Carolina Bonsai Expo 2010 Pictures

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Re: Carolina Bonsai Expo 2010 Pictures

Post  Martin S on Fri Oct 15, 2010 1:33 pm

WOW! pale
Makes me stunning here in front of my screen! So many WONDERFUL trees I see!
The idea with the presentation of the shohin (my favorit size) at the wall is really great!
Thx. for sharing!
Martin

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Re: Carolina Bonsai Expo 2010 Pictures

Post  AJ on Fri Oct 15, 2010 9:18 pm

John seems to have left out one of the award winners. This Shimpaku on a rock was given the Kazan Award for the best Miniature Bonsai:



This was not a purchased tree. It was entirely the work of some poser from South Carolina, and was just one of the many beautiful miniatures featured in the outstanding display of the Black Creek Study Group.

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Re: Carolina Bonsai Expo 2010 Pictures

Post  BrianLarson on Fri Oct 15, 2010 9:39 pm

Wow! Looks like an outstanding show. I found the bristlecone style juniper very interesting... what it lacks in branch refinement, it makes up for in deadwood intrigue!!! Lots of very nice shohin as well. Thanks for posting.

~Brian~

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Re: Carolina Bonsai Expo 2010 Pictures

Post  John Quinn on Sat Oct 16, 2010 2:33 am

The Knoxville trees look great; the overall display seems crowded in the video. Perhaps, it did not appear so in person.

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Re: Carolina Bonsai Expo 2010 Pictures

Post  AJ on Wed Oct 20, 2010 9:38 pm

Although the 2010 Carolina Bonsai Expo ended ten days ago, the post-event work for me goes on for awhile. I haven't had the opportunity to do this until now, but I want to add a few words and pictures to this thread to make it a more comprehensive summary of the event. Thanks to Wayne F. for starting the thread and John G. for adding so many pictures.



The Carolina Bonsai Expo is an annual event held the second weekend of October at the NC Arboretum in Asheville, NC, USA. The first Expo was held in 1996, so this was the 15th such event. Currently the event attracts around 4000 visitors over the course of its two-day run. Asheville is not a big city, so that number represents a sizable draw.

The Expo features a show of bonsai provided by 15 different bonsai organizations (clubs, societies, study groups) from a 6-state region. The clubs are given equal space (16 linear feet) to display their member's trees, and encouraged to be creative in doing so. There is no prohibition against "traditional" display, but most of the clubs have moved away from it over time. This approach gives the Carolina Bonsai Expo a completely different look than is found at most bonsai shows. If you have already looked at the pictures posted by John G. of some of the creative displays, you've probably already noticed. This view shows a few fairly conventional looking displays:




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Re: Carolina Bonsai Expo 2010 Pictures

Post  AJ on Wed Oct 20, 2010 10:09 pm

Each year the Carolina Bonsai Expo features a guest artist. In the past these have included Susumu Nakamura from Japan, Qingquan Zhao from China, Harry Tomlinson from the UK, and American notables such as Bill Valavanis, Kathy Shaner and Dan Robinson, to name a few. Each guest artist has contributed a certain flavor to the event they attended.

This year's guest artist was David Easterbrook, bonsai curator at the Montreal Botanical Garden in Montreal, Canada. Here's David the day after the Expo, when we took a trip together up on the Blue Ridge Parkway to take in the Southern Appalachian scenery:



Every year the guest artist does a lecture/demonstration program, workshops and a critique of the show for the benefit of the participating clubs.

Here's David conducting one of his workshops:



And a couple of pictures taken during his critique:





The critiques are probably the most educational part of the weekend. The guest artists talk about the individual trees and also the overall effect of each group's display. I think these sessions have led to a continual improvement in the quality of the show over the years.

