by Makoto Fujimura
At the Spring 2012 Graduate and BOLD Commencement Ceremony, contemporary artist Makoto Fujimura teaches on the life of painter Vincent van Gogh and the significance of one of his most beloved paintings, Starry Night. He analyzes this classic work and parallels it to the life of the church today, challenging graduates take advantage of this Genesis moment and to breathe new life into the church.
Makoto Fujimura is an artist, writer, and speaker who is recognized worldwide as a cultural influencer by both faith-based and secular media. A Presidential appointee to the National Council on the Arts (2003-2009), Fujimura has contributed internationally as an advocate for the arts, speaking with decision makers and advising governmental policies on the arts. Fujimura’s work is exhibited at galleries around the world, including Dillon Gallery (New York), Sato Museum (Tokyo), The Contemporary Museum of Tokyo, Tokyo National University of Fine Arts Museum and Oxford House, Taiku Place (Hong Kong). He has painted live on stage at New York’s legendary Carnegie Hall as part of an ongoing collaboration with composer and percussionist Susie Ibarra. A popular speaker, he has lectured at numerous conferences and universities, including the Aspen Institute, Yale, Princeton, the Q Conference, and IAM’s Encounter Conferences. IAM's seminal 2000 conference at New York University called "The Return of Beauty" featured Dr. Elaine Scarry ("Beauty and Being Just") and Dennis Donoghue ("Speaking of Beauty"). Fujimura’s second book, Refractions: A Journey of Faith, Art and Culture, is a collection of essays bringing people of all backgrounds together in conversation and meditation on culture, art, and humanity. Fujimura founded the International Arts Movement in 1992.