Tufts University Logo GSAS

Search  GO >

this site tufts.edu people
 
GSAS GSAS    
 
Tufts University
Print

Public Art Archives

In May of 2012 the Tufts University Art Gallery launched a pilot for an outdoor public art program. The gallery hopes to continue this series with many more modern and contemporary sculptures to be installed in highly trafficked locations on the Medford campus.

Sponsored by the Tufts University Art Gallery, generous donations from individual donors and installation support from Tufts University facilities.

Past Public Art Installations

Human Tides (2016)

The Tufts University Art Gallery has commissioned internationally noted Argentine conceptual artist, photographer, and human rights activist Marcelo Brodsky to create a public art project entitled "Human Tides," which addresses the timely and vexing issue of contemporary migrations of people on every continent around the world. This public art project takes the form of a "billboard" located on the University's main campus in Medford-Somerville at the Mayer Campus Center on Talbot Avenue. Eight Tufts students participated in the artist's residency, which resulted in the creation of this artwork.

"Human Tides" will be formally launched at an outdoor public reception on Wednesday, June 15, from 3pm to 4:30 pm at the Campus Center's lower patio on Talbot Avenue. The project is funded in part by a grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, with matching funds from the School of Arts and Sciences and the Gallery's Contemporary Art Circle.

Download the Press Release >


InVisible (2015)

Tufts/SMFA student "flash collective," InVisible (2015), digital image printed on matte weather resistant poly fabric, 282" x 103"
 

Titled InVisible, this mural was created by a group of 12 undergraduate students from Tufts University and joint degree partner the School of the Museum of Fine Arts (SMFA). The project was initiated by the Tufts Art Gallery and the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service in the aftermath of recent deaths of unarmed people of color at the hands of police and in recognition of the growing "Black Lives Matter" movement. The group was asked to create a large-scale "billboard" for a public art site outside the Mayer Campus Center on Talbot Avenue that would address how race, privilege, and power operate in the world and on campus.

The group was guided by visiting artist Avram Finkelstein, who has worked for decades to create public responses to urgent political issues. Best known for his work around the AIDS crisis with the "Silence=Death" project and the artists' collective Gran Fury, Finkelstein was tapped to lead the project as a "flash collective," a model that he has developed in recent years. The "flash collective" brings a group of people together for a short amount of time – in this case just two days – to produce an artistic intervention in public space that allows for multiple opinions and perspectives to coalesce into one message.

Students were recruited through a call for applications and represent an array of extracurricular groups and academic disciplines at Tufts and the SMFA. The group discussed a wide range of topics that they care deeply about – including racism, homophobia, sexism, and policing – on these campuses and in the wider world. They grappled with the difficulties of alliances and representation, remaining conscious of the voices that were present in and absent from the group.

The resulting project uses one contemporary and two archival photographs taken on the Tufts campus, along with four lines of evocative text, to comment on the degrees of privilege, visibility, and safety available to various groups. In evaluations after the flash collective's work was completed, students responded that the process was an invaluable learning experience. Finkelstein told the group that this public art project was meant as "the opening sentence in a conversation" about these difficult topics.

To learn more about InVisible, visit the Art Gallery's Museum Without Walls outreach program and website.

Funded by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, the Tufts University Art Gallery's Contemporary Art Circle, the School of Arts, Sciences & Engineering Diversity Fund, and the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service.

Download the Press Release >



ABBY-TC5 (American, born 1966), Summer in New York, 2013, digital images of original aerosol art printed on banner, 8 x 23 feet.

Summer in New York (2013)
Acrylic on canvas
Artist: ABBY TC-5 (American)
9 x 20 feet
On loan from the artist. Sponsored by the Tufts University Art Gallery @ The Aidekman Arts Center

Graffiti artist ABBY TC-5 was invited by the Tufts University Art Gallery to create a billboard-size mural for a site adjacent to the Mayer Campus Center on Talbot Avenue, in conjunction with the Department of Drama and Dance's main fall production. The mural, titled Summer in New York, interprets the 2007 play "Welcome to Arroyo's" by Obie Award-winner and Pulitzer Prize-finalist Kristoffer Diaz, being directed by Tufts Assistant Professor Noe Montez for the Balch Arena Theater this fall (October 17-19, 24-26). This bold and colorful public art work references the play's main themes: the role of women (especially Latinas) in the worlds of hip hop, graffiti, and MCing, as well as the gentrification of New York's Lower East Side, where the play is set in 2004. ABBY has also been invited to contribute to the scenic design for the Tufts production of this play, the first to be produced at Tufts by a Latino playwright and a Latino director.

A native of Queens, NY and a graduate of the Art & Design High School in New York City, ABBY TC-5 is part of the graffiti collective "The Crazy 5" and one of the few women artists who originally made a name for herself tagging in the Bronx, subsequently in the San Francisco Bay Area, and now in Charlotte, NC.

ABBY TC-5 will visit Tufts on October 24 and 25 and will appear in a lunchtime conversation with Noe Montez on Friday, October 25. ABBY's visit is sponsored by a grant from the Nat R. and Martha Knaster Charitable Trust.

Download the Press Release >



ABBY-TC5 (American, born 1966), Summer in New York, 2013, digital images of original aerosol art printed on banner, 8 x 23 feet.

