Bonsai As Art

The time has come for American Bonsai.

The Artisans Cup exists to showcase Bonsai as a true art form. We’re starting a movement to reveal the beauty of the ongoing collaboration between humans and nature that occurs during the process of training a tree. This process, currently experiencing surging growth in North America, is symbolic of the struggle for life in which all living things take part, and highlights the similarities and differences between people and trees. It is a poignant representation of life itself, with all of its challenges and successes, its hardship and joy.


Moving Bonsai Forward

American Bonsai respects the rich history and tradition of Bonsai, while challenging the norm and pushing the boundaries of what’s possible.


Bonsai has always been a collaboration between people and local natural resources. In recent years the drama of naturally stunted trees collected from the harsh conditions of America’s mountains, deserts, and coastlines has opened new doors in the art. The wildness of American material speaks to the freedom of American culture and offers a unique opportunity to expand the palette of material used in American bonsai. 

Supporting Elements

Critical to any world-class Bonsai are the ceramics, woodwork, tools, and other supporting elements. American Bonsai supports local artisans and craftsmen who are doing exceptional work in these areas.


Bonsai can take many forms. From a straight upright specimen to a cascading tree that drops below the rim of the container, the form a tree takes represents the environment from which it came. Although tradition still holds a place in the foundation for bonsai, the modern American aesthetic deviates from traditional, symmetrical Bonsai. It instead captures more of the unbridled, natural form of the tree as it appears in the wild through asymmetry and dynamic movement. 


While we are passionate about celebrating this bold new expression of the millenia-old tradition of Bonsai, The Artisans Cup will exhibit  a wide variety of tree species and design aesthetics, provided they show care and artistry. 
Learn more about the exhibition.

The Future of The Artisans Cup

This is only the beginning. By 2025, The Artisans Cup will be held at one of New York’s finest art museums. 

We’re committed to bringing Bonsai the global recognition it deserves. We’re taking The Artisans Cup international in 2020 with an exhibition in Sydney, Australia, and talks are in the early stages about bringing the movement to MoMA/New York City just five short years later. We can’t wait for that day to come, but there is a lot of work to be done in the meantime. We would love your support.


Up to $100

Matt Berenberg
George Biddle
Creighton Bostrom
Broward Bonsai Society
Michael Pistello
Janet Roth


Tom Anglewicz
Bonsai Society of Portland
David & Katie Cutchin
Michael Feduccia
Mark Fields
Dale & Sue Krueger
Vern Maddox
Fred Miyahara
Carol Roberts
Tom Roberts
JT Thompson
Mali Viste
Robert Warfel


Michael Fontane
Joe Harris
Ron Smith
Robert Wofford


Troy & Nancy Cardoza
Kora Dalager
Paul Krasner
Michael Levin
Dennis & Norma McHugh
Michael Mehrmann
Steve Salisian
Gerardo Sanchez
Bill Schrader
Eric & Carolyn Strautman


Mike Andrews
Bill Cadman
Roger Case
Frank Cucchiara
David Dierking
Joanne Raiton
Eric Schikowski
Todd Schlafer
Seiji & Della Shiba
Ed Trout, in memory
of Tina Trout
Carl Wooldridge


John Eaton


Kennett Collection


Skylab Architecture
Exhibition Design

Vanessa & Alex DeSpain
Creative Direction & Design

Chris Hornbecker
Campaign Photography

Connie Wohn
Event Planning

Ryan J. Bush
Short Film

Trevor Orton

Arthur Hitchcock
Exhibition Photography

Dominga Ramirez
Marketing & PR

Oscar Eisenschmidt