On Monday, April 28, the Cairn Arts Initiative welcomed artists Makoto Fujimura and Bruce Herman for a day of conversations in honor of the visual exhibit of the QU4RTETS Project hosted in the Connie A. Eastburn Gallery. The QU4RTETS Project is a collaborative response to T.S. Eliot’s poem Four Quartets in word, image, and music that contemplates the human experience of time, as well as faith’s response to the longing for eternity and redemption. This travelling exhibit, which opened at Baylor University in 2012, is a part of a collaboration between Fujimura, Herman, composer Christopher Theofanidis, and theologian Jeremy Begbie. The visual exhibit at Cairn showcases sixteen paintings by Fujimura and Herman.
In the morning’s Centennial Chapel, Fujimura challenged the University and guests from the community to explore the paradox of death and rebirth in the Christian life and to “practice resurrection.” After chapel, Dr. Jonathan Master, Director of the Center for University Studies, interviewed both Fujimura and Herman as part of the CUS Conversations video series. In the interview, Fujimura and Herman shared how Eliot’s poetry comforted them in the midst of personal crisis. Inspired by Eliot’s expression of the experience of loss and displacement, Fujimura and Herman formed an interdisciplinary collaboration with Theofanidis and Begbie. At an afternoon gallery talk and reception, the two artists discussed the works’ intimate relationship with Eliot’s poetry, as well as the dynamics of their creative process. Attention was drawn to the effects of the collaborative process, as the visual silences in Fujimura’s works complement Herman’s progression through the four seasons and stages of life.
In response to the day’s event, University President Dr. Todd Williams comments, “The QU4RTETS exhibit is a significant event for the Arts@Cairn. It is a manifestation of how the arts have taken root in the life of the University, brought new friends into our community, and opened up new opportunities for engagement beyond our campus. It is a joy to see our relationship with White Stone, Mako, Bruce, and so many others culminate in such an inspiring exhibit and event.” In honor of the QU4RTETS exhibit at Cairn, White Stone Gallery (the curator of this exhibit, as well as others across Cairn’s campus) hosted an exhibit of Fujimura’s and Herman’s works in their Philadelphia gallery this spring.
Cairn is honored to serve as the final host for this project before it leaves for Hong Kong this summer. The QU4RTETS Project is on display from March 1-May 17 in the Connie A. Eastburn Gallery. The gallery is open to the public from 8 am to 5 pm on Monday through Friday.
Watch the CUS Conversations interview with Makoto Fujimura and Bruce Herman.
Cairn University believes that truth, beauty, and goodness find their source in God and that artistic, creative endeavors manifest the divine image in humankind. Because of this, the University Arts Initiative seeks to integrate the creative arts into every student’s experience. In addition to special exhibits like QU4RTETS, the Arts Initiative also hosts visiting artist presentations, supports academic arts courses and programs at Cairn, and sponsors an integrated art gallery that exhibits fine art in every major building on campus.
In March 2023, Pennsylvania lawmakers introduced the Compassionate Aid in Dying bill (HB543/SB816). The bill is modeled after Oregon’s Death with Dignity Act, which has largely set the framework, in