Meet Harvey B. Carapella


Harvey Carapella is an accomplished award winning bonsai artist living in Rochester, New York. He worked as a graphic artist for 36 years at the Rochester Institute of Technology where he additionally taught basic design and drawing for 44 years. Before growing bonsai he raised reptiles and spent considerable time making realistic panorama cages for his slinky pets. His attention to detail has now been transformed to his bonsai.





Harvey has combined his graphic art background with his natural artistic talent to grow, design and display fine quality bonsai. Many of his bonsai exceed the quality of those created by professional bonsai artists. One of his bonsai, a Crabapple, was the logo for the 2008 1stUS National Bonsai Exhibition. Several of his bonsai have been featured in International BONSAIboth on the cover and in the Masterpiece Bonsai Gallery.


He has been studying with me for over 40 years and has a special area in my studio where he spends all days on Friday and Saturdays in spring and autumn quietly working on his beautiful bonsai. Nobody dares to use his area and also has a special parking area near the front entrance of my studio. When I’m teaching my Introductory Bonsai Course Harvey always brings in a few of his bonsai for display as he works on his trees. When necessary he also helps both beginners and advanced bonsai students. Very often when a student has options for design Harvey offers his valued opinion, as do a few other advance students. I like to have many different options for student to select from for difficult design situations.


He is the art director forInternational BONSAImagazine and has contributed to each of the 155 issues during the past 40 years of producing the first and only professional bonsai magazine published in the United States.

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His bonsai collection is well rounded and includes small shohin bonsai as well as large two man specimens. As he matures, he has transferred the ownership of some of his largest specimens. Looking at the colorful photograph of his garden one might think that he only has deciduous species, but he has many evergreen species as well.





Harvey freely shares his graphic art talent with friends and especially the Bonsai Society of Upstate New York where he has been President several times in total for over 30 years. He has led the organization’s small club show to an excellent regional bonsai exhibition with visitors from several states. Harvey always designs logos, signs and other printed material for society use, as well as my activities. He has taught me about design, computer problems as well as how to produce quality PowerPoint and Keynote slide programs. Harvey and I have learned from each other for over 40 years and share our discoveries with others.




Each year Harvey presents an educational program for the Bonsai Society of Upstate New York as well as assisting me during workshops. He has presented programs during several of the International Bonsai Symposia as well as for other organizations. Harvey is an invaluable volunteer helping me organize and run exhibits, symposia and now the first six US National Bonsai Exhibitions.



Harvey Carapella is a quite unassuming gentleman with decades of experience. He does not sell his bonsai, but rather grows them for his own pleasure. I’m quite familiar with his bonsai and kept asking him about the autumn color of his deciduous bonsai this season because I like to capture their beauty in photos. For the past several weeks Harvey keeps telling me he has poor color. However, a couple of days ago, his daughter Gina took a few fantastic overall photos of his colorful garden which looks like a multi colored painting.





Often one can determine the quality of one’s bonsai by the way their trees are maintained in their garden. Looking at the colorful photos of Harvey’s neat garden his love of bonsai clearly shines. He is a good friend I can always depend on to help me promote bonsai. I feel blessed to have so many good friends in Rochester!