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Additional Artists + Presenters
Dan started doing bonsai in 2015, and joined Rocky Mountain Bonsai Society in 2016. He got into stand building as a result of not being able to find any stands to purchase the first time he entered trees in the RMBS annual show in 2018. To date, he has built and sold about 35-40 stands. Stand building has become an integral part of Dan’s bonsai journey.
Paul Koenning’s bonsai journey began in 2005 when he was quickly entranced by bonsai representing a horticultural experiment and living sculpture in the same small space. Realizing he needed more knowledge to keep his bonsai sculptures thriving, Paul devoted himself to earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Horticulture from Colorado State University, and completed it in 2017. Becoming a member of Rocky Mountain Bonsai Society in 2012 and volunteering at Denver Botanic Gardens under Larry Jackel’s mentorship greatly enhanced the quality of trees Paul began producing. With a solid foundation in science and art established, Paul was able to search out his unique approach to the ancient art of bonsai. Embracing a mantra early on of quality over quantity, Paul set out to make each plant in a container a piece of art. Equipped with modern day nursery and greenhouse techniques Paul grew on many cuttings to produce stock with superior roots and trunk lines; the majority of his tropical bonsai were produced in this manner. Taking on new plant species to grow keeps Paul coming back to learn more, as he works to determine the best growing and pruning protocol for every species he works on. Pushing the boundaries of what can be accomplished in tiny containers continues to drive Paul in his research and application of techniques. Paul continues to work on tiny bonsai that you can hold in your hand and also full sized trees in the landscape as an arborist, which has become his main source for studying tree design and structure. This study of trees in nature greatly influences his bonsai styling. As an arborist Paul loves studying tree growth patterns, and how specific species respond to environmental conditions. Realizing similarities in growth patterns between differing species guides Paul’s approach to styling bonsai and pushing their boundaries. investigating and understanding how trees respond to environmental conditions, is for Paul, where beauty is captured. Every successful bonsai tells a story which includes hardship, as hardship is what makes the fresh young foliage float with grace against a trunk and structure pushed by the environment. Paul sees his styling work as an opportunity to set a solid foundation which allows the tree to shine.
Linda has been a painter and bas-relief sculptor for over 25 years. Her passion for developing new art techniques is what led her discovery of creating large sculptural, lightweight bonsai pots and slabs. She is also a rockhound, so being able to create a pot that perfectly matches a found rock in shape and color is part of this journey and workshop learning experience. Participants in this unique workshop will create a small slab or pot with sculptor's mesh, then apply special concrete in layers and finally use pigments to impart color.
Mark began his lifelong passion for the art of bonsai at age 9. Since then, he has learned from more than 60 bonsai artists from all over the globe. He is a past president of the Indianapolis Bonsai Club and is currently the president of the American Bonsai Society. His desire for more formal training led him to Europe, where he studied with Danny Use at Ginkgo Bonsai Nursery in Belgium, in 2004, 2005 and again in 2009. It was there that he learned more about the horticultural aspects of bonsai. Mark’s nursery, Bonsai by Fields, LLC, located in Greenwood, Indiana is a regular host of bonsai professional Bjorn Bjorholm, whom Mark considers to be his sensei. At the urging of Bjorn, Mark traveled to study in Japan where he studied for 5 weeks at Fujikawa’s International School of Bonsai in 2015. During that trip, he attended the Gafu-ten Bonsai Exhibition in Kyoto and the 89th Kokufu-ten Bonsai Exhibition in Tokyo. In April 2017 he returned to Japan to attend the 2017 World Bonsai Convention, held in Saitama City, Japan, as an invited guest. Mark built a new bonsai studio in 2018 and travels all over the Midwest where he teaches, lectures, vends, judges and exhibits.
