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  • Writer's pictureBeltsville News

Enjoying the Art of Bonsai

Please join the Beltsville Garden Club for a monthly meeting on Wednesday, March 25, 2020, at 7:30 pm at the James Duckworth School, 11201 Evans Trail, Beltsville, MD. Michael James will speak about enjoying the art of bonsai, offering a look at the art form through the lens of the collection at the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum, including a PowerPoint presentation. He will talk about the horticulture that makes it possible to grow woody plants in shallow containers and will bring some living examples to show.

Many people think of bonsai as a marriage between science and art, but few people understand that partnership better than Michael James. The museum curator joined the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum at the National Arboretum in 2002, first as a volunteer, then as a staff member. He brought with him not just a love of bonsai but a background in plant science, agriculture, and art, all of which have helped make him an effective curator of bonsai.

Originally from Clear Spring, MD, James grew up farming with his family. He saw his first bonsai, a forest planting of red maples native to the area, at the Clear Spring community show. He was a middle school student and was immediately intrigued by the art. James went on to attend the Maryland Institute College of Art, studying fine arts and design for two years. He then earned a degree in plant science from Cornell University in 2001.

The public is welcome, and admission is free. Contributions of a plant or plant-related item for the door prize table and a refreshment to share are appreciated. If Prince George’s County Public Schools are closed on this date for weather-related conditions, the meeting will be canceled.

Photo Caption: Michael James, Museum Specialist. Photo by Mike Collela

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