NC Arboretum Bonsai Expo, October 8-9 in Asheville

Bonsai at North Carolina Arboretum in Asheville

The North Carolina Arboretum will host the 16th annual Carolina Bonsai Expo Saturday and Sunday, October 8 and 9, 2011. Featuring juried exhibits by bonsai enthusiasts from throughout the southeast, a renowned bonsai marketplace, workshops, free demonstrations, and an Ikebana exhibit, the Expo is the premier event hosted by the Arboretum.

Each year, a special guest bonsai artist provides educational programs for the public and a critique of the show for the benefit of participating clubs. This year’s guest is Walter Pall of Germany, who is widely recognized as one of the leading western bonsai artists in the world today. Outspoken, thought-provoking and unconventional, Pall is a champion of the naturalistic style and a great proponent of working with wild-collected plants. His ideas about bonsai styling and bonsai display have sparked controversy and inspired a new generation of bonsai artists.

Mr. Pall’s feature program, “Naturalistic Bonsai Style,” will take place on Saturday from 1:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m. Using photographic images of bonsai from his own collection and others he has seen in his travels around the world, Pall will first present a slide show to illustrate his ideas about naturalistic design. He will then move on to a live demonstration of his technique and naturalistic design concept, working with an old, untrained Scots Pine. The result of his work will be the newest addition to the Arboretum’s bonsai collection.

The cost of this program is $20 for Arboretum members/$23 for non-members, and seating is limited. One hundred available spaces will be sold on a first come, first served basis. Reservations may be made online, by phone during business hours Monday through Friday, or in person at the Arboretum. Reservations must be secured by payment, either by credit card at the time of registration or by personal check received within 5 working days of the time of registration.

Free demonstrations and programs are also available at this year’s Expo, including:

“Contemporary Ikebana in Unconventional Containers”
A horticultural design demonstration by Terri Ellis Todd, Master in the Ichiyo School of Ikebana and past president of the Asheville Chapter of Ikebana International
Saturday, October 8 from 11:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m.
Ikebana is a uniquely creative form of horticultural art, which often employs cut flowers, grasses, woody plant stems that may be bare or have leaves or fruit, and any number of other items that provide texture, color, and form.

“Something Wild”
A bonsai lecture, slide show, and demonstration by Jim Doyle, bonsai artist and proprietor of Nature’s Way Nursery in Harrisburg, PA
Sunday, October 9 from 10:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m.
Few people in American bonsai are as well known Jim Doyle, who has toured as a teacher extensively throughout the United States and Europe, and furthered his bonsai knowledge through numerous visits to China and Japan.

“Starting Out in Bonsai”
Bonsai lecture and demonstration by Arthur Joura, Bonsai Curator at The North Carolina Arboretum, with John Geanangel and Ken Duncan of the Black Creek Study Group in Columbia, SC
Sunday, October 9 from 1:00 p.m. until 2:00 p.m.
The Carolina Bonsai Expo is a showcase for some of the finest bonsai in the eastern United States, and features guest bonsai artists of international stature. But the people behind the amazing trees and the experts on stage were all bonsai beginners at one point. For those who are at that point right now, or think they might like to be, this presentation is specifically for you.

The Expo is open from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. Saturday, and 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. Sunday. It is also a perfect occasion to explore the Arboretum’s Bonsai Exhibition Garden, which offers a world-class display that innovatively establishes bonsai in the context of the Southern Appalachians. See more North Carolina Arboretum Fall Events in Asheville.

The Bonsai Expo is
free for Arboretum Society members or with the standard parking fee ($8 per
personal vehicle). For information, call (828) 665-2492 or visit


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