2018 41st Annual Mid-America Bonsai Exhibition

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The 41stMid-America Bonsai Exhibition sponsored by the Midwest Bonsai Society was held at the beautiful Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe, Illinois. Held on August 17-19, 2018, this well organized and attended exhibition is one of the oldest exhibitions the country.

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The Chicago Botanic Garden has an excellent and diverse bonsai collection and a selection of some of their masterpiece bonsai is displayed during the summer months in two outdoor courtyards. Curator Chris Baker has been improving their bonsai, some of which have a long history and also a large collection donated from Susumu Nakamura from Japan.

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Professional bonsai artist Naoki Maeoka from Japan judged the exhibition and conducted workshops, a critique and a demonstration.

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This year Tim Priest from Grand Rapids, Michigan won the “Best of Show Award” in the Open Category, with his display of a medium size Sargent juniper and Chojubai dwarf flowering quince bonsai three-point display.

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May 2018 at the Upstate New York Bonsai Exhibition, photo by Joe Noga.

The 1stplace Professional Award was won by Wm. N. Valavanis, Rochester, New York, for his Full Moon Japanese maple. Unfortunately, during the long trip to Chicago his trailer hit a bump in the road and the excellent Japanese container the Full Moon Japanese Maple was growing in broke into several pieces. This has never happened to him before, but with a bit of SuperGlue the bonsai still went on display and won. The container will be properly repaired and should be on display at the 2018 6thUS National Bonsai Exhibition coming up soon in a few short weeks.

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The 2ndplace Professional Award was won by Tim Priest for his large Rocky Mountain Juniper bonsai. A few years ago this bonsai also won the “Best of Show Award” in the same exhibition in the Open Category and had to be entered this year in the Professional category.

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The 3rdplace Professional Award was won by Wm. N. Valavanis for his Koto Hime Japanese Maple.

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Chinese Evergreen Wisteria, Milletia taiwanensis.

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Visitors from around the Midwest enjoyed the numerous vendors and approximately one hundred beautiful bonsai on display.

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