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 Post subject: A Very Special Thank You to Everyone
PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2007 10:54 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2005 11:20 am
Posts: 76
Location: San Antonio, Texas
The idea for a ?North American vs. European Photo Contest? was spawned by an article here at the Art of Bonsai Project titled "The Problem with American Bonsai" by Vance Wood. The debate on whether North American bonsai can compare favorably with European bonsai and bonsai worldwide has often been raised, and this article created some very good discussion on the state of Bonsai in America. We do realize this contest does not offer a definitive conclusion; however, it is the first attempt we are aware of to comprehensively compare the quality of bonsai in these two regions, and therefore become a standard for the future.
We hope this is only the first of many similar contests, and will establish a degree of excellence for both quality and participation, among the best photo-contests around the world
With 124 entries from North America and 74 entries from Europe for all to enjoy, and over 27,000 combined views as of this writing, we can state with certainty this contest is a success, and shall remain a benchmark in bonsai worldwide. This is historical in the sense that never before has such an amazing gallery of inspirational, educational, and overall fantastic, world-class trees from both of these regions been compiled and made available for future reference. Certainly this is a major step toward opening a greater dialogue around the world regarding the art we all love so dearly.
This contest and the resulting gallery would not have been possible with out the participation of the artists from both regions. The entries include representations from 34 artists in North America and 13 artists in Europe, which include some highly acclaimed, and some previously unknown in the ?Internet bonsai community? artists. It takes a special person to place their work to be judged, not only by the contest judges, but by their peers as well. Contests such as this, judged by world renowned artists, offer an educational opportunity for all. We wish to extend our sincere appreciation to all these artists who took the time to prepare and photograph their creations so that we may all enjoy and learn from their work.

The impressive list of prizes donated by the sponsors of this event are also worthy of praise, and we wish to thank each one of them for their contribution. Please visit the websites of these sponsors and give them your support in return for their effort in making the contest successful.
Alan Feng of Qing Wang Garden
http://www.qwy.com.cn/
Ashley of Bonsai Outlet.com
http://www.bonsaioutlet.com
Jim Smith of DURA-STONE CO
http://www.jimsmithbonsai.com/
John Pitt of John Pitt Bonsai Ceramics
http://johnpittbonsaiceramics.co.uk/
Karen Leibnitz of Bonsai Monk, Bonsai by the Monastery
http://www.bonsaimonk.com
Oregon Bonsai
http://www.oregonbonsai.com
Ryan Frye of Blue Heron Bonsai
http://www.blueheronbonsai.com
Stone Lantern Publishing
http://www.stonelantern.com/
Takeshi Nishimura of Kaneshin Cutlery Mfg Co,.Ltd
http://www.kaneshin-seki.com/bonsai.e-1.html
Tom Brown of Shady Side Bonsai
http://www.ShadySideBonsai.com
Victor Harris of Erin Pottery
http://www.erinpottery.com/
Robert Steven: "Vision of My Soul"
http://www.knowledgeofbonsai.org/robert_steven/index.php
Min Hsuan Lo: TBCA President
Vance Wood; Training Planters
Attila Soos

The Judges which volunteered to separately score each entry are three highly acclaimed artists, and much sought after ?headliners? for conventions and events throughout the world. We consider the Art of Bonsai Project indeed fortunate to have contest judges of this caliber, and would like to extend our thanks and appreciation to them for allotting time from their busy schedules to serve the bonsai community as judges of this contest?
Min Hsuan Lo from Taiwan
Gallery?http://www.artofbonsai.org/galleries/hsuanlo.php
Profile?http://www.artofbonsai.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=855
Blog? http://www.knowledgeofbonsai.org/min_hsuan_lo/index.php
Budi Sulistyo from Indonesia
Gallery?http://artofbonsai.org/galleries/sulistyo.php
Profile?http://artofbonsai.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=594
Blog? http://www.knowledgeofbonsai.org/budi_sulistyo/index.php
Robert Steven from Indonesia
Gallery?http://artofbonsai.org/galleries/steven.php
Profile?http://artofbonsai.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=413
Blog?http://www.knowledgeofbonsai.org/robert_steven/index.php

From the inception much time and effort was spent planning and organizing this contest, but true to the old quote ?the best laid plans?, there were many decisions, changes, and alternate plans required as the contest progressed including, the loss of sponsorship because of sale of ?Bonsai Today Magazine?. The AoB editorial staff consisting of Carl Bergstrom, Andy Rutledge, Attila Soos, Candy J. Shirey, David Loughran, Dorothy Schmitz, Paul Stokes, Shaukat Islam, Vance Wood, Walter Pall, and Will Heath, devoted many hours and multiple communications around the world to assure the contest would not only continue, but would exceed all expectations. These editors are certainly worthy of praise and thanks for their efforts and dedication. Our newest editor Behr Appleby joined the group after the contest entries had all been submitted and posted, and has accepted the duty of helping post the results of the judges.

