Exhibitions at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University feature internationally recognized artists and curators as well as work by our celebrated faculty, alumni, and students.

Spring Invitational Exhibition and Events

The Ocean After Nature

January 26 – March 18, 2017
Grossman Gallery and Anderson Auditorium

“Our premise is that the sea remains the crucial space of globalization. Nowhere else is the disorientation, violence, and alienation of contemporary capitalism more manifest, but this truth is not self-evident, and must be approached as a puzzle, or mystery, a problem to be solved.” - Allan Sekula and Noël Burch, 2013

Hyung S. Kim, Kim Julja, Dodu Jeju, 2013. Courtesy of the artist.The Ocean After Nature examines how the seascape is shaped in an era when human beings have become the driving force in the development of the planet. Through the work of twenty artists and collectives, the exhibition explores new ways of representing the ocean as a means to identify and critique such interrelated and chaotic systems of power as land-sea divides, the circulation of people and goods, physical and psychological displacement, utopian mythologies, and the vulnerabilities of our ecosystems.

Left Image: Hyung S. Kim, Kim Julja, Dodu Jeju, 2013. Courtesy of the artist.

The works reveal how we make sense of the ocean today, and how politics, economies, and culture propel today’s planetary issues. They trace critical changes in our relationship with the natural world specifically through the frame of the ocean—the fluid network that connects vast parts of our environments, and the very site from which all life originates. Instead of offering direct solutions, The Ocean After Nature employs aesthetic imagination to encourage a rethinking of our place in the world.

Artists: Ursula Biemann, CAMP, Yonatan Cohen & Rafi Segal, Mati Diop, Drexciya, Peter Fend, Manuel Gnam, Renée Green, Peter Hutton, Hyung S. Kim, An-My Lê, Manny Montelibano, Deimantas Narkevičius, the Otolith Group, Ulrike Ottinger, Maria D. Rapicavoli, Carissa Rodriguez, Allan Sekula & Nöel Burch, Dimitra Skandali, Supersudaca, UNITED BROTHERS.

The Ocean After Nature is a traveling exhibition curated by Alaina Claire Feldman and produced by Independent Curators International (ICI), New York. The exhibition and tour are made possible, in part, with the generous support from ICI's International Forum and the ICI Board of Trustees. The presentation at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts and Tufts University Art Gallery has been organized in collaboration with Carol Stakenas, Guest Curator. 

ICI logo

Local Component
Evelyn Rydz: Floating Artifacts
January 25 – May 31, 2017
Tufts University Art Gallery
See more here.

Gallery Hours
Mon. – Sat: 10am-5pm; Wed.: 10am-8pm; Sun + Holidays: Closed
School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University
230 The Fenway, Boston, MA 02115


Opening Reception
Wednesday, January 25, 5pm–7pm
Grossman Gallery + Anderson Auditorium
Featuring live music performance by Lamin Fofana

Drexciya Redux: Sound in Conversation
Friday, February 17, 5:30pm
Anderson AuditoriumPanel discussion featuring Chino Amobi, Lamin Fofana, Simon Remiszewksi and Teodros Kiros, Moderators

Sound artists Chino Amobi and Lamin Fofana will discuss the relationship of their work to the sound collective Drexciya through the lens of African diaspora, race, and culture production. Moderated by Teodros Kiros, associate professor, Berklee College of Music with panelist Simon Remiszewski. Produced by Library Sounds with SMFA Exhibitions. 

Beckwith Lecture
Wednesday, February 22, 6:30pm
Anderson Auditorium
Featuring Alaina Claire Feldman

Alaina Claire Feldman is a curator and Director of Exhibitions at Independent Curators International (ICI). Feldman will speak about her experience producing The Ocean After Nature and the show’s global itinerary. Established in 1978 by Leo and Betty Beckwith, the Beckwith Lecture features curators and cultural thinkers of national and international stature.

Bodies of Water, Bodies of Knowledge
Thursday, February 23, 6pm 
Anderson Auditorium
Panel discussion featuring Fellows from the Mellon Sawyer Seminar at the Center for the Humanities at Tufts: Christina Sharpe, Nidhi Mahajan, Anna C. Cruz, and Khury Petersen-Smith

The Mellon Sawyer Seminar Fellows will present their research on works exhibited in The Ocean After Nature. Each panelist has produced scholarship on a major body of water, the Atlantic Ocean (Sharpe), the Indian Ocean (Mahajan), the Mediterranean Sea (Cruz), and the Pacific Ocean (Petersen-Smith). In collaboration with the curator the panelists have prepared research on objects in relation to their scholarly work in order to integrate the exhibition into Tuft’s own academic culture.  

View our spring Exhibitions Calendar here.
*Please note the date of Drexciya Redux: Sound in Conversation and Chino Amobi's performance has changed to Friday, February 17. 

Past Invitational Exhibition

Powers That Be, Cassils

"Breaking News: Cassils" featuring a solo exhibition by Cassils
September 15 - October 15, 2016 

Cassils, who the Huffington Post called “one of the ten transgender artists who are changing the landscape of contemporary art,” addresses mediated images of violence by calling into question the roles of the witness and the aggressor. The show will feature a dynamic re-presentation of Cassils' Powers That Be and Inextinguishable Fire, as well as the first exhibition screening of 103 Shots, a short film created in response to June's Orlando nightclub shootings.

SMFA at Tufts
Grossman Gallery and Anderson Auditorium
230 Fenway, Boston, MA 02115

Gallery Hours: Mon-Sat: 10am-5pm, Wed: 10am-8pm, Sun + Holidays: Closed

"Breaking News: Identity, Violence and the Media"
Sept. 14 from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m

This free panel discussion will focus on how re-enactments and recordings of hate violence impact society and how empathy can be triggered across differences of sexuality, race, nationality, and culture.  This event will commence with brief screenings of performance video by the artist Cassils, including Inextinguishable Fire and Powers That Be and conclude with a Q&A. Panelists will include: Cassils, whose solo exhibition opens at the SMFA, Mina Tsay-Vogel, Professor of Emerging Media, Boston University, Lionel McPherson, Professor of Philosophy, Tufts University, and Paige Gunning, Violence and Recovery Program at Fenway Health Alliance.

Henry and Lois Foster Gallery (Gallery 158)
The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA)

Admission at the MFA is free after 4 p.m. on Sept. 14

"Breaking News: Cassils" Opening Reception
September 16, 5-7pm
SMFA at Tufts
230 The Fenway