Annual Kannapolis Bonsai Expo Aims to Cultivate Beginners

November 12, 2015

 The third annual Winter Bonsai Silhouette Expo returns to the NC Research Campus in Kannapolis, NC December 5 and 6 with more opportunities for bonsai beginners to learn the art.  

Kannapolis, NC- Holiday trees are thought of as tall, green and laden with decorations. On Saturday, December 5 from 10 am to 4 pm and Sunday, December 6 from 9 am to 4 pm, enjoy a change of holiday pace with the delicate artistry of bonsai at the third annual Winter Bonsai Silhouette Expo at the David H. Murdock Core Laboratory Building, 150 Research Campus Drive, on the North Carolina Research Campus (NCRC) in Kannapolis.

Steven Zeisel, MD, PhD, NC Research Campus

Steven Zeisel, MD, PhD, bonsai enthusiast and director of the UNC Chapel Hill Nutrition Research Institute

The annual expo is organized by bonsai enthusiast Steven Zeisel, MD, PhD, director of the UNC Chapel Hill Nutrition Research Institute at the NCRC. The first two bonsai expos attracted hundreds of people from throughout the Carolinas who enjoyed the free event.

“This year we have more opportunities for beginners and hobbyists to learn how to create a bonsai,” Zeisel said.

At the event, people interested in bonsai can find inspiration at the exhibition of over 70 trees entered by artists from as far away as Florida and New York as well as throughout the Carolinas.

“This year we are featuring trees that have not been shown before at the expo. They are all first rate examples of bonsai,” commented Zeisel.

At least 12 vendors will be selling trees, pots, fertilizer and other supplies. Free demonstrations start Saturday at 11 am with Owen Reich, a bonsai artist and teacher from Nashville, TN who has a degree in horticulture from the University of Georgia and studied at Fujikawa Kouka-en Bonsai Nursery in Japan.

Bonsai expo David H. Murdock Core Laboratory Building, NC Research Campus

Winter Silhouette Expo set against the backdrop of the David H. Murdock Core Laboratory Building on the NC Research Campus.

Saturday from 1 to 4 pm, Master Bonsai Artist William N. Valavanis will host “Bonsai for the Beginner.”  For over 50 years, William N. Valavanis has led the world of bonsai artistry. He is the owner and founder of the International Bonsai Arboretum in Rochester, New York.

On Sunday from 1 to 4 pm, John Geanangle and Ken Duncan, bonsai artists from Columbia, SC, will demonstrate how to build a boxwood forest on a slab. The two are consistent winners at the annual Carolina Bonsai Expo in Asheville, NC as well as frequent program leaders and demonstrators for the Winter Silhouette Expo.

Saturday night at 7 pm, a dinner and auction will be held on the second floor of the core lab building overlooking the exhibition. Reservations are $30 per person and must be made by November 30.

“The Winter Silhouette is a mix of experienced bonsai artists and up-and-coming talent and is the perfect place for people who want to learn bonsai to find all the help they need to get started,” Zeisel said. “For those who are just curious, I hope they come and enjoy themselves at the exhibition and demonstrations.”

For more information, visit the event website.




Jennifer Woodford, NC Research Campus/David H. Murdock Research Institute, 704-200-5070 or

Suzanne Dane, UNC Nutrition Research Institute, 704-250-5008  or

Comments are closed.

Connect With Us