David is a talented, tremendously experienced, well-educated and articulate bonsai professional, and he did a great job for us. His bonsai view is heavily tied to the Japanese way of doing things, and so many of his comments referenced what "the Japanese" say and do. I had several people ask me afterward if I knew he would be like that, given that the character of the NC Arboretum's bonsai program and the Expo is decidedly not Asian-identified. I have known David for many years, heard him deliver bonsai programs in the past and had several extended conversations with him, so his approach was well known to me. I have great respect for his ability and knowledge. When I talk bonsai with him, or listen to him do educational bonsai presentations, I sift through what he says and separate the information that is universally applicable from the stuff I think of as being more along the lines of cultural branding. It is necessary to do this with most bonsai teachers, unless you specifically want to do bonsai the Japanese way, or don't care about such things.


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Re: Carolina Bonsai Expo 2010 Pictures

Post  AJ on Wed Oct 20, 2010 10:20 pm

The Carolina Bonsai Expo also features a bonsai marketplace. Here is an overview of the main sales area:



Here's a picture of the folks from Meehan's Miniatures doing some brisk business:



One of the vendors at the Expo is the IBC's own Dale Cochoy, shown here dealing with a tough customer:


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Re: Carolina Bonsai Expo 2010 Pictures

Post  AJ on Wed Oct 20, 2010 10:32 pm

Although the Carolina Bonsai Expo features a single guest artist, there are two other well respected bonsai professionals who are part of the event every year.

Randy Clark owns and operates the Bonsai Learning Center in Charlotte, NC. He has been a part of every Expo since the first in 1996. Here is Randy providing a demonstration at this year's event, assisted by another IBC member, John Dixon:



Jim Doyle, of Nature's Way nursery in Harrisburg, PA, was a guest artist in 2001 and has returned to the Expo every year since. Here's Jim doing a workshop at this year's event:



At the Expo, Randy and Jim are probably best known for their annual turn as auctioneers. The two of them team up to do a super job of auctioning bonsai and related items to benefit the bonsai program at the NC Arboretum, providing many laughs and great entertainment along the way. Here they are at work this year, doing their best to look corn fed:


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Re: Carolina Bonsai Expo 2010 Pictures

Post  Guest on Thu Oct 21, 2010 4:42 am

jun wrote:I love the trees.
but the wall display is not that good. its soooo difficult to focus drunken drunken geek Confused Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes

thanks

regards,
jun Smile

I like the shohin wall and the way it shows off the trees. Maybe a little fewer trees in the display and the same goes for your use of emoticons Jun.

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Re: Carolina Bonsai Expo 2010 Pictures

Post  AJ on Thu Oct 21, 2010 2:16 pm

The people who come to the Carolina Bonsai Expo get a great overview of what's happening in bonsai in this region of the United States, through the exhibits provided by the participating clubs. In addition, they can experience bonsai educational programs in the form of lectures, demonstrations and workshops, or buy plants and materials in the bonsai marketplace, or take part in the auction. They can also visit the NC Arboretum's Bonsai Exhibition Garden:



Visitors this year saw on display in that garden a recreation of the 2010 Carolina Bonsai Expo logo, which features an Eastern Redcedar (our misnamed native juniper, Juniperus virginiana):



The logo itself was drawn from a display presented by the NC Arboretum at the 2nd US National Bonsai Exhibition earlier this year:


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2011 Carolina Bonsai Expo

Post  AJ on Thu Oct 21, 2010 2:40 pm

Because the 15th Carolina Bonsai Expo was such a success, we've decided to do another next year. We have already chosen our guest artist for that event - Mr. Walter Pall.

Walter was actually a guest artist for us once before, 10 years ago. He was young and full of promise back then:



But look at him now:



He has prematurely aged, beaten down and made haggard by years of abuse on the Internet, including on this very forum! Oh well, we can only hope he has something left in him.

For those who are interested, the 16th Carolina Bonsai Expo will take place on October 8th and 9th, 2011. Hope to see you there...

