Natives celebrates the diversity of North American trees and the unique terrains that shape them. As artistic representations of trees, bonsai are collected from the natural environment to be cultivated as works of art. While the natural forces that shaped the tree are visibly echoed, the direct link between a bonsai and its native domain has been lost. By pairing bonsai with original landscape paintings, Natives reestablishes this connection between a bonsai and its habitat.
American landscapes, painted by contemporary artist Iuna Tinta, will serve as the artistic representation of a bonsai’s indigenous ecosystem. Trees from bonsai artists Scott Elser, Michael Hagedorn, Randy Knight, Ryan Neil, & Dan Robinson, all who champion the use of native plants will be showcased alongside the Museum’s own native bonsai to create the largest public exhibition of native American bonsai. The combination of tree and landscape will create a vista that imparts the richness, diversity, and beauty of American bonsai as each tree displays the influence of a distinct American bonsai artist from a distinct American landscape.