March 26, 2012

President John Bravman and artist Makoto Fujimura

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By Heather Johns

Lewisburg, Pa. — When Bucknell University President John Bravman walked into the New York City studio of alumnus and world-renowned artist Makoto Fujimura, he anticipated a friendly but brief meeting. But it wasn't until two hours later that the two concluded, reluctantly, their intense conversation about Fujimura's work and the intersections of art and science.

"One of Mako's specialties is painting with gold leaf," said Bravman, whose academic career is focused on materials science. "We got caught up in a discourse about the relationship between art and technology that I will never forget."

Bravman and Fujimura will explore how technology and the arts intertwine in the Bucknell Forum event, "Creative Engagement: The Questions Science and Art Ask of Each Other." It will be held on April 3 at 7:30 p.m. in Trout Auditorium of the Vaughan Literature Building. During the event, Bravman and Fujimura will interview each other about their views of creativity and invention as it expresses itself in art, science and technology, and will then take questions from the audience. The event, which is free and open to the public, will include the display of one of Fujimura's works featuring gold leaf.

The program will be broadcast on WVIA-TV on May 7 at 7 p.m. Additional airdates are May 10 at 8 p.m., May 12 at 10 p.m., May 18 at 8 p.m., May 20 at 7 p.m. and May 31 at 9 p.m.

The artist
Fujimura's accomplishments as an artist are recognized throughout the world, though his journey began at Bucknell. "I am grateful for the four years I spent at Bucknell, " said Fujimura, Class of 1983. "It was at Bucknell that I found myself drawn fully to my creative side and decided to try to make it as an artist." The University presented Fujimura with the Academy of Artistic Achievement Award in 2011.

Fujimura's work has been exhibited at galleries around the world, including New York City's Dillon Gallery, the Sen Art Gallery in Tokyo, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Tokyo, and the University Art Museum at Tokyo University of the Arts and Oxford House in Hong Kong.

In 2003, President George Bush recognized Fujimura's prominence in the world of art by appointing him to the National Council on the Arts. In 2009, he was commissioned to illustrate the King James Bible — the first single artist in more than 400 years to be asked to illumine all four Gospels.

The engineer
John Bravman became the 17th president of Bucknell University on July 1, 2010. An accomplished academic and administrator, he holds a tenured position in the College of Engineering's Department of Electrical Engineering.

He has written and taught primarily in the fields of materials structure and analysis, thin-film mechanical phenomena, microelectronic reliability and high-temperature superconductivity.

Early in his career, Bravman pioneered new applications of transmission electron microscopy to various studies of thin-film structures. He has coauthored more than 160 scholarly publications.

Most recently, Bravman developed a patented coating that may make coronary stents safer for heart disease patients.

The Bucknell Forum
Bravman and Fujimura's discussion marks the final event in the Bucknell Forum series "Creativity: Beyond the Box," which began in fall 2009. Guests have included nine-time Grammy winner John Legend, famed choreographer Twyla Tharp; Neri Oxman, the award-winning MIT architect and designer; Dan Roam, the innovative visual communicator and bestselling author; civil-rights activist, singer and "songtalker" Bernice Johnson Reagon; renowned Haitian-American author Edwidge Danticat; and puppeteer Kevin Clash.

The upcoming Bucknell Forum series, "tech/no," embraces the perils and promises of technology. The series, which starts in fall 2012 and will run through four semesters, aims to stir discussion about the pros and cons of technology, its benefits and damages, and its capacity to satisfy human need and desire even as it can bring risk and danger.

Since 2007, the Bucknell Forum speakers series has featured nationally renowned leaders, scholars and commentators who have examined various issues from multidisciplinary perspectives and a diversity of viewpoints. || Previous series events

Contact: Division of Communications


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