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Re: Carolina Bonsai Expo 2010 Pictures

Post  Dale Cochoy on Thu Oct 21, 2010 7:27 pm

AJ said:
"One of the vendors at the Expo is the IBC's own Dale Cochoy, shown here dealing with a tough customer:"

Thats funny! Laughing
He was sure worried what Ken and John would think about his pot choice .
I hope he wasn't ostracized and chastised too badly before he changed his selection? Smile

Dale


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I don't get out much

Post  jad628 on Thu Oct 21, 2010 7:44 pm

I'm not in a position to attend many bonsai shows, but I promise you that I thoroughly enjoy the Carolina Bonsai Expo every year. This year was no exception. The number of quality bonsai continues to increase with each superseding Expo. While a person with a Japanese traditionalist approach to bonsai might not find it as agreeable, it is also an environment where a club display has an important role...even more so than the individual attributes of the bonsai.

As I have grown accustomed to having my rearend handed to me by John and Ken in this competition, I also know that all the clubs have improved tremendously because of where they raise the bar. Our club had two members show bonsai in the Expo who had never done so before. This is progress!!! I realize this is an international forum, but speaking as an American, I am excited to see the growing interest and quality of bonsai in the U.S. Just as other areas/regions/countries have found ways to complement traditional bonsai efforts with their own "style", so should we. The Carolina Bonsai Expo is an effort to do exactly that. While there may be criticism of the event from some, I consider myself fortunate to be a part of it every year and it looks like there are a lot of people who feel the same way as I.

It's lengthy, but my feelings on these efforts are exactly as those mentioned many years ago by an American:

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”

-Theodore Roosevelt





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Thanks Arthur!!!

Post  jgeanangel on Thu Oct 21, 2010 10:25 pm

AJ,
Thank you for a thoughtful and well put together highlight of this year's Carolina Bonsai Expo and invitation for next year's event! Discussions about the display for next year are already taking place!(resisted a smiley)

In all seriousness, I also want to thank you for your role in the CBEs. From the conception of the first one through every detail of all 15 events...it has been you behind it ALL! In spite of your humbleness and ability to always give credit to others blah, blah blah... it is you that deserves the kudos and appreciation for the creation of an annual event that has become important in the lives of so many people.

I could say much more...but let me just leave it at Thank you for everything you have done to make these events happen over the years.

John



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Re: Carolina Bonsai Expo 2010 Pictures

Post  John Quinn on Fri Oct 22, 2010 12:49 am

Yeah...what John G said.
Arthur, check your IBC mailbox for a message too.

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Non-Traditional Display

Post  owennashville on Fri Oct 22, 2010 1:25 pm

The display the Nashville Bonsai Society (the group I showed in) had a more traditional design and I would consider myself an "old-school" display supporter. This is BONSAI (a Japanese Art). I have seen some very progressive display ideas at the Bonsai Expo and other shows incorporating cut glass stands, crazy pots, figures, accent plants, etc., but the difference between those displays and many of the current and past displays at the Bonsai Expo that are non-traditional is the conderation of artistic style (colors, proportions, lack of tackiness, etc.). The point of a traditional display is to draw attention to the interaction of the tree(s), pot, stand, and accents while keeping all other distractions at bay.

I will post pictures of our display as well as the more modern displays I've seen soon. The show as a whole was great. These are my opinions and many clubs and societies created displays for this show in particular as non-traditional group display is heavily encouraged.

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Re: Carolina Bonsai Expo 2010 Pictures

Post  AJ on Fri Oct 22, 2010 1:57 pm

Dale Cochoy wrote:AJ said:
"One of the vendors at the Expo is the IBC's own Dale Cochoy, shown here dealing with a tough customer:"

Thats funny! Laughing
He was sure worried what Ken and John would think about his pot choice .
I hope he wasn't ostracized and chastised too badly before he changed his selection? Smile

Dale


Dale - The term "a tough customer" can have a few different meanings! I'm glad you were able to seal the deal with him, and I know he'll be happy with the purchase. I've decided what tree to use in the big pot we bought from you, and I'll show you once they're put together.

