The 2017 Upstate New York Bonsai Exhibition opened yesterday and there was a great crowd. But better, Melvyn Goldstein from Cleveland, Ohio, brought 13 masterpiece satsuki from his collection to share with us. A special area was designed for this display which everyone enjoyed and appreciated the amount of time necessary to create these bonsai, maintain them and also display them with distinction. A few days ago he suddenly realized that all the Azaleas would not fit into the van he rented to bring them five hours from Cleveland, Ohio! But he has a good friend, Aaron, who also drove another vehicle to bring all the blossoming Satsuki for us to enjoy, and our members appreciated Mel’s effort and artistry.
Our club, now in its 45th year has approximately 120 people and represents a wide range of members, from rank beginners to award winning experts and professionals. Therefore all members are encouraged to bring their bonsai, some still developing and needing a few more decades to become refined and many award winning masterpieces. Every level of our membership was represented.
Many of our members are taking considerable time to create formal displays, some with scrolls, paintings and even a quilt to depict a season, event, natural scene and more.
Each year we present a “Members Choice Award” selected by all present at a wine and cheese reception. This award is presented in memory and honor of Yuji Yoshimura. His endeavors to promote the beauty, understanding and appreciation of bonsai have spread throughout the world for the past 70 years. Members voted for their “favorite” bonsai during the event, not necessarily the finest bonsai. This year Jason Henderberg won the award for his Foemina juniper.
A relatively new award, “The Founder’s Award” in the memory of Irene T. Valavanis is presented to a worthy bonsai. Since many members are now putting effort into displaying formal presentations. The Founder’s Award was presented to John Wiessinger for his display of a Ponderosa pine with an unusual wall hanging quilt and bone accessory.
As in the past, we had a sales area, display from the Upstate New York Suiseki Study Group and special display of Ikebana presented by members of the local Ikebana International chapter.