The 4th Winter Bonsai Silhouette Expo was sponsored and organized by Dr. Steven Zeisel with the support of the UNC Nutrition Research Institute and the Cabarrus County Convention and Visitors Bureau. It was held at the magnificent museum like venue on the North Carolina Research Campus in Kannapolis, North Carolina, near Charlotte. The exhibition featuring leafless deciduous bonsai was staged in the rotunda of the building framed with imported Italian marble walls and floors under the dome, which is the tallest south of Washington, DC. This year there were 73 bonsai in the exhibition.
Best of Show, Japanese Beech, displayed by Sergio Cuan
Best Deciduous Bonsai, Shishigashira Japanese Maple, displayed by Joe Noga
I have been privileged to participate in all four editions of the exhibitions and this year’s show was leaps and bounds finer than in the past. Exhibitors put considerable effort into their overall displays as well as preparing their prized bonsai. A large number of exhibitors traveled from the state of Florida and many defoliated Figs, Bougainvillea and even a dwarf Jade to expose the fine twigs, rarely seen because these species are broadleaf evergreens. The beauty of each bonsai was digitally captured by Joe Noga who spent most of the weekend photographing each bonsai. It is too bad that he did not have the opportunity to photograph individual displays because creativity of most of the displays was innovative as well. So, please enjoy my photos while Joe processes his images, which will be posted on the exhibition’s web site at a later date.
Best Conifer Bonsai, Sargent Juniper, displayed by Ed Lauer
Best Fruiting Bonsai, Deciduous Holly
No, its not a Trident Maple, its Willow-leaf Fig!
Additionally, demonstrations were presented by Owen Reich, Rodney Clemens, Adam Levine and Wm. N. Valavanis who also lead a critique of the entire show and individual bonsai. An expanded vendor area brought several new vendors who offered their bonsai, pre-bonsai, art, containers and much more for visitors. Both the public and bonsai hobbyists attended to see the beautiful naked bonsai. An auction prior to the Saturday evening delicious dinner helped to defray the costs of producing this beautiful exhibition.
Steve Zeisel is to be congratulated, again, for producing such a fine display of bonsai during a dark period of the year. But, the splendor of each bonsai truly was shining through the dark skies. I look forward to next year’s Winter Bonsai Silhouette Expo during the first week of December.
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