By B.C. Manion
Makoto Fujimura — an artist and Christian thinker — will be speaking on “Faith and Art” at Saint Leo University at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 29.
All are welcome to attend the free talk, which is scheduled to be at Selby Hall on the university campus in Saint Leo.
Fujimura, who has been featured in Christianity Today, World Magazine, The Wall Street Journal and Forbes, is the last to be featured in the University Speaker Series this year.
“We try to invite a broad spectrum of speakers from political leaders and scientists to journalists and authors,” Mary Spoto, the dean of the School of Arts and Sciences at Saint Leo University, said in an e-mail.
Fujimura’s visit follows the recent release of an illuminated, English Standard Version of The Four Holy Gospels by Crossway Publishing.
It also falls within the season of Lent.
“His focus for the evening is particularly appropriate as we think about Christ’s sacrifice and our faith at this time,” noted Spoto, an academic leader at one of the nation’s largest Catholic universities.
Fujimura, the founder of the International Arts Movement and a presidential appointee to the National Council of the Arts (2003-2009), is widely known as a cultural commentator.
He was featured on the September 2008 cover of Christianity Today as one of “The New Culture Makers.”
The Four Gospels, recently published by Crossway Publishing, includes original abstract paintings the publisher commissioned from Fujimura.
The illuminated paintings he created, unlike other illustrations, depict light shining from the page. It was a common technique in the Middle Ages, when texts and artworks were handcrafted.
But that practice was virtually abandoned when the invention of the printing press made mass production of manuscripts possible.
Thus, the illuminated works in The Four Holy Gospels marks the re-emergence of a lost tradition.
Fujimura also created unique lettering and embellishments for the book, so that his distinctive artwork is noticeable on every page.
The 2011 release of The Four Gospels coincides with the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible. The English Standard version uses contemporary language and is a direct descendant of the King James’ version of the Bible, according to Crossway.
A cloth-bound edition of The Four Gospels, which retails at $130, will be on display at the event.
Fujimura graduated from Bucknell University and received a Master of Fine Arts degree from Tokyo National University of Fine Art.
His paintings are regularly on exhibit in New York, Asia and Europe.
If you go:
What: Makoto Fujimura speaks on “Faith and Art”
Where: Selby Hall at Saint Leo University, 33701 SR 52, in Saint Leo
When: 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 29
How much: The event is free. All are welcome.