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Re: Carolina Bonsai Expo 2010 Pictures

Post  AJ on Fri Oct 22, 2010 1:58 pm

John Quinn wrote:Yeah...what John G said.
Arthur, check your IBC mailbox for a message too.

Thanks, John. I'll PM you back.

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Re: Carolina Bonsai Expo 2010 Pictures

Post  AJ on Fri Oct 22, 2010 2:07 pm

jgeanangel wrote:

I could say much more...but let me just leave it at Thank you for everything you have done to make these events happen over the years.

John



John - Thank you for your kind comments, and thanks for all you've contributed as one of the few who have been part of every Expo from the very beginning.

And to show you that I really mean it, here, just this once, are some of those stupidicon things for you: cheers albino Dance


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Re: Carolina Bonsai Expo 2010 Pictures

Post  AJ on Fri Oct 22, 2010 2:20 pm

jad628 wrote:
It's lengthy, but my feelings on these efforts are exactly as those mentioned many years ago by an American:

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”

-Theodore Roosevelt





John - Well, I have to admit, it took me a couple of minutes to figure out who "jad628" was. That picture from an old LL Bean catalogue that you're using for an avatar really threw me. Thanks for the TR quote. Here's another of his, and one that has been a guide to me in my approach to bonsai from the very beginning:

"Do what you can with what you've got, where you're at."

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Re: Carolina Bonsai Expo 2010 Pictures

Post  jad628 on Fri Oct 22, 2010 3:19 pm

AJ wrote:


John - Well, I have to admit, it took me a couple of minutes to figure out who "jad628" was. That picture from an old LL Bean catalogue that you're using for an avatar really threw me. Thanks for the TR quote. Here's another of his, and one that has been a guide to me in my approach to bonsai from the very beginning:

"Do what you can with what you've got, where you're at."

Well, it is me in the photo. Amazing what a few decades does to a person!

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Re: Carolina Bonsai Expo 2010 Pictures

Post  Dale Cochoy on Fri Oct 22, 2010 3:58 pm

jad628 wrote:
AJ wrote:


John - Well, I have to admit, it took me a couple of minutes to figure out who "jad628" was. That picture from an old LL Bean catalogue that you're using for an avatar really threw me. Thanks for the TR quote. Here's another of his, and one that has been a guide to me in my approach to bonsai from the very beginning:

"Do what you can with what you've got, where you're at."

Well, it is me in the photo. Amazing what a few decades does to a person!


Yow! I just made that connection also! It IS amazing what 20, 30 or 40 years does to our photos!

Arthur, Your comment reminds me of one my bonsai teacher used from time to time and I often use when doing a program.
"You get what you get"
another of his favorites was " Sometimes the magic doesn't work"

Dale

Dale

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Re: Carolina Bonsai Expo 2010 Pictures

Post  AJ on Fri Oct 22, 2010 4:04 pm

owennashville wrote:The display the Nashville Bonsai Society (the group I showed in) had a more traditional design and I would consider myself an "old-school" display supporter. This is BONSAI (a Japanese Art). I have seen some very progressive display ideas at the Bonsai Expo and other shows incorporating cut glass stands, crazy pots, figures, accent plants, etc., but the difference between those displays and many of the current and past displays at the Bonsai Expo that are non-traditional is the conderation of artistic style (colors, proportions, lack of tackiness, etc.). The point of a traditional display is to draw attention to the interaction of the tree(s), pot, stand, and accents while keeping all other distractions at bay.

I will post pictures of our display as well as the more modern displays I've seen soon. The show as a whole was great. These are my opinions and many clubs and societies created displays for this show in particular as non-traditional group display is heavily encouraged.

