re-print and frame their work for the Year End Exhibition.

Eligibility: Full-time student
Submission Requirements: 5 original printed photographic images, itemized checklist, artist statement (Only 1 exhibited)
Drop-off Work: April 3, 10am - 4pm
Pick-Up Work: April 5, 10am - 4pm

Dana Pond Competition

An annual painting competition held in early spring which honors three students who have done exemplary work during the preceding school year. 

Eligibility: Full-time student
Submission Requirements: Exactly 3 works in painting, broadly defined (Only 1 exhibited)
Drop-off Work: March 29, 10am - 4pm
​Pick-Up Work: March 31, 10am - 4pm

Will and Elena Barnet Painting Award

An annual prize given to a student whose paintings "embody the formal elements of painting, composition and the principles of structural design".

Eligibility: Full-time student
Submission Requirements: Exactly 1 work in painting, strictly defined
Drop-off Work: March 29, 10am - 4pm
Pick-Up Work: March 31, 10am - 4pm

Stella and Sumner Cooper Award

An annual prize for work in metals, glass and/or ceramics.

Eligibility: Enrolled in Fall 2017
Submission Requirements: 1-2 works in metals, glass, and/or ceramics
Drop-off Work: March 29, 10am - 4pm
Pick-Up Work: March 31, 10am - 4pm

Dean's Research Award

The Dean's Research Awards support extraordinary projects that might not otherwise be realized. They fund a wide range of ventures: new work, exhibitions, publications, related travel, research/materials, and much more. The sole purpose of these awards is to help SMFA students realize bold and important ideas.

Students may apply for multiple projects, although it would be rare for the committee to fund more than one project per person in a year's cycle. Collaborations are encouraged, but not required. The award does not exceed $1,000, with the average being $500.

All current students are eligible to apply. Submission details to be announced.

SMFA Traveling Fellowships

Since 1899, SMFA has given Traveling Fellowship Award (formerly Traveling Scholarship) travel grants that annually total $80,000 to $100,000 to select Museum School alumni. Among the largest endowed art school grant programs in the country, the Traveling Fellowship program provides each artist with traveling funds to further develop and inform their work, in addition to the opportunity to compete for a one person presentation of their work at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. The program has provided critical early career support for many notable graduates of the Museum School including Nan Goldin, Mike and Doug Starn, Ellen Gallagher, Omer Fast and recent graduates such as Cliff Evans, Leslie Hall and Rachel Perry.

In 1894, James William Paige left a bequest of $30,000 to the Museum School to establish a scholarship, the income of which would be used to send SMFA students to study art in Europe for a period of two years. This gift had a stipulation that an additional $10,000 had to be raised and added to the bequest. By 1899, the additional monies had been raised and the first traveling scholar, Mary Brewster Hazelton, sailed to Europe. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, award recipients typically traveled to Paris, Rome or Florence and received $800 per year for two years. These days, award recipients journey across the globe and each award is between $9,000 and $10,000.

Eugene C. Ward Memorial Scholarship 

Established by family and friends in memory of the late Gene Ward, former dean of Admissions. The Ward Memorial Scholarship accepts applications each Spring semester and the scholarship is awarded by a three-person faculty jury in the form of a tuition abatement for the following year. Eligibility: students must be continuing their studies at the School. This scholarship is awarded to a student who has shown "outstanding merit and commitment to their art in any media".

Timothy F. Nichols Drawing Breath Award

Presented to a student who sustains a constant, high level of effort and production both in class and outside. Awarded by Drawing area.

Skowhegan Summer Fellowship/Ann and Graham Gund Scholarship

SMFA at Tufts students are invited to attend the prestigious Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in central Maine. Any currently enrolled SMFA at Tufts student is eligible for the Ann and Graham Gund Fellowship once accepted to the Skowhegan program. Skowhegan is an intensive nine-week summer residency providing a concentrated period of work with the critical assistance of a faculty of resident and visiting artists. The Ann and Graham Gund Scholarship supports recipients of the Skowhegan Summer Fellowship who also attend the SMFA at Tufts.

Printmaking and Papermaking Awards

For outstanding work in print and paper media. Awarded by Print + Paper area.

Montague Travel Grant

This endowed grant is an international travel award designated specifically for SMFA at Tufts Master of Fine Arts candidates to further their studio practice and graduate study through research and investigation. All current full time MFA graduate students are eligible to apply. Preview the guidelines and explore trips from previous years.

Cecelia Siemen Scholarship

The Board of Trustees of the South Yarmouth Public Library Association is offering the Cecelia Siemen Scholarship in the visual arts to be awarded annually. The award of $3000 is aimed at advancing the study and knowledge of someone who is likely to make future contributions in the visual arts. The award is to be used to defray the recipient's institutional expenses at a college or art institute and will be paid to the successful applicant's school. To be eligible, applicants must have completed one academic year at a college by the end of the school year in which the scholarship is offered. There are no residency requirements. The application is available now on the Library's website.


Nationally Recognized Awards Frequently Received by SMFA Students:

The Joan Mitchell Foundation Award in Painting and Sculpture

SMFA has produced more Joan Mitchell MFA Grant Recipients than any other art school. Each year the Joan Mitchell Foundation Annual MFA Grant Program awards $15,000 to help MFA painters and sculptors in furthering their artistic careers. This prestigious national award has been received by 12l Museum School MFA Program students: Ahmed Abdalla, Evelina Brozgul, Heather Cox, Allan Doyle, Omer Gagnon, Ridley Howard, Amy Morel, Arlayne Peterson, Ayae Takahashi, Cullen Washington, Cobi Moules and Jamal Thorne.

Stephen D. Paine Scholarship

The Stephen D. Paine Scholarship was established in 1999 to support Massachusetts students entering their final year in studio art programs at colleges in the city of Boston. Interested BFA students must be entering their last full year of school and be receiving financial aid. Please send an email to Shaun Thomas to let him know you're interested in applying.

Click here to learn more about the Stephen D. Paine Scholarship »