2021 7th US National Bonsai Exhibition Update


“The Show Is On”

These past couple of years have been difficult for everyone, many had to adjust and make changes to continue. Fortunately people had an extra year to prepare their bonsai, and looking at the photo submissions they look superb!

The 2021 7th US National Bonsai Exhibition will take place on September 11-12, 2021 in Rochester, New York in the same venue as the past exhibitions. Two indoor soccer fields will be transformed into a refined bonsai exhibition and the largest sales area from quality vendors from across the country.

Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 pandemic two of our foreign judges cannot enter the country. Koji Hiramatsu, Japan, and Gerald Rainville, Canada were scheduled to judge and demonstrate, but they will join us in two years at the 2023 8thUS National Bonsai Exhibition. It was extremely difficult to get other foreign judges at this late date to evaluate some of the best bonsai in the United States, but we have two substitute very qualified judges.

Enrique Castano

Enrique Castano from Mexico will join the two other judges and will also do a demonstration. He grew up in a bonsai household where his father, a noted sculptor, introduced him to the art. Interested I living things led him to many degrees in biology, biochemistry and biophysics. Currently he conducts plants research in Mexico and shares his knowledge with the bonsai community around the world. He actively collects and trains trees from his native Mexico.

Enrique was one of the judges and demonstrators at the 2016 5th US National Bonsai Exhibition.

Kathy Shaner

Kathy Shaner from California/Alabama is a very knowledgeable and skilled bonsai artist. She studied several years in Japan where she was awarded a Professional Bonsai Certificate by the Nippon Bonsai Association. She was the first woman and foreigner to receive the distinction. Kathy travels across the country freely sharing her skills to bonsai organizations as well as her private clients. Although she travels extensively, she still makes time to be the curator of the California Golden State Bonsai Federation’s Bonsai Garden in Oakland, California. Her wonderful smile and personality shine when she teaches and we are fortunate to welcome her.

Marco Invernizzi

Marco Invernizzi, one of our original judges, from Italy is able to join us for judging and demonstrating. He became interested in bonsai at an early age and studied extensively in Italy before traveling to Japan to apprentice with Masahiko Kimura. Marco travels extensively to work with with private clients in the United States, Spain and other European countries. He leads tours to Japan and is a broker for masterpiece bonsai. His engaging personality is great for introducing young people to the art and is entertaining during his demonstrations.

Kusamono Exhibit

New this year we are introducing the art of kusamono. Young Choe is a Kusamono artist who studied traditional art-ink painting and calligraphy in her native Korea before moving to the United States.  While volunteering at the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum, she was able to bring her artistic talent together with her knowledge of horticulture to create Kusamono.  As her interest in Kusamono developed, Young traveled to Japan to study. Young currently works at the Woody Landscape Plant Germplasm Repository (WLPGR) that belongs to the U.S. National Arboretum. She also presents workshops and lectures about Kusamono throughout the United States as well as around the world. She will have a large display of her kusamono in addition to demonstrating.

Suiseki Exhibit

Again this year we will be hosting an invitational suiseki exhibit of scenic viewing stones. Although a view stone might look “just like a rock” (which it actually is) there is much more to explore with your imagination to recall a favorite scene. Noted suiseki authority and daiza carver, Sean Smith will be presenting a lecture on Suiseki and also a couple of critiques. Here you can ask Sean the deep imaginative meaning of some stones.

We are indeed fortunate to have three distinguished judges who will also demonstrate their skills. In addition to six demonstrations there will be twenty critiques of the bonsai and suiseki. All the demonstrations and critiques are free and included with admission. Weekend passes are $50 before August 1st and daily admission is $30, space permitting. Tickets can be ordered:



I look forward to welcoming you to Rochester!