Acclaimed Painter Comes to JBU Art Gallery

Siloam Springs, Ark. (April 4, 2007) - It is not everyday that an artist in the purest form comes along–an artist who not only expresses his thoughts and faith through his paintings, but through provoking essays. It’s also not everyday that you find an artist who combines ancient art forms with a contemporary message of hope amidst chaos, and American culture with Japanese culture. But then, internationally-acclaimed artist Makoto Fujimura is not an average artist.

Fujimura is coming to John Brown University on Thursday, April 12 to speak in the Cathedral of the Ozarks on JBU’s main campus in Siloam Springs at 10:30 a.m. Later that evening, an opening gallery reception will take place in JBU’s Art Building at 6:30 p.m. The reception will mark the opening of Fujimura’s “Splendor” exhibit at JBU. The public is welcome to attend the chapel and opening reception.

“Makoto is someone who is very thought-provoking, and who has very beautiful and unusual work,” Charles Peer, professor of art and design, said. “He has a deep faith that is shown through his work.”

Fujimura combines the ancient Nihonga tradition, a form of painting dating back to medieval Japan that uses metals and ground minerals. The compound is then applied to Kumohada paper with the impulses of abstract expressionism to create art that is in a class of its own. Fujimura’s dedication to his faith shines through his deeply moving work.

“In a world increasingly dominated by facile imagery, I aim to create images that hearken back to the original meaning of the word ‘medium,’ a word that was used to connote the presence of the Spirit,” the Boston native said in an article by the Sara Tecchia Roma New York art museum about his “Splendor” gallery. “To me, the Holy Ghost is the true medium for any human expression. Our lives are the artworks of the Spirit, and our art can flow directly out of this relationship.”

Fujimura graduated from Bucknell University in 1983 and received his MFA from Tokyo’s National University of Fine Arts and Music. He has also received an additional degree from the Japanese Painting Doctorate Program. He was the first outsider to be accepted into the prestigious six-year program. In 1992, Fujimura became the youngest artist to have work acquired by Tokyo’s Museum of Contemporary Art.

Fujimura has received acclaim in the U.S. as well as in Japan and all over the world. He has had galleries exhibited in the Sara Tecchia Roma Gallery in New York City as well as in the Sen Gallery in Tokyo, Japan. His works has been displayed in the Saint Louis Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art in Tokyo, and in the Time Warner/ AOL/ CNN building in Hong Kong.

Fujimura’s work will next grace the walls of the John Brown University Art Gallery with his collection entitled “Splendor.” The exhibit opens on Thursday evening, April 12 and runs through Saturday, May 5. The exhibit is free and open to the public. Regular art gallery hours are Monday- Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, 2 pm. to 4 p.m. JBU’s Art Building is located just northwest of the Cathedral of the Ozarks on J BU’s main campus in Siloam Springs.

John Brown University is a private Christian university, ranked sixth by U.S. News & World Report in the Southern Region. JBU enrolls more than 2,000 students from 40 states and 45 countries. JBU is a member of Arkansas’ Independent Colleges and Universities and the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities.

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