AE21 Bonsai at The North Carolina Arboretum: More Than Meets the Eye [Jun 24]

Bonsai at The North Carolina Arboretum: More Than Meets the Eye

Program 6: "Points of Connection Across Collections"


Presented in partnership with the Chicago Botanic Garden

Arthur Joura, Arboretum Bonsai Curator

Chris Baker, Chicago Botanic Garden Bonsai Curator


ONLINE* Thursday, June 24; 4 to 5:30 p.m.


Package of five sessions: $25 Member | $50 Non-member*

*Series is still available, including links to videos for all six programs, January through June


Per session: $5 Member | $10 Non-member

To register by session, click "Show individual events" below.



Bonsai is a much favored feature of the Arboretum's identity, and not without reason. Visitors to the Bonsai Exhibition Garden marvel at the miniature trees and landscapes on display. The small scale of bonsai is certainly a key ingredient in the attention they attract, but at the Arboretum there is another, less obvious, element of interest, and it is hiding in plain sight. 

Join North Carolina Arboretum bonsai curator Arthur Joura in conversation with Chicago Botanic Garden bonsai curator Chris Baker for a look inside two of the most acclaimed bonsai collections in the country through the eyes of their curators and chief interpreters. Each curator combined backgrounds in fine art and horticulture to shape a rare profession and a rare collection. Though there are several states between them, they find common ground in their innovative approaches to bonsai and awe for trees in nature, both discovering endless sources of creative inspiration while continuously honing a craft.  

*Instructions for joining via Zoom will be sent by email the day prior to the class. 

Please add to your contacts to ensure our emails do not end up in your spam folder. A recording of each session will be made available to registered participants for a limited period to provide access to those with scheduling conflicts.


Arthur Joura has been the Bonsai Curator at The North Carolina Arboretum, in Asheville, N.C., since the inception of the bonsai program in 1992. Joura has studied bonsai with some of the leading bonsai authorities in the United States, and was received as an official student to the Nippon Bonsai Association in Japan. He has taught extensively in the eastern U.S. and has been featured in numerous publications for his work with the Arboretum’s bonsai collection. In his curation of the Arboretum’s bonsai program, Joura constantly seeks to forge connections between the art of bonsai and the Arboretum’s mission to promote appreciation of the flora and culture of the Southern Appalachians.

Chris Baker began work In April 2014 as the first full-time curator of bonsai at the Chicago Botanic Garden, where he maintains approximately 175 bonsai trees. Baker has been studying and working on bonsai for more than 13 years. Previously, from 2011 to early 2014, he was an intern and volunteer at the United States National Arboretum's National Bonsai and Penjing Museum in Washington, D.C. As an active member of the Maryland bonsai community, Baker gave many demonstrations and talks at the Potomac Bonsai Association Spring Show in Washington, D.C., as well as to garden clubs. Baker spent six months in 2012 studying bonsai with third-generation bonsai master Tohru Suzuki at the Daijuen Nursery in Okazaki, Japan.


Arboretum Members: Please sign in above in the top right-hand corner before adding classes to your shopping cart. Your member discount will be applied on the checkout pageClick here for membership discount instructions. To become an Arboretum Member and receive discounts on all classes, go to our Membership page. 

Additional donations are always welcome and appreciated. Proceeds from donations go to support education at the North Carolina Arboretum.