Bonsai- Artistry for the Family to Enjoy this Holiday Season

November 21, 2016

The annual Winter Silhouette Bonsai Expo returns to the NC Research Campus Saturday, December 3 and Sunday, December 4.  The free event offers families an opportunity to relax and enjoy the artistry of bonsai before the holiday season kicks into high gear.


Winter Bonsai Silhouette Expo in the atrium of the core laboratory building on the NC Research Campus.

Organized by bonsai artist Steven Zeisel, MD, PhD, director of the UNC Nutrition Research Institute at the NC Research Campus, the event features demonstrations and an exhibition of bonsai trees. Beginners will be able to purchase their own bonsai tree and all the supplies they’ll need from any one of 35 vendors. The vendors and demonstrations will guide them on how to grow and maintain a bonsai tree.

“Bonsai is part art and part gardening,” said Zeisel, who has over 80 bonsai trees. “When people come to the show, they will be amazed to see forest scenes and others portraying individual trees that you might see in nature. At such a busy time of year as the holiday season, the event is a respite for families to enjoy together.”

Joining Zeisel for the Winter Silhouette Expo are well-known bonsai masters from around the country including:

  • William N. Valavanis, world famous bonsai artist and owner and founder of the International Bonsai Arboretum in Rochester, New York. He has been involved with bonsai for 50 years.
  • Owen Reich, a bonsai artist and teacher from Nashville, TN who has a degree in horticulture from the University of Georgia and is a student of Fujikawa Kouka-en bonsai nursery in Japan.
  • Rodney Clemons, an Atlanta, GA bonsai artist and instructor, specializing in Japanese gardens and natural water features. He leads a study group at Smith Gilbert Gardens in Kennesaw GA, where he is the curator of their collection.
  • Adam Lavigne, a Florida bonsai artist and bonsai blogger.
bonsai apple

One example of the artistry of bonsai that will be on display December 3 and 4.

The event will be in the David H. Murdock Core Laboratory Building at 150 N Research Campus Drive, Kannapolis, NC 28081 on Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm and Sunday from 9 am to 3 pm. Parking is free.

For the full schedule of events or to register for the December 3 dinner, visit the event website.


About Bonsai

The art of bonsai is thousands of years old and involves the meticulous maintenance of miniature trees over many years shaping them into the artist’s vision of natural landscapes.  Learn more.


About Steven Zeisel, MD, PhD

Bonsai is his hobby, but professionally Steve Zeisel, MD, PhD, is the director of the UNC Chapel Hill Nutrition Research Institute and Kenan Distinguished University Professor in Nutrition and Pediatrics. He is credited with the discovery of choline’s role as an essential nutrient, particularly for women during pregnancy. His studies on choline were the first to create an understanding of the nutrient’s critical role in brain development of infants. Zeisel’s successful work with choline has led him to use the nutrient as a model for the identification of individual differences in nutrient metabolism that is driving new discoveries in metabolomics, nutrigenomics, obesity, and cancer. Read Dr. Zeisel’s full biography.


About the UNC Nutrition Research Institute

The UNC Chapel Nutrition Research Institute, which is located on the NC Research Campus in Kannapolis, conducts innovative basic and translational science to study how individual differences in requirements and responses to diet affect individual nutritional needs. The advances in nutrition science the NRI makes leads to the successful prevention or mitigation of chronic diseases and aging and improves human development, even prior to conception. Learn more.


About the NC Research Campus

The NC Research Campus is the home of corporate, academic and healthcare partners all focused on advancing science at the intersection of human health, nutrition and agriculture. Learn more.


Media Contact:

Jennifer Woodford, Director of Communications, NC Research Campus and the David H. Murdock Research Institute.

Carolyn Harris, Assistant to Dr. Zeisel, UNC Nutrition Research Institute.

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