Midwest show discussion question

Page 1 of 5 1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Midwest show discussion question

Post  ChandlerBonsai on Sun Aug 19, 2012 1:34 pm

First time posting here. I've been involved in the bonsai scene for many years & have been a member of several midwest clubs. I have always enjoyed the trees exhibited at the Midwest show. This year was interesting and so I decided to post here to get some perspective.

The winning tree in the professional division caught my attention. Very dynamic, very cool tree in a very old pot. It was also displayed at the 3rd National show in Rochester as an exhibit only entry. It is a well known tree which was styled and maintained by Ryan Neil. Until June this year I believe it resided in his garden. It was then transported to a new home....I believe in Michigan. Also displayed this weekend was a needle juniper which also resided in Oregon and was also displayed in Rochester.

I am encouraged that trees like this are out there and are able to be enjoyed by the bonsai community regardless of origin or ownership.

So, the question. Why/how/should this tree wind up competing in a regional show? Sure it was in the professional category, but really? Trees like this should be displayed and enjoyed without question, regardless of who owns them or where they came from. I simply question the regional competition element.

Secondly, the critique. It is discouraging that the trees health had declined since June and it was displayed with sub-par elements. The accents, slabs and stand did not do the tree justice.

Should we be worried that this kind of material will be lost on those without the capability to maintain/display in a manner fitting the caliber of the material? It would be a shame to see this kind of material and not enjoy it as throughouly as a result.

http://ibonsaiclub.forumotion.com/t11130-mid-america-bonsai-show-the-chicago-botanical-gardens


Thanks for reading. Best Regards
DC


http://ibonsaiclub.forumotion.com/t11130-mid-america-bonsai-show-the-chicago-botanical-gardenshttp://ibonsaiclub.forumotion.com/t11130-mid-america-bonsai-show-the-chicago-botanical-gardens

ChandlerBonsai
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: Midwest show discussion question

Post  handy mick on Sun Aug 19, 2012 2:19 pm

Hi DC, welcome.

It is fantastic that you had the chance to see this tree and others like it.
I think that when a tree of this caliber that you speak off is competing it should only be competing with others in its own level, you mentioned that it was owned by Ryan Neil at it's best, I could not compete with that, that is why I can't wait for his visit here in May next year.
It is a shame that the tree is on a decline since being sold to its new owner but I don't think there is much any of us non owners can do about that.

Regards
Mick

handy mick
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: Midwest show discussion question

Post  DreadyKGB on Sun Aug 19, 2012 5:00 pm

Chandler,
I saw this tree at the National show and here in Chicago and agree with you about the health part. This tree should have been let rest after being in Rochester and not shown again this year or maybe for two. On the idea of it being shown in a regional show I think that part is fine by me. It is great to have serious professional bonsai artists and their trees in these shows to promote the quality of material in the shows and provide inspiration to the club members and anyone who is interested in bonsai. I do understand your point though and do think it closes off the best in show award for most if not all regional club members.

Todd

DreadyKGB
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: Midwest show discussion question

Post  Todd Ellis on Sun Aug 19, 2012 5:26 pm

Wouldn't it be nice if every tree displayed in a show, regional or otherwise - professional or novice, could be displayed in a tokonoma, with antique stand, scrolls, etc.? The only way that people learn to grow better bonsai is to see the really good trees; something to aspire to. Even a tree in "decline" has something to teach; such is the cycle of life. I wonder if the "decline"comment was meant to indicate that the new owner is not taking care of the tree properly; or is it in this tree's cycle to not look its best at this time of year? I know that many of my deciduous trees look "in decline" during this time of year, despite adequate watering, feeding, shade requirements, etc. More information on this tree would be helpful.
Best,
Todd

Todd Ellis
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: Midwest show discussion question

Post  cbobgo on Sun Aug 19, 2012 5:56 pm

I have been a member of the midwest club for over 10 years, though I don't live there any more. The midwest show is not just a regional show. People come from all over for that show. Bonsai professionals from New York to Minnesota to Louisiana come there and display trees in the professional category. If this tree is now owned by someone in Michigan, I would say it would be completely appropriate to show it there.

