MBS Annual Exhibit in Previous Years

Milwaukee Bonsai Society hosted its first annual exhibit in 1970 only one year after the clubs founding. This same year MBS engaged its first master Toshio Subumaru. More artist came in the following years - John Naka, Frank Okamura, Keith Scott and others.

With an exhibit as changeable as Wisconsin's weather, MBS dedicated members provided an exhibit aimed to capture, in an over two dozen art works, some awareness about nature, bonsai and draw the viewer into a collective experience. In most ways, it succeeds, and beautifully. As far as bonsai shows fare, it will go down as the best new thing MBS has done with its annual exhibit. The strength of this exhibit is its innovative approach and inclusion of Bonsai artists, of both genders, all levels, from the Milwaukee area. Check out the video!


This past annual exhibit (2015) was judged by Ted Matson. Ted has been our clubs sensei (Japanese title used to refer to or address for master instructor) for the past 12 years. AE45 Poster In 2012, Ted was honored and recognized for his great service to Golden State Bonsai Federation that also recognized his great service to the art of bonsai; someone who had extended their influence beyond the efforts of GSBF to promote the art of bonsai and encourage cooperation and unity of effort to achieve excellence within the entire bonsai community. To impress the significance of this award, we should note only one other person has ever been bestowed this award and that was John Naka. We are very honoted to have him as our own club sensei

Colin Lewis has been growing bonsai as an artistic discipline for over thirty years, beginning in his native England and now in the USA. AE44 Poster 2014 in Milwaukee, he explained that he wants each bonsai he creates to be different, as original as possible and finds this as important as learning good techniques or horticultural practices. But once we have learned these stylistic traditions and techniques, we should observe what they achieve aesthetically and seek our own ways to achieve the same.

In 2013 MBS was extremely fortunate to welcome Kathy Shaner to judge our exhibit and lead workshops in 2013. AE43 Poster Shaner began bonsai in 1983 in California. After ten years of study she managed to obtain a 5 year apprenticeship with Sensei Yasuo Mitsuya, highly regarded Master of Gendai (contemporary form) bonsai training. She is the first non-Japanese citizen to be honored with the title of Bonsai Master by the Nippon Bonsai Kyodo Kumiai. Continuing to share the talents of her mentor, she is the curator for the Bonsai Garden at Lake Merritt and teacher of many students throughout the United States.

MBS invited Peter Tea to be our special guest at the 2012 AE42 Poster annual exhibit in September. Peter is an outstanding young bonsai artist, a graduate Boon's Bonsai Intensive program, winner of the Joshua Roth New Talent Bonsai Competition in 2009, and was completing his 2nd year of his 5-year apprenticeship with Bonsai Master Junichiro Tanaka in Nogoya, Japan. Peter introduces himself: "I am very open in my teaching and have never liked keeping Bonsai a secret. I will do my best in answering any questions members and guest may have. I like to create a fun open environment and work with people from all skill levels. All that I ask is that the membership is open as well and ready to learn new things in Bonsai."

It is with real pleasure members share their enthusiasm with the general public at these exhibits. Check the tab below to see the winners including the people's choice award.

  • 2015
  • 2014
  • 2013
  • 2012
  • 2011
  • 2009
  • 2008
  • 2006

2015 Ted Matson

Best of Show - Jack D - Japanese Weeping Willow
People's Choice - Michelle Z - American Larch Grove

First Place: Jorge R- Willow Leaf Ficus
Second Place: Pam W - White Cedar Semi Cascade
Third Place: Steve C – Ponderosa Pine

First Place: Rocio S - Korean Hornbeam Grove
Second Place: Rob P - Gingko
Third Place: Penny T – Natal Plum

First Place: Nancy M Weeping Barbados Cherry
Second Place: Kevin S - Spekloom
Third Place: Kathy K – Scots Pine

2014 Colin Lewis

Best of Show - Jack D - Japanese Black Pine
People's Choice - Michelle Z - Hinoki False Cypress

First Place: Jack D - Japanese Black Pine
Second Place: Michelle Z - Hinoki False Cypress
Third Place: Pam W - White Cedar

First Place: Jorge R- Willow Leaf Ficus
Second Place: Judy H - Mound Juniper
Third Place: Chris H - Ponderosa Pine

