I’d like to host a bonsai show in November, 2021. You’re all invited.
For the past few years, Eric Schrader and I have been thinking about how much fun it would be to attend an exhibit that shows off some of the best trees in Northern California. Earlier this month, we set a goal to host such an event. Here’s the idea.
The show will feature 75 displays – some traditional, some modern. Exhibitors will submit their display ideas to a panel of jurors who will determine which bonsai will be accepted for display.
This is the key step. The success of the exhibit relies on the quality of the submissions. Our aim in announcing the event two years in advance is to give potential exhibitors ample opportunity to determine which trees to submit, and enough time to prepare these trees for exhibit.
In other words, you will determine what the exhibit looks like, and this is the part that excites me the most about the event.
Accompanying the exhibit will be a large vendor area featuring the best selection of trees, containers, and supplies we can manage. We’re fortunate to have many great vendors in the region and we look forward to seeing as many of them as possible at the event.
While we have yet to set all of the details, here are some things we do know:
- The event is open to everyone. Out of state submissions are welcome.
- Jurors will not know the identity of the trees’ owners – submissions will be evaluated solely by the quality of the trees and the merit of the displays.
- Traditional displays and novel displays will be considered equally.
- We will curate a non-traditional display area that explores a selected theme in depth.
- We’re open to hosting the event every other year going forward.
What we’re working on now:
- The venue. We’re looking for a space of at least 10,000 square feet within the Bay Area.
- The date. We’ll set the dates when we secure a venue. Our target date is November 12-14, 2021.
Additional features of the exhibit will depend on the support the event receives. This includes a panel of judges to award prizes and an exhibit catalog featuring photographs of exhibited entries.
What can you do to help?
- Identify candidate venues
- Identify bonsai to submit
- Spread the news!
I decided to share these ideas before figuring out the details – or even a name! – for two reasons. Most importantly, I welcome your contributions and believe they will make the event a big success.
I also want to share the story of the event as it unfolds in hopes of providing guidance or inspiration to anyone interested in creating their own bonsai events.
Before leaving the topic for today, here are some bonsai I’ve enjoyed seeing in local exhibits over the years. Will share more news about this event as soon as it’s available.
Western juniper displayed at the 2018 Golden State Bonsai Federation convention
Shimpaku juniper displayed at the 2016 Bay Island Bonsai exhibit
Gooseberry displayed at the 2016 Bay Island Bonsai exhibit
Shohin display at the 2019 Suiseki and Shohin exhibit
Japanese black pine displayed at the 2016 Bonsai Society of San Francisco exhibit
Have any ideas off the top of your head? Share them in the comments below.
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