- bob



cbobgo
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: Midwest show discussion question

Post  Treedwarfer on Sun Aug 19, 2012 6:24 pm

Todd Ellis wrote:Wouldn't it be nice if every tree displayed in a show, regional or otherwise - professional or novice, could be displayed in a tokonoma, with antique stand, scrolls, etc.?

Hmmm, why? Given that, even if there were enough genuine antique stands to go around, most people can't afford one, showing trees would be only for the elite. To the Japanese audience, tasty scrolls mean something - they can read the script and understand the significance of the subject and the subtlety of the brushwork. In general the western audience does not. Besides, the principle behind a traditional tokonoma display is to isolate and complement the tree. Things have come to a sorry state if we in the west can't figure out our own ways of achieving the same end or, worse, prevented from showing our art by some arbitrary adjudicators unless we conform to to an alien tradition.

Treedwarfer
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: Midwest show discussion question

Post  John Quinn on Sun Aug 19, 2012 8:22 pm

Trees like this should be displayed and enjoyed without question, regardless of who owns them or where they came from. I simply question the regional competition element.

Regional shows can only benefit from having top notch materials on display, whether it is included in the judging or not.

_________________
"Eschew obfuscation"

John Quinn
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: Midwest show discussion question

Post  Ryan B on Mon Aug 20, 2012 3:34 am

I agree John. And I think the pot sucks for the tree, personally, it's very distracting, which is really saying something for such a powerful tree. When there is a haphazard mondo grass tossed in a corner, visible tie down screws and anodized aluminum staining on the deadwood, as well as a decline in health, we're no longer talking top notch bonsai. Too notch material, yes. But sloppily displayed bonsai, and there's. I excuse for that. There were better trees at this exhibit that didnt get the marks they should have because PW didn't want to seem to show favoritisism and and politics, and its bs, but it was the right decision on PWs part. A shame, but the discussion would probably have been much more acerbic, had a any other tree taken a top prize...we would be arguing that this one should have!!
And while originally styled by Ryan, the tree has been worked significantly by the caretaker employed by the new owner, not a pro. How in the world was this tree admitted into the pro category? I have trees I bought that we're originally grown and styled by pros, but I've wired and designed them myself(occaisionally with a little help)....can Enter these into the professional category at the next Midwest show? Can't wait.
Ryan
http://japanesebonsaipots.net/
http://japanesebonsaipots.net/


Last edited by Ryan B on Mon Aug 20, 2012 5:09 pm; edited 3 times in total (Reason for editing : Politics)

Ryan B
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: Midwest show discussion question

Post  Treedwarfer on Mon Aug 20, 2012 5:10 am

In principle, the best tree in the show should win the prize, regardless of ownership or history. This is, of course, unfair on amateurs or those who can't afford to pay for professional care for their trees. The national Exhibition, and the Art and Artisan exhibition on Portland OR next October, are open exhibitions of bonsai. If your tree's good enough it gets in and is judged along with all the others, and that's how it should be. Regional shows are another matter because they have been developed by, and have historically catered for amateur bonsai enthusiasts via the club network. The inclusion of 'professional' trees is recent. Amateurs sometimes feel short-changed, and understandably so. But refusing professional exhibits would be a dis-service to the enthusiasts and the paying public.

In Europe open exhibitions are a dime a dozen, so are bonsai professionals. Regional events are still well attended and the exhibitions of high quality, but the professionals tend not to complicate matters by showing trees. But in Europe there are many times more bonsai enthusiasts per square mile than in America, and more professionals per square bonsai enthusiast, so parallel events are sustainable. In the Mid West the bonsai population is so widely dispersed that an independent open exhibition could only be successful at the expense, and possible demise, of the regional show.

Perhaps a compromise might be splitting the one show into two physically separate exhibitions (open and amateur) in the same venue which are judged and awarded separately?

BTW: Who's PW?

