FOLSE: a retrospective

May 29 - August 28, 2021

What grounds and connects you to the things that are most important in your life? For artist Roland Folse, it is certainly bonsai. Having practiced for 60 years, Folse’s deep relationship to the art of bonsai has made it inseparable from everything that matters most to him: family, community, exploration, and nature.
A fateful meeting with Seattle bonsai master Kelly Nishitani, was followed by a life-long, healthy obsession with bonsai and many of its associated arts. Folse has spent much of his life crafting raw material into expressive art; plants trained into bonsai, clay shaped into ceramic vessels, wood carved and constructed into display stands, and paint mixed to conjure images of the environments and trees that inspired him.

In September 2020, Roland Folse donated 20 bonsai from his personal collection to us: some to add to the Museum’s collection and others to sell in support of the collection. To recognize Roland’s generosity and his lifetime of achievement in American bonsai, we created a small exhibition of bonsai Roland created so we can share his life story with you. We hope that the exhibition will inspire you to follow your own passions and creative pursuits.

FOLSE: a retrospective was on view at Pacific Bonsai Museum May 29 through August 28, 2021.