First Place: Alex H - Ficus
Second Place: Liza W - Juniper
Third Place: Kevin S - Ficus

2013 Judge Kathy Shaner

Best of Show - Jean S - Shimpaku Juniper
People's Choice - Steve Co - Redwood Grove

First Place: Jean S - Shimpaku Juniper
Second Place: Allen K - Japanes Wisteria
Third Place: Jack D - Shoin display (Chinese Elm, Boston Ivy, Japanes Maple

First Place: Jorge R- Willow Leaf Ficus
Second Place: Greg P - Blue Rug Juniper
Third Place: Teri W - Poderosa Pine

First Place: Rocio S - Grape
Second Place: Liza W - Brazillian Raintree
Third Place: Joe V - Japanes White Pine

2012 Judge Peter Tea

Best of Show - Michelle Z - Trident Maple
People's Choice - Ron F - Yew

First Place: Steve Ca - Crab Apple
Second Place: Pam W - Shoin display (Shimpaku, Hornbeam, Elm, Azalia)
Third Place: Houston - Amur Maple

First Place: Judy H - Shimpaku Juniper
Second Place: Chris H - Juniper
Third Place: Steve Co - Shefflera on rock

First Place: Rocio S - Narrow Leaf Ficus
Second Place: Lisa W - Logwood
Third Place: Judy S - Tiger Bark Ficus

2011 Judge Suthin Sukosolvisit

Best of Show - Jack D - Trident Maple
People's Choice - Ron F - Yew

First Place: Steve Ca - Poderosa Pine
Second Place: Houston S - American Larch
Third Place: Pam W - Eastern White Cedar

First Place: Judy H - Shimpaku Juniper
Second Place: Susan L - American Larch
Third Place: Greg P - Pomegranate

First Place: Bill G - Japanes Garden Maple
Second Place: Rocio S - Ficus
Third Place: Scott K - Ficus

2009 Judge Scott Clark

Best of Show - Houston S - Juniper over Rock
People's Choice -Houston S - Juniper over Rock

First Place: Houston S - Juniper over Rock
Second Place: Houston S - Ficus
Third Place: Susan L - Bouganvillea

First Place: Joe H - Juniper
Second Place: Steve Ca - Ponderosa Pine
Third Place: Pam W - Liquidamber

First Place: Jerry N - Trident Maple
Second Place: Don G - Amur Maple
Third Place: Mike N - Juniper

First Place: Devon C - Ficus Benjimina
Second Place: Devon C - Ficus Benjimina
Third Place: Barb S - Green Island Ficus


Best of Show - Rita L - Ponderosa Pine
People's Choice -Kris Z - Yew

First Place: Joe H - Tiger Bark Fig
Second Place: Houston S - Dwarf Olive
Third Place: Jack D - Cork Bark Elm
Third Place: Allen K - Chinese Wisteria

First Place: Michelle Z - White Cedar
Second Place: Michelle Z - Juniper
Third Place: Ken K - Cork Bark Elm

First Place: Rick P - Shimpaku Juniper
Second Place: Laura L - Ficus
Third Place: Bill G - Alberta Spruce

First Place: Greg P - Blue Rug Juniper
Second Place: Greg P - Shimpalu Juniper
Third Place: Dave E - Japanes Yew
Third Place: Barb S - Boxwood

2006 Judge Scott Clark

Best of Show - Joe H - Shimpaku Juniper
People's Choice - Ron F - Bald Cypress

First Place: Joe N - Juniper
Second Place: Jack D - San Jose Juniper
Third Place: Mike N - Juniper

First Place: Houston S - Japanese Maple
Second Place: Yvonne S - Blue rug Juniper
Third Place: Michelle Z - Hinoki Cypress

First Place: Joe H - Shimpaku Juniper
Second Place: Tom A - Creeping Sumac
Third Place: Devika D - Limber Pine

First Place: Greg W - Arborvitae/Juniper Grove
Second Place: Greg W - Shimpalu Juniper
Third Place: Caroline S - New Zealand Chrismas Tree


Consider joining your best choice for bonsai fun, education, and community service, Join MBS, and let the fun begin.

MBS Logo


Visitors to the 2015


Ted with Buttonwood


Colin Lewis


Jack Announcement


Kris winner


Steve and Steve in tux


Tea Lecture