Some of the most serious bonsai enthusiasts from across the country received an email on June 30th informing them of the status of their entries for The Artisans Cup, Exhibition of American Bonsai. I had some musings after my conversation in April with Ryan Neil, the creator and organizer of the cup. What would the makeup of trees be in the exhibit, what trees would be serious contenders for the top prizes?
I decided only a couple days before the May 31st deadline for submissions that I would submit one tree. While I have other trees that may have been accepted I felt that only one was in top condition and would be polished and ready for the show in September in Portland, Oregon.
The story behind this tree, from a beginning as a castoff sales table tree to an accepted entry in what many are calling the most prestigious show in the United States, is one that illustrates bonsai learning and the bonsai process. In there somewhere are examples of educated guesses, teamwork, patience, frustration, progress, inspiration and satisfaction.
It’s the first Artisans Cup, I hope that Ryan organizes many more and that we have a chance to see the best of American bonsai not only in September but for many years to come.
I hope to see you all at The Cup where the real competition will be on!