International Arts Movement
The White House announced on February 4th that New York artist Makoto Fujimura has been appointed by President Bush to a six-year term for The National Council on the Arts. The nomination will be forwarded to the Senate for final approval. Others appointed were: Jerry Pinkney, an artist/illustrator, Croton-on-Hudson, New York: Mary Costa, opera soprano, Knoxville, Tennessee and Karen Lias Wolff, Dean of the University of Michigan School of Music. Past members of The National Council on the Arts include Leonard Bernstein, Richard Diebenkorn, Duke Ellington, Helen Hayes, Charleston Heston, Harper Lee, Gregory Peck, Sidney Poitier, Richard Rogers, Rosalind Russell, David Smith, John Steinbeck, and Isaac Stern. The Presidential appointees are selected for their widely recognized knowledge of the arts, their expertise or demonstrated contributions in the arts. They have records of distinguished service or have achieved eminence in the arts. Makoto Fujimura was born in 1960 in Boston, Massachusetts. Educated bi-culturally between the US and Japan, Fujimura graduated from Bucknell University in 1983, and received an M.F.A. from Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music with a Japanese Governmental Scholarship in 1989. As an artist living and working from his studio near Ground Zero at the time of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York City; Fujimura was deeply affected by the tragic events of 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 work, Gravity and Grace, a collection of paintings formed of ground minerals including azurite, malachite and cinnabar, has been showcased at the Bellas Artes Gallery in Santa Fe, NM. His works can also be seen at Dillon Gallery in Oyster Bay, NY as well as Kristen Frederickson Contemporary Art in New York City. Public collections include The St. Louis Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art in Tokyo and the Time Warner/ AOL/ CNN building in Hong Kong.