Jeff Snyder

Jeff Snyder

Manhattan, KS, US


One Artist Museum: Makoto Fujimura

For the final project of my third year I was charged with designing a museum to display the work of
Makoto Fujimura, a celebrated Japanese-American painter. Fujimura employs layers of semitransparent precious minerals to create what he calls a “grace arena” that refracts light to the viewer. The effect is remarkable.

In light of this technique, I wanted the galleries to possess the subtle glow of natural light. The small New York City site did not afford much access to the sun. In order to work with this predicament, a series of large lightwells were created by pushing out the walls of the galleries and drawing light in from the top past the floor above. This space reflects and diffuses the light, illuminating the paintings below. 

Makoto Fujimura has aimed to do more than just create beautiful works of art over the course of his career. In addition to his art, Fujimura
founded an organization called the International Arts Movement (IAM) based out of New York City. IAM seeks to strengthen the connections within the artistic community through collaboration and interaction. By building these relationships, IAM wishes to “create the world that ought to be.” Over the course of a year, IAM has a number of events including a film series and lecture circuit. In response to Fujimura’s continued involvement with IAM, the museum’s program was altered to
provide space for the organization’s offices as well as a lecture hall and informal gathering spaces. This space will better enable Fujimura to work both as an artist and a collaborator.

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Status: School Project
Location: New York, NY, US