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Whitworth Welcomes Celebrated Artist and Writer Makoto Fujimura

August 21, 2019
Whitworth University is proud to host acclaimed visual artist and writer Makoto Fujimura, the director of the Culture Care Initiative at Fuller Theological Seminary, on Thursday, Oct. 3, at 7 p.m.

Fujimura is a Japanese American artist, writer, speaker and former presidential appointee to the National Council on the Arts (2003-09). His talent, passion and ability to use beauty as a language of peace in intercultural dialogue have earned him the world’s top awards in art and literature and recognition as a cultural influencer.

Fujimura combines the ancient Japanese technique of Nihonga, in which mineral pigments like platinum, silver and gold are pulverized and mixed with Japanese glue, with abstract expressionism. He calls the process refractive “slow art.” His paintings have been showcased in galleries around the world including the Dillon Gallery in New York, Sato Museum in Tokyo and Vienna’s Belvedere Museum.

His books have won numerous awards including the Aldersgate Prize for Silence and Beauty (IV Press). In 2014, the American Academy of Religion named Fujimura as its Religion and the Arts Award recipient. This award is presented annually to professional artists who have made significant contributions to the relationship of art and religion, both for the academy and a broader public.

“Makoto Fujimura is one of the most relevant contemporary artists of his day,” adds Whitworth’s President Beck A. Taylor. “His renowned artistry combined with faithful religious motifs speak profoundly to how our Creator can be revealed through the arts. Makoto has been a good friend to Whitworth through the years, and we are grateful to welcome him back to campus.”

Fujimura founded the International Arts Movement in 1992, now IAM Culture Care, which oversees the Fujimura Institute. His commencement address at Belhaven University was hailed by National Public Radio as one of the “best commencement addresses ever.”He is the recipient of four honorary doctor of arts degrees and sits on the board of trustees at his alma mater Bucknell University.

Fujimura will spend the day with Whitworth students prior to his evening lecture in the Hixson Union Building (HUB). During the event Spokane artist Karen Mobley will be presented with Whitworth’s Board of Trustees Distinguished Community Service Award.

Mobley served at the City of Spokane’s art director from 1997-2012. She has also served as Artist in Residence at Laboratory in 2019 and the North Spokane Library in October 2017.

This event is free and open to the public. To learn more about Makoto Fujimura, please visit

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private liberal arts university affiliated with the Presbyterian church. The university, which has an enrollment of more than 3,000 students, offers more than 100 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.


Ruth Pells, executive assistant to the President, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4665 or

Trisha Coder, media relations manager, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4703 or