Treedwarfer
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: Midwest show discussion question

Post  Tim Priest on Mon Aug 20, 2012 5:40 am

My Client purchased this tree from Ryan Neil in September of last year. It was then transferred into my care after the National show in June. The tree has not declined in health what so ever since then. I did nothing to the tree other then minor trimming and in fact It was in fact it was slightly over grown. And yes, though I am not a professional, I have had one of my trees accepted into the National show this year, and have had a number in the top 10 in Chicago over the past 10 years that I have been doing Bonsai. It was put into the Professional category because it was designed by a professional. Would you rather it gone into the open category because it was owned by a non professional? Then I would have had to hear people complain and cry that I entered a ringer. As far as not thinking it should be allowed to be put in the Mid west show because it was in the National show and too high of a caliber.... well, there were at least 3 other trees that were in the National show and also Chicago, but I had heard of no mention of them here.This all seems like ramblings of a cry baby that got beat out. If you are going to compete in the pro category then you better expect to play with the big boys no matter where they come from. As far as not liking the pot...... All I can say is that Ryan Neil hand picked the 300 year old pot specifically for that tree. So if you have issues with pot selection..... I suggest you tell Ryan which happens to be one of if not the best bonsai artist in this country, that you think he Sucks!!! My bet is on Ryan. As for the display table.... yes it is about 2 lousy inches too big for the tree..... Tables are hard to find.... and yes the accent was not perfect but it was the only one I had that would not be dwarfed by the tree. In any matter...... The tree as it was presented..... By Me.... Killed everything else there.... so if you think it sucked.... everything else sucked more! Last note...... I was at the show all weekend and everyone knows me...... so next time... man up and tell me to my face what you think instead of hiding behind some fake name on a forum.

Tim Priest
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: Midwest show discussion question

Post  Tim Priest on Mon Aug 20, 2012 5:51 am

What I forgot to mention is that My client is in Hospice care and wanted to have his two trees that he obtained from Ryan to be entered into the show. He did not want them put in the open category, which him as a non pro, ethically could do, because many others have. But he and I decided, because it was designed by Ryan, that it should go into the pro category. I take it you guys have heard of the Kokufu Bonsai Exhibition???? Rich, non professional, armatures, purchasing trees from professionals that are also cared for and submitted by them into a show for armatures only.... Same thing..... Deal with it.

Tim Priest
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: Midwest show discussion question

Post  marcus watts on Mon Aug 20, 2012 7:22 am

haha..........as more people begin to enter their trees into judged shows this thread will re-occure many times - losers always seem to blame the judges, the rules, the weather or any other excuse they think may make their case stronger.

The show organisers need to be firm and clear at the selection process and not try and sit on the fence pleasing everyone..........Professional means you charge money and earn your living from something - the catagory should be for all trees owned by, or regularly maintained by paid individuals. Personally I think trees in this catagory are nice to see as the benchmark for hobbyists to aim for. Amateur status is all others -and there are some amateur hobbyists that are far better than many self taught pros, so it can only be a good thing if a few better trees were in the amateur section to show both sides of the hobby, nothing better than keeping the pros on their toes.......... Very Happy .

The scenario of a rich guy buying one or two trees and then paying someone to drag them around the country from show to show building up a pile of awards occurs from time to time, and it is boring for viewers and shows no respect for the tree or its health. I personally think it is pathetic too, as the owner will often not have the skills needed to maintain the tree or the understanding of bonsai at all. (To want to own them for personal enjoyment, pay someone to maintain them etc is absolutely fine but to want to over use the trees for ego is wrong-----and all so often it is the maintainance pro's ego that gets a bit carried away). I sometimes question the people maintaining these trees too......if they really cared for the actual bonsai they would not be also treating the tree this way, advising the owners to rest trees up more, let them relax and grow out for a few years etc

The entire problem is so easy to resolve though - One tree should only be able to win the same show award once in its life, and then be exempt from that show for 3,5 or 10 years whereafter it could be entered for viewing only. Judged trees in National shows should all be new ones, and once seen (win or lose) should be exempt for 5,7,10 yrs............the 'Mr 2 tree' individuals dont dominate the judged scene for long then.

