Throughout AoB's history, we have always created and hosted the most original, professional, and successful bonsai related contests on the web. Not only have our record setting contests inspired bonsaists around the world, but also they have proved to be valuable educational resources in many ways. Our contest entries have become a reference source for many, offering a snapshot of the state of bonsai from many countries, and they have brought many bonsai and artists into the public eye that have never been seen on the web before.
The Art of Bonsai Awards is not only designed to honor those artists around the world who are creating the best bonsai the day, but also those who are stepping off of the beaten path and creating innovative, inventive, artistic bonsai that are outside of the traditional forms. Those who earn recognition in this contest, judged by three respected bonsai artists, have truly accomplished something and have reached a level that many dream of, but few reach.
Surpassing last years AoB Awards, this years Awards brought in 157 entries from 20 countries, there is little doubt that this contest was a success, and shall replace our previous contests as a benchmark in bonsai worldwide. This is historical in the sense that never before the AoB Awards has such an amazing collection of inspirational, educational, and overall fantastic, world-class trees from around the world 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."
The Art of Bonsai Awards could not have been conceived and put into place, nor would it have been such a huge success, without the help of many people.
First, this contest would not have been possible with out the participation of the all the artists who entered. It takes a special type of person to place their work to be judged by professional judges and, maybe harder still, our peers. Contests such as this offer an educational opportunity for both participants and viewers alike. We wish to extend our deepest appreciation to all who took the time to prepare and photograph their creations so that we may all enjoy and learn from their work.
Besides the main awards, this year we are honored to also host the American National Bonsai Exhibition
Award, the Joshua Roth Limited Award
, the Bonsai Clubs International Award
, and the ICHIBAN Award
, each pulling winners from the participants in this contest. Our thanks to these great organizations, without them; we would have had far less to offer.
The impressive list of prizes donated by the many other 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. A list of sponsors who donated prizes to this contest follows:
The Judges who 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. This year's judges are listed below:
- Warren Hill, USA
- Guy Guidry, USA
- Andy Rutledge, USA
- The editorial staff of AoB who not only selected the AoB Award winner, but also settled any ties for this years contest.
A very special thank you goes out to those individuals who took the time and effort to translate this year’s rules into other languages so artists from around the world could participate.
- Sergio Peano – Italian translation
- Hans Vleugels – Dutch translation
Thanks to all of our members for your support and for helping to spread the word about this contest.
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 for assisting in promoting awareness of this contest.
Last, but not least, a nod to our friend Behr Appleby who passed away recently. Behr helped greatly on previous contests here at AoB and his presence is sorely missed.
The judge's scores and comments as well as the announcement of the winners will be posted soon.
Thanks to everyone,
The AoB Editorial Staff