Past Annual Exhibitions

Bringing the power of nature and art to life.

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 exhibition as changeable as Wisconsin's weather, MBS dedicated members provided an exhibit aimed to capture, in 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. The strength of these annual exhibitionss are their innovative approach and inclusion of Bonsai artists, of both genders, all levels, from the Milwaukee area. Each bonsai is critiqued and judged by world class Bonsai Artists.

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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.

  • 2017
  • 2016
  • 2015
  • 2014
  • 2013
  • 2012
  • 2011
  • 2009
  • 2008
  • 2006

2017 Judged by Matt Reel

AE 2017

Matt Reel recently finished a staggering 8-year apprenticeship in Japan with master Shinji Suzuki. Matt returned to the US in 2014 and is known for his broad expertise in a wide range of conifers and deciduous trees, as well as his knowledge of bonsai pots and bonsai display aesthetics. Matt is increasingly in demand as a presenter, due to his highly-refined styling of trees, combined with his appealing manner. Matt’s work on a large juniper was featured in the January 2015 issue of the Japanese bonsai magazine, Kinbon. He was also featured in the November issue. In 2016 he was the featured artist at Generation Bonsai with Walter Pall in Germany. And in 2017 he was our featured guest for the 47th Annual Bonsai Exhibit.

Best of Show - Pam W - Eastern White Cedar
People's Choice - Kris Z - Yew

Advanced:
First Place: Kris ZS- Cork Bark Elm Seikei
Second Place: Brian S. - Shimpaku Juniper
Third Place: Pam W - Hinoki Cypress

Intermediate:
First Place: Irene H - Natal Plum
Second Place: Rob P - Ginko
Third Place: Kevin S – Willow Leaf Ficus

Novice:
First Place: Bonnie P - Tiger Bark Ficus
Second Place: Kyle T - Kingsville Boxwood
Third Place: John H – Kingsville Boxwood

2016 Judged by Peter Tea

AE 2016

Peter Tea 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 is starting 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." Peter is currently our advance class instructor and often visits our society to present new ideas and current thinking.

Best of Show - Steve Ca - Little Leaf Ficus
People's Choice - Michelle Z - Korean Hornbeam Saikei

Advanced:
First Place: Jorge R- Willow Leaf Ficus
Second Place: Pam W - Hinoki Cypress
Third Place: Jack D – Winged Elm

Intermediate:
First Place: Penny T - Elephant Jade
Second Place: Judy S - Japanese White Pine
Third Place: Kathy K – Eastern White Pine

Novice:
First Place: Brian S - Shimpaku Jiniper
Second Place: Kevin S - Brazilian Raintree
Third Place: Melissa J – Ming Aralia

2015 Judged by Ted Matson

AE 2015

In 2015 Ted Matson promoted the art of bonsai and encourage cooperation and unity of effort to achieve excellence within our bonsai community. Ted has been previously 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.

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

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

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

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

2014 Judged by Colin Lewis

AE 2014

Colin Lewis has been growing bonsai as an artistic discipline for over thirty years, beginning in his native England and now in the USA. 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.

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

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

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

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

2013 Judged by Kathy Shaner

AE 2013

In 2013 MBS was extremely fortunate to welcome Kathy Shaner to judge our exhibit and lead workshops in 2013. 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.

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

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

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

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

2012 Judged by Peter Tea

AE 2012

MBS invited Peter Tea to be our special guest at the 2012 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."

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

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

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

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

2011 Judged by Suthin Sukosolvisit

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

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

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

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

2009 Judged by Scott Clark

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

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

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

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

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

2008

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

Open:
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

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

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

Novice:
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 Judged by Scott Clark

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

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

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

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

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

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