i dont think show organisers, judges, viewers and competitors will ever all agree though

cheers Marcus


marcus watts
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: Midwest show discussion question

Post  Leo Schordje on Mon Aug 20, 2012 8:31 am

@ Marcus Watts
The hypothetical scenario you suggest where the wealthy amateur hires someone to drag a tree from show to show only for personal glory, gathering awards, is not appropriate to apply to Tim Priest nor his client. This tree went to only 2 shows, period. And I personally looked at the tree and chatted with Tim, the tree appeared in excellent health to my eye. It was clear Tim and the owner has a great passion for this tree and bonsai in general. They were excited about the tree and wanted to share it by allowing it to be shown. Unless you know these people personally, its really not very fair to question their motivations.

You can have the finest tree in the world, but if it is never shown, what's the point? Nobody would have a chance to enjoy it, or learn from it.

@Todd, the Chicago show has always considered itself a 'national' show. It is one of a very short list of shows where ANYONE from ANYWHERE can enter a tree. You do not have to belong to the Midwest Bonsai Society nor do you have to belong to any group at all. I began attending this show back around 1980 and have only missed seeing one or two of them. The three separate judging levels, professional, amateur, and novice really solve more fairness issues than they create. Tim was really being overly fair by entering it in the professional category, because it had been so recently worked on by Ryan.

I thoroughly enjoyed the show, everyone I talked to was friendly and informative. This show is one where I agreed that the 'Best of Show Professional' and "Best of Show Amateur" choices by the judge were the same as the ones I would have picked. Some years in the past I looked at the best in shows and said Why? Most years I agree with the judges choices, but judging is subjective, and not everyone will agree on the choices made by the judges.

Leo Schordje
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: Midwest show discussion question

Post  DreadyKGB on Mon Aug 20, 2012 1:00 pm

Leo,
I agree with you that It really adds to the show to have bonsai from anyone entered and I also think that it a good way to balance the scales by having the three category levels. But I also think that the owners of trees need to utilize the honor system when they enter trees into the show, which Tim and the owner of the tree have done here. I feasibly could have entered this tree as a novice tree were I the owner but what really would be gained for me? I love this tree and the elm that also won. It really was a great show and there were great trees to promote the love of bonsai and push novices, amateurs, and professionals alike to aspire to create better bonsai.

Todd

DreadyKGB
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: Midwest show discussion question

Post  Tim Priest on Mon Aug 20, 2012 1:51 pm

Thank You Leo. I talked with Peter after and asked him if he thought the tree was in good heath and he told me other then it needed a tiny bit more trimming that it was perfect and taken care of well. Marcus as far as our shows go....... Any trees that are displayed in our National show are not allowed to be displayed again. Also in the Chicago show show which is one of the largest in the US and of the highest caliber, if a tree in the open category wins best of show, it can only ever be entered in Professional and if a tree takes first in professional it can only ever be displayed as exhibition only, which again I intend for everyone's enjoyment to put in next year. Again I would never do anything detrimental to any of mine or My clients trees...... I stay in very close contact with Ryan Neil and he said it was fine to put the tree in the Chicago show after it had been in Rochester 2 months prior. If all the complainers on here are all upset and crying this year....... wait till you see what you will be competing against in 2014...... Better get your hankies ready......

Tim Priest
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: Midwest show discussion question

Post  Tony on Mon Aug 20, 2012 2:56 pm

Marcus has a good point, a tree should be 'excluded' from showing if it has 'won' in a show for at least three years. At the Noelanders Trophy NO tree can be re-exhibited at the event within a three show time frame. The problem with organising a show if if there are NOT many trees to choose, so what can an organiser do except accept any good tree respective of repetition ... also the viewing 'bonsai' public would rather see 'new' trees than frequently shown trees.

_________________
Tony Tickle.. "that's not your real name is it?"

‎"Study me as much as you like, you will never know me, for I differ a hundred ways from what you see me to be. Put yourself behind my eyes, and see me as I see myself, for I have chosen to dwell in a place you cannot see." — Rumi

Visit Tony's Bonsai website

If you Tweet?