Lou DeHerrera discovered bonsai while on vacation with his family in California and was intrigued by some miniature trees in a Japanese garden at SeaWorld in San Diego. When he got home, he attended a local bonsai club show at the Denver Botanic Gardens - he was hooked, and has been obsessed with little trees ever since. Lou joined the Rocky Mountain Bonsai Society the next year and has been a member since then, serving in several leadership positions. He has worked with almost every species that most every other bonsai enthusiast do, with little success (as most do) until Lou met the love of his bonsai material life, Portulacaria afra. Lou has been growing this plant since the early 1990’s and not only did he not kill this material (too easily), but was able to make some pretty good looking trees. He was hooked and then obsessed with this species. P. afra compromises about 85% of his collection.
Pete Parker is a long-time member of the Houston Bonsai Society. He is a graduate of Pedro Morales’ Futago Tropical Bonsai School as well as Boon Manakitivipart’s Intensives program. Pete continues to study with Boon and is currently a student in Bjorn Bjorholm’s Intensives program.
Larry Jackel saw his first bonsai at the Midwest Show in 1972 and has been actively studying bonsai and acquiring trees ever since. A move to Denver in 1976 connected Larry with the Rocky Mountain Bonsai Society. This club provided the nurturing necessary to become proficient in the art and craft of bonsai. The Front Range of the Rocky Mountains, to the west of Denver, provides the trees, in particular, the Ponderosa Pine but also the Limber Pine, Bristlecone Pine, Pinion Pine, Douglas Fir and the Rocky Mountain Juniper. The acquisition of knowledge and experience with these trees over the past 40 years has given Larry the opportunity to teach about these conifers in lectures, demonstrations and workshops across the country. In the spring of 2012, Larry joined the horticultural staff at Denver Botanic Gardens as its Bonsai Specialist. His mission at the Gardens is to develop and maintain a bonsai collection to be shown in the Bill Hosokawa Bonsai Pavilion.
Photographer and filmmaker Scott Dressel-Martin has captured stories around the world, from Alaska to South Africa. Based in Denver, Scott began his career in photojournalism and had been published internationally. He has been the official photographer and a teacher for Denver Botanic Gardens for the past 17 years. Scott also works with clients to create commercial photography and video projects. As the co-creator of the Vail based VISION Colorado Photography Workshops, he had the privilege of teaching with such renowned photographers as Galen Rowell, John Shaw, John Fielder and Art Wolfe. Scott has a master’s degree in photography from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, New York.
Mike Britten has practiced bonsai since 1990, and as a member of the Rocky Mountain Bonsai Society for over 10 years. Mike worked for the National Park Service for 41 years as a biologist and ecologist monitoring the ecological integrity of plant communities, including five-needle pines, in national parks in the Rockies. His bonsai focus is on native North American species, especially western conifers and Sonoran desert trees and shrubs.
Darrell Whitley has been collecting and studying viewing stones for 15 years and carving daizas for 10 years. He lived and worked in Japan during Fall 2019 where he was able to collect suiseki in the local rivers of Nagano, Japan, as well as from small antique shops. He has also had the good fortune to visit small local suiseki clubs in Tokyo and Kyoto and obtain a more grass-roots experience of suiseki practice in Japan.
Dr Karen Harkaway, a practicing dermatologist, began her bonsai journey about 15 years ago when she began studying with Chase Rosade. Since then, she has also studied with Colin Lewis, Ryan Neil, Mauro Stemberger, and Hugo Zamora Luna, among others. Karen served as Vice President of the American Bonsai Society from 2010 to 2014, and again from 2018 to 2022. She was President from 2014 to 2018, and as of January 2023, she again serves as President. An enthusiastic student of bonsai, she has exhibited in all US National Bonsai Exhibitions except the first. Karen has won the President's Award at the 2012 Mid-Atlantic Bonsai Societies Festival, and both the Executive Committee's Award and the People's Choice Award at the same convention in 2013. She was also honored to win the John Naka Award, hobbyist division, in 2013. In 2018, she won the Travel Award for best tree/companion display at the Sixth US National Bonsai Exhibition. Karen is passionate about all things bonsai and greatly enjoys being an ambassador for the promotion of our art form.
Lori Ann Levy-Holm
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