"Rhapsody", Copyright MakotoFujimura 2018, 7x11 feet, Mineral Pigments, Gold on Polished Canvas. Collection of Bucknell University
Fujimura wrote: "I am honored to have this painting be on permanent display at my alma mater Bucknell University in Lewisburg PA . 'Rhapsody' came about as I listened to Bucknell Orchestra play Gershwin's 'Rhapsody in Blue' in honor of Kenneth Freeman who lead the Trustees board as a chair, and to whom the new School of Management/Art+Art History Building at Bucknell is named."
Fujimura continues in his tribute: "Ken was a music major first at Bucknell and later switched to being a Business major, and, after an enormously successful career in business (including becoming a CEO of Quest Diagnostics), currently is the Emeritus Dean of Business School at Boston University. Gershwin's 'Rhapsody in Blue' is his favorite composition, so Bucknell orchestra played this piece in his honor.
When I heard the music being played live, this image floated in my mind. I conferred with President John Bravman on the spot about the possibility of me creating a piece in his honor. I executed this painting outside on a summer day at 2018, and then it was exhibited on loan at Columbia Art Museum in South Carolina until the building was finished.
The painting was recently installed in this brand new completed building; an innovative space that brings Art/Art History in the same space a the School of Management, a 'crazy' idea that came out of my conversation with another remarkable Board member Steven Holmes, a business entrepreneur; an idea that then board chair Ken Freeman championed. Holmes Hall entry of the building is dedicated to a large gift given by Steven. This type of intuitive integration, and collaborative making, should be a centerpiece at education at Bucknell University
I will be selecting every year, one student from Art/Art History school to mentor as part of the newly launched Fujimura Fellows program. The proceeds of this digital print will go toward Fujimura Fellows program at Bucknell."