Newsletters · July 2016

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Roots, Shoots & Tips


HAPPY BIRTHDAY – MVBC celebrates 11 years with our annual double-feature, a bonsai exhibit and a picnic/auction.

Saturday & Sunday, July 2 & 3, from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. our club show will again be in the Easton Pribble Room at the Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute in Utica during the Summer Arts Festival. This is in the lower-level Education Wing corridor that connects the main museum with the Fountain Elms building.

Tom Martin will offer a demonstration at 2 p.m. on Sunday in the Sculpture Grove.

Set-up for the exhibit will begin at 8 a.m. on Saturday using the State Street entrance. All workers will need to register at the door and wear guest badges.

PLEASE NOTE – we need to know ASAP what trees are being exhibited so that proper ID tags can be made in time for the show. Send a list with common & scientific names. Send email to Art:

Photos of 2015 MVBC exhibition: 2015 July MVBC Exhibition at Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute


July 9 from 1-3 p.m. MVBC will hold the annual birthday picnic and silent auction at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Utica, 10 Higby Road, just off Genesee Street. If weather permits we will set up in the side yard. This is open to all members, family and guests.

We will start with the picnic – please bring a dish to share. As there will be no cooking facilities we suggest cold salads, snacks and desserts. The club will provide eating utensils and cold drinks. The auction will follow.

We ask that everyone bring donated items that are bonsai- or garden-related. Suggestions include: bonsai (of course), pre-bonsai material, pots, tools, soil or books. If anyone requests that a specific item be raffled we can do that also.

This event is one of our two main fund-raisers for the year and it helps us cover expenses such as facility rent, library purchases, association membership costs and our annual speaker fees. We appreciate all donations from our very generous members and volunteer workers. THANK YOU!

You may bring trees in to work on. An area will be set aside for working on your trees as well as a ‘show table’.

Please return borrowed library books. Select new ones to read.

We will also discuss the possibility of relocating the memorial stone and a new tree planting for Jean Franchini at the church in the near future. Jean was one of our original members and the first club president. We will have the stone to view on July 9.



June Review

Our all-day shohin program with Mark Arpag was well attended and a great success. Not only did Mark provide a full informational talk on shohin as well as fielding many thought provoking questions during his demonstration he also set aside adequate time for discussion and examples of proper display as well. He engaged the audience at many points and we all enjoyed the learning experience. 

The demo tree was raffled and the winner was Doug Whitfield!

The afternoon workshop was a natural extension of the session with hands-on training. Many participants brought trees in to be worked on or for future advice. Some purchased new trees from Mark for the class or just to take home to work with later. Advice was given for keeping our shohin bonsai healthy, first-styling, pot selection and more.

The end game was to encourage all our members to develop one or more shohin to the point where we can together display some of them at future bonsai exhibits. The initial step will help us in that endeavor! 

Photos: 2016 June Mark Arpag Demo & Workshop

Again, THANK YOU Mark.




Program expenses: $400, including demo tree ($125), 1 unsold slot $25, and dinner ($20)

Income: raffle $135

Current account balance: $674.28



August 13 – MVBC workshop on ‘windswept-style’ bonsai using Shimpaku juniper with Bill Jones. Cost is $20. More info to follow.