This is the first on-line bonsai contest which has had the rules posted in four different languages, and we certainly wish to acknowledge and thank those responsible; Mr. Walter Pall was instrumental in having the rules translated into German, the story in his words; "After I had posted the link to AoB in the German Forum BFF it was translated within two hours by Lars.", Mr. Morten Albek gave of his valuable time and translated the rules of the contest into Danish for the project, and Mr. Pedro Almeida generously took the time to translate the rules of this contest into Portuguese. We also wish to thank the ?internet bonsai community? consisting of many forums in several languages for allowing and encouraging the promotion and discussion of the contest, the bonsai publications, and the international bonsai community by word of mouth for assisting in promoting awareness of this contest.
A very special thank you is extended to Mr. Walter Pall who proved once again his desire to bring the ?world bonsai community? together by actively promoting this contest and soliciting entries from both North American and European artists.
Gallery?http://artofbonsai.org/galleries/pall.php
Profile?http://artofbonsai.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=241
Blog?http://walter-pall-bonsai.blogspot.com/
And lastly, thanks to all of our members for your support, and for helping to spread the word about this contest.
The judge?s scores and comments as well as the announcement of the winners will be posted soon. Having just received the last score sheet, we are currently compiling the information and tallying the scores.
Regards
AoB editorial staff


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 Post subject: Many Thanks
PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2007 8:46 am 
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Joined: Sat Feb 10, 2007 8:46 pm
Posts: 4
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Many thanks to all of the contributors for prizes, inspiration, and of course, to the creators of beautiful representations of the bonsai they have created (I love photo's and the internet, but would certainly LOVE to see many of these bonsai in person).
I know that I have checked out the links to all of the prize contributors and hope that they, and this site will continue to fare well. In the spirit of healthy competition and encouragement...
-Adam


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2007 9:19 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2005 2:06 am
Posts: 91
Location: Melbourne, Florida USA
I'd like to offer my thanks and congratulations to AOB and the judges for conducting this photo competition. The competitive process offers much benefit for bonsai. Preparing and showing trees for competition will make all the trees better. I also thank the sponsors for making the competition attractive. Keep it up.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2007 2:27 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 08, 2006 9:35 am
Posts: 731
Location: Southwest Florida,US
Congratulations to all winners and participants of the online photo contest!
I am very happy to see positive comments and a general good mood regarding the outcome of this event.The competition did generate improvement as Rob pointed out and thus will contribute to the quality and development of bonsai in both regions.
I would like to see the general public being involved in these kind of contests.
Perhaps this is could be a way to establish a base for bonsai being officially accepted as art?
-dorothy


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2007 4:03 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 24, 2005 8:51 pm
Posts: 1442
Location: WI, USA
Dorothy Schmitz wrote:
I would like to see the general public being involved in these kind of contests.
Perhaps this is could be a way to establish a base for bonsai being officially accepted as art?

As would I Dorothy.
There is still time to enter another contest going on right now.
http://knowledgeofbonsai.org/forum/viewforum.php?f=94


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2007 10:49 pm 
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Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2007 11:37 am
Posts: 61
Location: Indonesia
Thanks to AoB for giving me the trust to be one of the judge and CONGRATULATION to all the winners !!!


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2007 12:18 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 08, 2006 9:35 am
Posts: 731
Location: Southwest Florida,US
Paul Stokes wrote:
Dorothy Schmitz wrote:
I would like to see the general public being involved in these kind of contests.
Perhaps this is could be a way to establish a base for bonsai being officially accepted as art?

As would I Dorothy.
There is still time to enter another contest going on right now.
http://knowledgeofbonsai.org/forum/viewforum.php?f=94

Or at least to have a tree critiqued by Robert Steven in our KoB critique section ?;)
-dorothy


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2007 2:24 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 04, 2006 4:12 pm
Posts: 3
Location: Lake Forest, California, USA
And a special thank you from me too! I know how difficult a job it was for everyone involved in this contest. This was a nice venue for me to submit a picture and have people from all over the world see it, and I hoped, enjoyed it a little. That was a good enough prize for me. Keep up the good work on this site everyone, and lets do it again next year!
Sincerely yours,
Si Van Nguyen (in Southern California, USA)
Oh yes, and congratulations to all the winners too, they are all great trees!


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2007 2:27 pm 
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Editor

Joined: Mon Oct 24, 2005 8:51 pm
Posts: 1442
Location: WI, USA
Dorothy Schmitz wrote:
Or at least to have a tree critiqued by Robert Steven in our KoB critique section ?;)
-dorothy

Got that right!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2007 1:42 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2005 12:41 pm
Posts: 34
Location: Ottawa, KS
If I may be permitted to say so, I find that after the fact, I am more interested in the contest than I was before the fact. The opportunity to see the actual judging of each tree by the individual judges is very exciting to me. I respect each of the judges tremendously for their artistic vision and technical expertise, so their opinion carries a great deal of weight with me.
I found myself cringing as I looked at each entry, wondering if my judgment was going to be way out of line with theirs. I find that if that is the case with obvious experts like these, the fault may sometimes be mine. And yet time and again, I either saw them echoing my sentiments, or else showing me a point of view I had not seen, and therefore expanding my horizon. Even in instances where I would have judged the tree exactly as they did, their comments gave me a chance to reflect and perhaps deepen my perception of the tree in question.
So in all, I would say that although I disagreed with the way the competition was established, it became far more and was a valuable learning experience. And I am also glad I did not enter one of my trees in the competition, knowing that none are at a level to avoid "just average," or even "looks young!"


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2007 3:29 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jan 29, 2005 2:11 am
Posts: 6469
Location: Michigan USA
The contest has indeed became what we hoped it would. Often pushing ahead with an idea, regardless of opposition, is the only way to succeed. We followed a different path in order to get different results, we thought outside of the box, and we suffered the slings and arrows of those who did not have the same end vision we had.
In the end we answered some questions and created a few more for future exploration. We have hundreds of quality bonsai to study and enjoy, to learn from and to be inspired by. We have brought the bonsai community a little closer and we have shown that Internet contests do not need to be shallow or trivial, they can indeed be professional and of very high quality.
There is indeed a audience for serious, no nonsense bonsai.
Once again, thanks to all of you who have supported this contest by entering, by judging, by being a sponsor, by promoting it, or by giving positive and encouraging comments on it.

Will


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