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"And the LORD God made ... trees that were pleasing to the eye ..." Gen. 2:9, New International Version.

"Bonsai isn't just something I do; it's part of what I am." Remark to my wife and daughter.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Mid-America Bonsai Show 2013, Part I. "Bests of Show" (yes, that's plural.)

     Thanks to my wife's willingness to drive me to the commuter-train station Friday morning, I made it to the 36th annual Mid-America Show by mid-afternoon. That was early enough that I was able to enjoy some of the trees on display before the Exhibit Critique by the Guest Master, Bjorn Bjorholm. (My wife and daughter drove up to Chicago later, after school let out for the day.)

Bjorn Bjorholm is a native of Knoxville, Tennessee. He is in the third year of a full five-year bonsai apprenticeship under Keiichi Fujikawa at Kouka-En nursery near Osaka, Japan, while working on a PhD. in business at the same time. He is the owner of Bjorvala Bonsai Studio and the producer of the "Bonsai Art of Japan" series on YouTube.

The Best of Show award went to this trident maple (Acer burgerianum.) I'm embarrassed to admit it, but I didn't jot down the owner's name. It's not a name I recognized from previous visits, but obviously the artist knows what she's doing. (I believe I heard that the owner/artist is a "she.")

Best of Show at Mid-America 2013: this root-over-rock trident maple, Acer burguerianum.
A closer look at the tree itself.
In his Critique comments on this tree, Bjorn said that he chose it for "Best of Show" because the bark is clean; the tree is well-ramified; it's obviously well cared-for; and the owner had gotten the details correct (for example, the height of the accent plant in relation to the tree's stand.) Looking at the tree, I have to applaud his choice.

The two "Best of Show" bonsai are displayed side-by-side in a double tokonoma. This pine took the honors for "Best of Show, Professional." Again, I failed to note the owner's name at the time; but the day after I first published this post, I learned that the owner/artist is William Valavanis. This is, I understand, Bill's 13th award for Best of Show Professional. Well-deserved!
I have rarely seen a trunk so superbly tapered! Pinus sylvestris, dwarf cv. William N. Valavanis.

To check out the "Bonsai Art of Japan" series, click here.

Next post: notes from the Exhibit Critique. (And Bjorn said a few things that were new to me.)

:-)  :-)  :-)

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