All throughout high school, I dreamed of moving out of Texas to go to a university in the Northeast. I so badly wanted to experience living in a city with real seasons! My high school had an incredibly limited art program, so I knew I wanted a place that had a lot of different studio areas to offer and allowed me to explore new mediums. I was also really interested in liberal arts alongside art, so I began looking for programs where I could study art alongside subjects like astronomy, psychology, and art history.
I first learned about SMFA at Tufts during my hometown’s National Portfolio Day. At the last minute, I decided to go to SMFA’s booth since there was a shorter line—despite knowing very little about the school. After talking to the admissions counselors, I immediately knew SMFA at Tufts’ interdisciplinary fine arts program was a perfect fit for me. I remember Tom emphasizing the fact that SMFA wanted to see the work I’m most excited about in my portfolio (which seemed like the opposite of what I heard all day from other schools’ counselors).
I first visited the school for admitted students day in April and fell in love with everything about the building and studio spaces. I took short workshops in the print studio, where I learned how to use a printing press for the first time, and in the Advanced Production Lab, where I tried out a virtual reality landscape with a VR headset. I felt so incredibly welcomed by the studio managers who were running the workshops; now I get to work with those same managers daily at the school!
Each semester that I’m here, I find myself super excited for the classes I’m enrolled in. One of the most influential classes I took was “Introduction to Printmaking” co-taught by the beloved Peter Scott and Carolyn Muskat. I took this class during my very first semester and it completely transformed the direction of my art. I was introduced to all kinds of printmaking, including lithography, woodcut, stenciling, monoprinting, and etching! As someone who had never before worked in print making, I was so excited to see how my art style translated into this new way of working. I made SO many prints during that class that I was able to trade and sell to friends. I am absolutely in love with the medium and have and have taken 6 more classes in printmaking since my first one!
In my time here, I have met some of the most welcoming and understanding people throughout all the departments in SMFA. You really get to know everyone here; whether it be through your classes, end-of-semester Review Boards, clubs and organizations, or just by seeing the same familiar faces as you grab the café’s sausage, egg, & cheese breakfast sandwich (a student favorite). There is strong sense of community on campus, which makes meeting everyone here very accessible. This is a unique quality that comes with being part of a smaller program within the larger Tufts community.
Working in the ceramics studio to experiment with glaze mixing, getting inspired by our library’s Artist Books collection with our lovely librarians, and heading out to the courtyard to eat lunch with my friends in the beautiful weather of all the different seasons are all parts of my perfect day at SMFA—and the best part is my typical day looks just like this! Everything about SMFA at Tufts feels special and attainable to me.