Owen - I am grateful for your participation in the Expo, and for that of the Nashville club, as well. I know you have studied bonsai in Japan and have immersed yourself in that experience of it, and I respect that. When you say "This is BONSAI, a Japanese Art", I know what you are saying is true for you and for many others. Fortunately, there is more to bonsai than that. If bonsai was nothing more than that its relevance would be greatly diminished and its future would be significantly restricted.

Just as the Japanese did not invent the art of growing miniaturized trees and landscapes, they do not own it. Much credit is due the Japanese for developing bonsai as an art form and popularizing it throughout the world. That is why it is right, I think, to call it "bonsai" and not, for example, "penjing" or some other name. However, as bonsai continues to travel around the world other cultures will have influence in how it is thought about and practiced. This evolution of the idea of bonsai is normal and healthy and good. Part of the process involves creative experimentation, and that will result in many failed ideas and a few good new ideas. This is what is going on at the Carolina Bonsai Expo. Many of the creative display ideas fail in one respect or another, but some of them succeed in an admirable way.

Those who adhere most strictly to the ways they think of as traditional and correct are usually the most offended by anyone who attempts to do things differently. I did not sense that attitude in what you wrote (your view, though more traditional, seems to be moderate and tolerant), but I have heard and read comments by people who seem to be absolutists about all this. "You must do bonsai this way, you must display bonsai this way, or you are doing it wrong and should not call it bonsai." This rigidity of mind is not helpful to the goal of expanding bonsai appreciation. If bonsai is to survive into the future as something more than a dusty relic of a culture that is foreign to most of the world, it must be able to change over time as it is exposed to and absorbed into other cultures.

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Re: Carolina Bonsai Expo 2010 Pictures

Post  owennashville on Fri Oct 22, 2010 5:38 pm

Arthur, I am not a hard-liner for super-traditional Japanese display or plants. I vigorously support the use of native material and material from all over the world for that matter. To be clear, my statements were meant to point out the "failed attempts" of innovative display. No matter what the medium, a display should evoke the feeling of simplicity and elegance; not cracker-jack toys and flashy-ness.

No matter what country is displaying bonsai or what the encouragements or parameters of a given exhibition are, we have a duty as artists/exhibitors to pursue higher and higher levels of quality and refinement to be good ambassadors for the art of bonsai. The general public may assume at first blush bonsai is an arts and crafts explosion. We have to at least maintain a base level of sophistication for this art form.

Thank you for hosting this event for so many years and continuing to find great artists to critique and teach.

Owen Reich

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Re: Carolina Bonsai Expo 2010 Pictures

Post  jad628 on Mon Oct 25, 2010 12:41 pm

I like the discussion and feel this is both civil and productive.

I have to agree with Owen that some displays are "over-the-top" (probably been guilty of that myself), but I try to reserve judgment until I know what the theme was. That makes a difference to me.

As mentioned, the ultra-traditionalist stance isn't something that most of us involved in the Carolina Expo seem to adhere to. In my opinion, that's good, because the show is made lively by the inclusion of varying styles and display choices. I akin this to the idea of varying car models; most all of them have four wheels but then we add different body styles, colors, engine choices, etc., and that is for just ONE car line. Not everyone wants a BMW convertible, quite a few might want a Ford dually.

In most displays, each bonsai needs it's own "room" to be fully appreciated. I agree with this, and also agree that we have a tendency to put too many bonsai in our displays. Still, the traditional three bamboo sections tied together as the "break" between bonsai is an established technique, but does it have to be that or nothing at all? For better or worse, we used long-leaf pine needles lined up to make our club's break between individual bonsai. It appeared to be visual enough to do the job while being subtle enough to avoid clashing with the bonsai. That's an example of the little things I look for to increase my personal bonsai knowledge and ability. I'm glad we are involved in a show where such attempts are encouraged. At the very least, we learn what doesn't work.

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Re: Carolina Bonsai Expo 2010 Pictures

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