Attending an Art High School gave me the opportunity to cultivate my passion for the arts. I knew I wanted to attend an art school but didn’t know what I wanted my education to look like being a first generation student. It was in one of my art classes that an SMFA representative gave his vivid enthusiastic speech on the school that I knew his life was invested in. I knew I needed to work on my portfolio because it was a school that intrigued my curiosity. A portfolio that detailed my stories, the ones I wanted to share with the world, and explore my own purpose. It was a satisfactory feeling that art schools wanted to look at my work, that my portfolio was my second voice apart from the essays I wrote for them. I knew my story didn’t just stop with words. It translated into the surreal paintings, political sculptures, and my photography that I spent my senior fall semester putting together with the help of my art teachers.
Weeks have gone by since my first college experience happened, and I can say that the SMFA environment has changed my perspective on what art school was going to be like. I didn’t expect the weather to be incorporated in my paintings so fast and silently. It crept up on me, when I realized that I was romanticizing the idea of seasons. I’ve never seen the leaves change right in front of me. The wind blowing the dandelion seeds right across the outspoken greens in the pathway I take in the mornings from the freshman dorm located at Beacon Street to SMFA, about a 20 minute walk.
Then came the rain that poured down on The Fens, rich with living life just located outside of SMFA. The white spotted, black and brown geese that stopped the cars in the streets while they roam in their habitat. The working people who move their feet with a rapid pace to catch up with their busy schedules, college students riding their bicycles along the shorts curbs and thin streets, the butterflies that flew along with me, and the life of the city I had left behind was consumed by new properties. The T (green line) that seem so old to me in the design of it became a new adventure to ride in. I couldn’t wait to explore the transportation system. I was so used to the buses from the 81 to the 200 in Los Angeles that I didn’t have to look at maps, I knew when it was coming and where the buses and trains would take me.
SMFA has given me the opportunity to expand my art practice, as all I worked with was acrylics in high school. I didn’t know that I was going to enroll myself in my small metals and sculpture classes. The metals that I’ve been using have become familiar now, I know how to work with them, it takes patients and lots of studio hours for my ideas to come to life. I’ve taken advantage of the open studios that are open until 10 PM on weekdays and open on the weekends for 6 hours in the day. This is all I ever wanted in high school--to work in my art, to dedicate my time in my art, to become my own freedom, an independent college student who would pour his life into his work.
SMFA became my home. While exploring the relatively small building, it holds much more than what you can capture by looking at its entrance. The individual settings each class is held in and the professors that are passionate about their work. It makes me just want to come to open studio all day, and to catch something to eat at the SMFA Cafe and eat it at The Fens. Surrounded by water and the insects that bring me into my own peace. I can spend hours, sitting there and staring into the sky sketching my new creation, that ones that have filled me with comfort.
I’ve also interviewed another freshman, Madelyn Perez, (BFA Student) and here is what she had to say about SMFA at Tufts:
Why SMFA at Tufts from all the colleges that you applied to?
I chose SMFA at Tufts because it seemed liked the place where I would feel most comfortable in and the place where I could learn without having to worry about being perfect or fitting into this certain type of person.
What class or classes are you most excited for at SMFA?
I’m really excited for VISC and Moving image because those are my two favorite classes at the moment.
What materials have you used that you never imagine using?
I used a Bolex camera which was something I never thought I would have been able to use before.
In your opinion, how is the art community at SMFA?
I feel like everyone has their own idea of what art is and it’s personal to their own experiences, which in turn creates a very colorful art community at the SMFA. The art community at SMFA is amazing because everyone gets to express who they are and they get to make any type of art they want.