The other day I was talking to another DAT ambassador about the SMFA campus- its artsy vibes, the smell of coffee from the SMFA café, and the way the students dress. A Medford campus student, she told me she went to study at the SMFA once during finals season and could feel a shift in energy. All the students at Medford were stressed with finals; Tisch was about to burst. But at SMFA, she said, everyone seemed calm, even happy, carrying large paintings and walking from one studio class to another.
One of the main reasons I chose Tufts was that it allowed me to have both a BFA and a BS in the combined degree program. I wanted to be in an institution that valued art as much as I did, giving it a full dedicated program for students to thrive in. Even though the workload can be exhausting at times, I look forward to my 5 hour studio class on Digital Media on Fridays. The ride at 8 AM on the shuttle is always hard, as I am half asleep and dreading the commute, but that is a matter for another blog entry.
Today, after surviving the morning ride and getting my usual oat latte and almond croissant, I walked to our studio room with a classmate. We were talking about a video project we had due today. My classmate said this week had been extremely difficult with midterms, but that she was glad it was the weekend. I pointed out we still had 5 hours to get through. In between laughing, she said that she considered the class as part of her weekend. The SMFA class on Friday already felt part of the free days. The five hours today flew by. We spent about two hours critiquing our projects and discussing the reading due today- with both a 20 minute break and a laughter interruption caused by a friend that even made the professor laugh with us. Then we had our usual lecture, a workshop, and an introduction to our next project. I enjoyed every minute of it, asked a bunch of questions to my professor, and learned how to compose videos with green screens. Do not misunderstand me, I still feel tired at the end of the class, but I truly enjoy what I am learning. It is easy to spend five hours talking about art and doing the art you love with people who share the same passion. There could be alternatives for the curriculum, and we could get into a whole discussion about this, but again that is a matter for another blog post.
The SMFA feels different from the Medford campus at any time. It is its own environment full of people who dress and think creatively. The Medford campus has a special place in my mind, but the SMFA campus has my entire heart. With the MFA and the Sophia Gardner Museum next door, and access to Newbury’s coffee and bookstores at a walking distance, the SMFA is the perfect spot to let your ideas flow- or maybe to find a different study spot during exams.
I would dare to say that we, the students at SMFA, seem happy, and maybe not all of us are all the time- because, well, even artists are humans. We might be tired from the commute and from staying late finishing a video project, but we keep doing it for the love of art. We seem happy, or at least we are whenever we have the chance to be at SMFA creating and learning from other talented artists. We need to protect all the artist professors at all costs, since they are the ones holding the front and creating the armonious aura that surrounds this amazing art institute.
Whenever you can, take a trip to the SMFA. If you go on a weekday, I recommend getting a drink at the SMFA cafe and going to the library on the third floor. Afterwards, you could walk around the park to watch some ducks sailing across the lake. Close your trip taking a quick step into the MFA and travel through time looking at Greek, Medieval and Renaissance art. Of course, you can always take the shuttle or the T back. But I must warn you, you may run into the incredible difficulty of not wanting to leave.