SP20 Radical Redesign: Bonsai Curator’s Talk & Styling Demonstration

This event is no longer on sale.

Saturday March 14

10:30 AM  –  2:30 PM

Radical Redesign: Curator’s Talk & Styling Demonstration

Instructors: Arthur Joura, bonsai curator

Ben Kirkland, videographer and industrial designer

Saturday, March 14, 10:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. 

$24 Member | $34 Non-member

BREG Elective - 4 Hours


In the course of a bonsai's life, there may come a time when a long-traveled road reaches an unanticipated and unfortunate end. This is followed by a time of taking stock and imagining a new beginning, where what remains of the old idea is reshaped into a new idea, and a new journey begins. Life, death, rebirth: This program has it all! Bonsai curator Arthur Joura will undertake an unusual and challenging redesign of an old juniper bonsai from the Arboretum's collection. The work will be recorded live by Visiting Artist Ben Kirkland, creator of the YouTube channel Appalachian Bonsai.

A one-hour break will be scheduled mid-day. Joura will continue carving on the juniper bonsai during the break. Registrants should plan to bring a lunch. (The Bent Creek Bistro does not reopen for the season until March 20.) Coffee, tea and snacks will be provided. Participants are allowed to come and go from the demonstration area during the break, but might want to have ear protection and should refrain from asking questions to be conscious of safety. 

Arthur Joura joined the Arboretum staff in April of 1990, and has been the bonsai curator since 1992. He led the design team for the Arboretum's Bonsai Exhibition Garden and has since overseen its continued development. Joura’s educational background is in fine art. Joura studied bonsai with some of the leading bonsai authorities in the United States and in Japan. He has toured extensively as a lecturer and teacher, and has been featured on UNC-TV and in numerous regional and national publications for his work with the collection. Joura continues to administer the annual Carolina Bonsai Expo at the Arboretum.

Ben Kirkland is a professional industrial designer and the content creator for YouTube channel Appalachian Bonsai. He is currently teaching at Virginia Tech's School of Architecture + Design. Ben has been creating bonsai since 2007. He is a member of the Hinoki Bonsai Club, founded in Roanoke, Virginia, and was their president from 2016-2018. Kirkland has given several lectures and demos about bonsai in the surrounding area, and focuses on using native tree species in his designs. You may find him online with his videos, attending monthly meetings in Roanoke, or traveling to the Carolina Bonsai Expo in Asheville every chance he gets. He and his wife Julie reside in Christiansburg, Virginia.


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.