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artofbonsai.org • View topic - The Problem With American Bonsai
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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 23, 2007 3:05 pm 
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 23, 2007 3:08 pm 
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BTW, what I said above goes back to what was said here before about the American mentality: If it doesn't cost a small fortune, it is not valued for much.


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Last edited by Will Heath on Tue Jan 23, 2007 8:29 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 23, 2007 8:43 pm 
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Attila wrote
Organizations can do the teaching of bonsai, but there is no such thing as operating the business of a nation.
As Colin said, the business runs itself, based on the laws of the market.

Attila,please note,I did not mean business as in 'mercantile pursuit' or
'trade'.I meant it like in 'matter',like in'It is not your business..'.
It's worth thinking about what Walter says, that European events are run on a shoestring.
A lot of annual shows and private events here are run on "shoestring" budget.They are all a copy of the big conventions (demos,exhibit,raffles,
vendors).
Bigger conventions usually serve commercial purposes.One of the biggest
cost is the space for the vendors.If you are lucky with the hotel,you will get some complimentary function rooms,depending on your food and
beverage consumption.
Comparing this to the GSBF conventions, for instance, these California conventions are organized in five-star hotels. Just think about the huge overhead costs that are incurred for five days, when renting everything from Hilton or Sheraton Hotels. No wonder that there is no money left for improving the quality of the show. Of course, the hotels make a lot of money from this, at the expense of the bonsai enthusiasts. Why does the public have to pay $250 just to attend the event, when we could do it for a fraction of this if it was organized in a public venue. For some people, this entrance fee is outrageously prohibitive.
When you set up the budget for a convention and you did not include a raffle,the cost of the function space will be covered by the revenue of the vendors,paying rent for their vending booth.There would not be any money left,not much anyway.The demos and workshops,perhaps even the auction,cover the presenters'expense (fees,travel,hotelroom,food).
In order to get a good raffle turnout,you need attendance.You get high attendance,when you organize a bigger event with a good or excellent program.To host that many people you need a hotel with convention
space.This usually means a more expensive hotel.

So, for $20 a day I can attend the Gingko, but in Sacramento I have to pay $60 a day for quality that is not even close.[/quote]
This is the price for having roof organizations like the GSBF.And I believe that in the future,this same organizations,which we help to maintain today,
will be crucial in establishing a unified structure to organize and perhaps
certify the bonsai "curriculum".This will ensure growth and quality.
Regards,
Dorothy Schmitz


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Back to the topic at hand, it seems the debate on if European bonsai is actually better than American rages on without a conclusion. I personally believe that it is indeed.
Rob gave some examples of American masters, but I disagree with his standards for judging them as such. In my mind it is not if you entered a tree in a world class show, it is if you placed, it is not if you gave a demo somewhere, it is not if you wrote a book (I've seen some of the bonsai in some of our books), it is what you produce. If you are producing world class bonsai, then you are a world class artist. I would even go as far to say that one must produce world class bonsai consistently in order to be so named.
It is highly unlikely that we will ever see a great number of American artists showing trees in Europe or Asia for that matter due to time/finance/import restrictions. The same could be said of any European or Asian artists showing their work here when and if we ever get a quality show organized. This of course could happen if said artists took the time and effort to grow, style, and develop stock in another country for the sole purpose of showing it.
So now what? How do we get a face off between such artists? How do we answer the question? IS it really even important enough to seek an answer to?
What has been discussed here is the need for a National show in America. The problem of the shear size of this country can be easily solved. A group of respected names are currently planning such a show as we speak. Will this bring American bonsai into the light, will this show our talent, or the lack of it?

Will


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Dorothy, yours is one way to look at it and it is a very valid and well thought way.
But I wonder if this is the only way, or the best way, to bring in the best trees, the best names and the most people, and God forbit, even make some money that can be used for future use.
It would be a thrill to see a privately organized, alternative convention/exhibit, and compare the two. There would be a lot to learn from such an event.


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At the end of the day, it's up to those who want it to do it.
G'night


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Last edited by Walter Pall on Wed Jan 24, 2007 5:54 am, edited 1 time in total.

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