Tony
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: Midwest show discussion question

Post  Treedwarfer on Mon Aug 20, 2012 3:32 pm

Seems to me that the problem here isn't the inclusion of a professional category, but the inclusion of amateur categories. There will always be a friction caused by disputed qualification in one category or another. So perhaps the question should be viewed from the opposite angle: Should there be categories at all? Since it is the tree that wins the award, not the owner, and the best tree should always win, doesn't including categories just confuse the matter? Isn't the goal of any amateur to improve their trees to such a level that they can be accepted for a major show? I realize that this could be regarded as a slap in the face of amateurs and the club-based organizers, but should "political correctness" be allowed to hold back the overall quality of displays at large events? Shouldn't novice and amateur growers have to work their way up through minor shows before exhibiting in a major one? This is how things are handled in most other fields of endeavor.

Bonsai is still in the developmental stage in this country, and we are now at the crossroads where a decision has to me made that can set the formula for bonsai exhibitions for years to come. It would be a shame to let sour grapes and overly PC thinking now to spoil it for the future.

Treedwarfer
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: Midwest show discussion question

Post  drgonzo on Mon Aug 20, 2012 3:51 pm

tony wrote:The problem with organising a show if if there are NOT many trees to choose, so what can an organiser do except accept any good tree respective of repetition ... also the viewing 'bonsai' public would rather see 'new' trees than frequently shown trees.

The Ego of the owner or artist is luckily not on display at show time, yet it seems that it may present itself after a show.

We had a similar issue a while back with one forum member crying foul that a tree was "suspect" and only recently purchased from a master, then displayed in Rochester.

It is exactly this sort of foolishness that keeps specimen trees in private collections from being shown. At least it does so for my trees. I would feel awful if I entered a "purchased" specimen into a show and was then chided on a public forum for doing so.

It's a shame when it winds up being more about "people" and less about "tree"
-Jay

drgonzo
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: Midwest show discussion question

Post  Poink88 on Mon Aug 20, 2012 3:54 pm

Treedwarfer wrote:...Since it is the tree that wins the award, not the owner, and the best tree should always win, doesn't including categories just confuse the matter? Isn't the goal of any amateur to improve their trees to such a level that they can be accepted for a major show? ....Shouldn't novice and amateur growers have to work their way up through minor shows before exhibiting in a major one?
I am in this line of thinking. Not to work their way up thought, but the tree must pass certain criteria as juried show would be befitting the standard of the show (local, regional, national, international, etc.) to enter.

Poink88
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: Midwest show discussion question

Post  coh on Mon Aug 20, 2012 4:36 pm

Am I the only one who finds the tone of these kinds of threads somewhat depressing? Especially the bit quoted below...one of the saddest things I've ever read here. No wonder people keep their trees to themselves and stay away from the club and exhibition scene.

Tim Priest wrote:..... All I can say is that Ryan Neil hand picked the 300 year old pot specifically for that tree. So if you have issues with pot selection..... I suggest you tell Ryan which happens to be one of if not the best bonsai artist in this country, that you think he Sucks!!! My bet is on Ryan. As for the display table.... yes it is about 2 lousy inches too big for the tree..... Tables are hard to find.... and yes the accent was not perfect but it was the only one I had that would not be dwarfed by the tree. In any matter...... The tree as it was presented..... By Me.... Killed everything else there.... so if you think it sucked.... everything else sucked more! Last note...... I was at the show all weekend and everyone knows me...... so next time... man up and tell me to my face what you think instead of hiding behind some fake name on a forum.

coh
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: Midwest show discussion question

Post  Treedwarfer on Mon Aug 20, 2012 4:41 pm

coh wrote:....No wonder people keep their trees to themselves and stay away from the club and exhibition scene.

Don't confuse the club scene with the exhibition scene - they are distinct. In the main, those who show at higher level exhibitions (and often have to lay an exhibitors' fee) are usually grown up enough to accept open competition. The club scene, however, always has and probably always will be riddled with politics and petty envy. That's just human nature.