Summer in New York (2013)
Acrylic on canvas
Artist: ABBY TC-5 (American)
9 x 20 feet
On loan from the artist. Sponsored by the Tufts University Art Gallery @ The Aidekman Arts Center

Graffiti artist ABBY TC-5 was invited by the Tufts University Art Gallery to create a billboard-size mural for a site adjacent to the Mayer Campus Center on Talbot Avenue, in conjunction with the Department of Drama and Dance's main fall production. The mural, titled Summer in New York, interprets the 2007 play "Welcome to Arroyo's" by Obie Award-winner and Pulitzer Prize-finalist Kristoffer Diaz, being directed by Tufts Assistant Professor Noe Montez for the Balch Arena Theater this fall (October 17-19, 24-26). This bold and colorful public art work references the play's main themes: the role of women (especially Latinas) in the worlds of hip hop, graffiti, and MCing, as well as the gentrification of New York's Lower East Side, where the play is set in 2004. ABBY has also been invited to contribute to the scenic design for the Tufts production of this play, the first to be produced at Tufts by a Latino playwright and a Latino director.

A native of Queens, NY and a graduate of the Art & Design High School in New York City, ABBY TC-5 is part of the graffiti collective "The Crazy 5" and one of the few women artists who originally made a name for herself tagging in the Bronx, subsequently in the San Francisco Bay Area, and now in Charlotte, NC.

ABBY TC-5 will visit Tufts on October 24 and 25 and will appear in a lunchtime conversation with Noe Montez on Friday, October 25. ABBY's visit is sponsored by a grant from the Nat R. and Martha Knaster Charitable Trust.

Download the Press Release >



Autruche II (Ostrich II) (2010)
Bronze, ed
8/8, 67 x 19 ¾ x 25 inches
Artist: Quentin Garel (French, born 1975)
On loan from the collectin of Paul and Janice Price; Courtesy of the Bertrand Delacroix Gallery, New York, NY. Sponsored by the Tufts University Art Gallery @ The Aidekman Arts Center

Sited in a planter bed on a pedestrian walkway just downhill from the Tisch Library, French sculptor Quentin Garel's Autruche II (Ostrich II), 2010, greets visitors to campus and passersby in an unexpected way. Standing six feet high, this sculpture upends the expression "burying one's head in the sand." Walking past the raised bed, visitors are confronted and surprised by an ostrich's head looming above them, its body presumably buried in the planter bed.

This disquieting yet humorous sculpture is not what it appears to be. Garel's sculptural process begins as large charcoal drawings that are made and erased repeatedly, creating a palimpsest from which he carves models in wood and then casts in bronze. The unique patinas of his bronzes reflect the wood grain of the models; these lines make his sculptural surfaces look like drawings, create a sense of sinuous movement and depth. This work is on loan to Tufts for one year, courtesy of the Bertrand Delacroix Gallery, New York, NY. Quentin Garel lives and works in Normandy, France.



Artist Raul Gonzalez posing with Merrily...

Merrily... (2012)
Acrylic paint, color pencil, on plywood, 4 x 20 feet
Artist: Raul Gonzalez III (American, born 1976)
On loan from the artist
Sponsored by the Tufts University Art Gallery @ The Aidekman Arts Center

Painter Raul Gonzalez III devises satirical, engaging narrative tableaux that blend comic-book characters of his own invention with imagery derived from early 20th century Mexican popular and graphic arts. In this five-panel painting titled Merrily..., commissioned for this site, Gonzalez sets his child-like protagonists, or "UFOs," adrift on a stylized Rio Grande River (reminiscent of Japanese ukiyo-e prints), lead by a calavera (a skeletal spirit)—wearing a coyote mask. The Chicano artist, who grew up along the Texas-Mexico border, asks us to think about whether border crossing does in fact lead to a better life, where "life is but a dream."

A native of El Paso, Texas, Gonzalez has lived in the Boston area since 2001. He is the recipient of the prestigious Artadia Award for emerging artists and a Massachusetts Cultural Council Award in Drawing.

To hear the artist speak about his work, dial 1-617-449-7520, then press 203.


Listen to our guided tour stops here:

STOP 203: Raul Gonzalez's Merrily..., Raul Gonzalez



Artist Leslie Fry posing with Colossal AcornHead.

Colossal AcornHead (2012)
Bronze, edition 1/5, 30 x 60 x 30 inches.
Artist: Leslie Fry (American, born 1954)
Installation: May 2012 - Present
Location: Raised tree-bed downhill from Tisch Library
On loan from the artist

Sculptor and public artist Leslie Fry's work fuses natural
and human forms into magical mutations such as Colossal AcornHead, a "colossal" bronze nut — embellished with facial features inspired by ancient Assyrian, Thracian, and Archaic Greek art and other details from Medieval architecture, foliage, and fruits — that appears to have serendipitously fallen from the tree overhead.

Fry divides her time between studios in Vermont and Florida. She received a B.A. from the University of Vermont, an M.F.A. from the Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts at Bard College, and attended the Central School of Art and Design in London.

Read "Acorn Man" >
published in TuftsNow on May 14

Read "Carving out a Career: Leslie Fry's art connects nature, humanity, fantasy, and architecture" >
Vermont Magazine, May/June 2012


Listen to our guided tour stops here:

STOP 202: Leslie Fry's Colossal AcornHead, Emily Monty, MA2013, Art History, Tufts


Current Public Art Installations >