Bonsai Exhibition Coming in December > City of Kannapolis | City of Kannapolis

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Bonsai hobbyists, gardeners, and art lovers all can enjoy the beauty of these small trees when bonsai artists and vendors from all over the USA will display their trees. This is a great chance to learn about this art and hobby, buy a tree or buy supplies.

For the 11th year, bonsai artists from all over the USA will show their bonsai trees in the exceptionally beautiful marble-lined domed atrium of the North Carolina Research Campus in Kannapolis (a short ride north from Charlotte on I-85). The Winter Silhouette Bonsai Show will be held on Saturday December 2nd (10AM - 5PM) and Sunday December 3rd (10AM – 3 PM) 2022 at the North Carolina Research Campus, 150 N Research Campus Drive, Kannapolis, NC 28081. Free admission and free parking. More information can be found at: There will be more than 30 bonsai supply vendors selling at the show.

Saturday December 2, 2023

  • Show open to public 10 AM-5 PM
  • Bonsai demos
  • 10 AM William Valavanis and 1 PM Tyler Sherrod
  • 5:30 PM Bonsai auction (donations from the vendors)


Sunday December 3, 2023

  • Show open to public 10 AM-3 PM
  • Bonsai demos
  • 10 AM Rodney Clemons
  • 3 PM Show closes


Both newcomers and long-time hobbyists can attend free bonsai demos/lessons that will be held each day at 10 AM and at 1 PM. Famous bonsai masters will teach these demos (William Valavanis from New York, Rodney Clemons from Georgia and Tyler Sherrod from North Carolina). At 5:30 PM Saturday December 3rd there will be a bonsai auction open to all.

In addition to the large display of top-quality bonsai trees on exhibition, for those who want to get started in bonsai and for experienced hobbyists, more than 50 tables of pre-bonsai plant material and bonsai supplies will be on sale at the show. Exceptional bonsai pots will also be sold.

Bonsai is an ancient art form, started in China, and later adopted by the Japanese. The word bonsai, in Japanese, means “tree in a pot”. The oldest trees in the USA were a gift from Japan to the US at the bicentennial of our country (1976). One tree, still on display at the National Arboretum, dates back to before Columbus discovered America and was a gift from the Japanese government to the US on our 200th anniversary.

Why would anyone choose bonsai as their hobby? It is a mix of sculpture and gardening. Trees get better as you work on them, so patience is a virtue. Bonsai are normal trees that are styled by wiring their branches to create an image of an old tree, and they are kept small by root pruning. These trees could grow in your yard to full size if allowed to. Only tropical bonsai (like figs) can be kept inside; most bonsai must be kept outdoors to survive. The art of bonsai is to make these trees appear to be miniature old trees. On display at the show: great individual trees as well as groupings of trees that will remind you of past hikes in the forest.

The Southeast is rapidly becoming a center of excellence in bonsai. Several bonsai masters (some who apprenticed for years in Japan), live and teach in the South (Bjorn Bjorholm in Nashville TN, Rodney Clemons in AtlantaGA,Dan Coffey in CharlotteNC, Arthur Joura in Asheville NC, Owen Reich in Knoxville TN, Tyler Sherrod in Hickory NC) and the region hosts three nationally recognized bonsai shows (the upcoming Winter Silhouette Bonsai Show in Kannapolis, a second show in Kannapolis in June focusing on smaller size bonsai trees, and a yearly show at the NC Arboretum in Asheville). There are bonsai clubs in Charlotte, Asheville, Raleigh and in Columbia SC.