Treedwarfer
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: Midwest show discussion question

Post  ChandlerBonsai on Mon Aug 20, 2012 5:02 pm

Please re-read my post. It was objective and open for discussion. This was an interesting tree and a very unique situation based upon my past experience with observing and enjoying this show. The resultant discussion is a great reason why I seldom partcipate in anything on line.

The best tree did win, which is a reflection on the professional artist Ryan Neil. However, the composition was lacking thought and like it or not this is a reflection of the person's ability composing the display and their ability.

I fully support better trees, and I am glad they are available for viewing. We can all learn much by spending the time to view and discuss them. So be it if people purchase and exhibit. In the end I suppose it matters little.

Bonsai is an art form that is at its if a high degree of professionalism, decorum and humility are observed by all. Name calling, accusitory references and "Man up" directives etc have no place.

Mr. Preist,
Now that a lack of humility & decorum has been established. We will all look forward to your delivering upon the assertion to bring something better in the future. You did mention you placed in the "top 10 for 10 years" at this show, as I recall in a non professional class. I would like to challeng you to put your professional "hat" on as it were and deliver a composition worthy of the tree. It is usually unproductive to armchair QB, as I have no access to this caliber of material and I do not know the owner BUT, I certainly would have slected a caretaker with more demonstrated ability and reviewed resumes with a bit better credentials before turning over a tree like this one.

Best regards, Sorry to learn of the owners poor health.
DC


ChandlerBonsai
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: Midwest show discussion question

Post  Tim Priest on Mon Aug 20, 2012 5:16 pm

Treedwarfer this is very true....... The artist is not being judged but the tree is......


Last edited by Tim Priest on Mon Aug 20, 2012 5:50 pm; edited 1 time in total

Tim Priest
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: Midwest show discussion question

Post  Tim Priest on Mon Aug 20, 2012 5:25 pm

Coh, I am sorry you took offence to my post. I welcome CC but when attacked, I strike back.


coh wrote:Am I the only one who finds the tone of these kinds of threads somewhat depressing? Especially the bit quoted below...one of the saddest things I've ever read here. No wonder people keep their trees to themselves and stay away from the club and exhibition scene.

Tim Priest wrote:..... All I can say is that Ryan Neil hand picked the 300 year old pot specifically for that tree. So if you have issues with pot selection..... I suggest you tell Ryan which happens to be one of if not the best bonsai artist in this country, that you think he Sucks!!! My bet is on Ryan. As for the display table.... yes it is about 2 lousy inches too big for the tree..... Tables are hard to find.... and yes the accent was not perfect but it was the only one I had that would not be dwarfed by the tree. In any matter...... The tree as it was presented..... By Me.... Killed everything else there.... so if you think it sucked.... everything else sucked more! Last note...... I was at the show all weekend and everyone knows me...... so next time... man up and tell me to my face what you think instead of hiding behind some fake name on a forum.



Tim Priest
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: Midwest show discussion question

Post  Ryan B on Mon Aug 20, 2012 5:39 pm

Tim Priest wrote:As far as not liking the pot...... All I can say is that Ryan Neil hand picked the 300 year old pot specifically for that tree. So if you have issues with pot selection..... I suggest you tell Ryan which happens to be one of if not the best bonsai artist in this country, that you think he Sucks!!
"Pump your brakes kid, The mans a national treasure" LOL. I NEVER said Ryan Neil "sucks". I said this pot selection sucks. And that is my opinion. I think Ryan Neil is a wonderful artist and internationally one of the best conifer men around. I dobt care how old it is either. I still think its not right for this tree. That's just a Taste thing perhaps...I don't think white inlay complements deadwood, I think it detracts from it.
Ryan
http://japanesebonsaipots.net/


Last edited by Ryan B on Mon Aug 20, 2012 5:50 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Misquoted RD Jr.)

Ryan B
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: Midwest show discussion question

Post  Sponsored content Today at 9:19 pm


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

Page 1 of 5 1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next

View previous topic View next topic Back to top


 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum