"It was at Bucknell that I found myself drawn fully to my creative side and decided to try to make it as an artist."

Makoto Fujimura has spent a lifetime dedicated to beauty, both creating it and exploring it in all its forms. "My paintings speak about creativity in general and what it means to see. When we observe a sunset or a flower, what do we really see?" he asks. "I don't mean just categorizing the object. There is something we see and experience that is inexpressible, at least beyond words, and that is what we often refer to as beauty."

As an artist working from his studio near Ground Zero before the September 11 terrorist attacks in New York City, Fujimura was deeply affected by the loss that day. He began to curate exhibits soon afterwards to encourage local artists in a project called TriBeCa Temporary.

His accomplishment as an artist, but also as an encourager of artists, has been recognized worldwide. Noted critic and artist Robert Kushner wrote, "The idea of forging a new kind of art, about hope, healing, redemption, refuge, while maintaining visual sophistication and intellectual integrity is a growing movement, one which finds Fujimura's work at the vanguard." Fujimura's prominence in the world of art was acknowledged in February of 2003, when Fujimura was appointed by President Bush to the National Council on the Arts.

Although he has studied extensively in Japan, Fujimura still recognizes the benefits of an education in a small American town. "I am grateful for the years I spent at Bucknell, reading the poetry of Blake in the library, walking on snowy days to the Art Barn and observing squirrel monkeys at the lab," he says. "I received a very broad education, and I also met my wife there, so I did well. It was at Bucknell that I found myself drawn fully to my creative side and decided to try to make it as an artist."

More information on Fujimura and his art can be found at www.makotofujimura.com.

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