Bonsai are works of art that are never done. They live hundreds of years in cultivation, passed from generation to generation of artists. In the 30 years since the Pacific Bonsai Museum’s collection of 150 bonsai was established, each tree has been through (sometimes dramatic) changes as Museum Curators participate in an ongoing collaboration with nature.
Pacific Bonsai Museum wants to share its deep design histories and extensive archival photographs for artists, designers, and nature-lovers to take inspiration from, learn from, and enjoy. Curators’ provide insights into the intentions of the artists who first created the bonsai, along with sharing their own artistic process and vision for what the bonsai will become:
“I am usually thinking five years ahead, to what I imagine a tree will look like when its current design peaks and then requires advancement,” Pacific Bonsai Museum Curator Aarin Packard explained. “Collaborating with nature this long-term way, I not only feel connected to each tree but to each person who has cared for them in the past and even to those who will care for them in the future after I’m gone.”
Pacific Bonsai Museum invites backers to join one of Kickstarter’s “Projects We Love” to print A Gallery of Trees: Living Art of Pacific Bonsai Museum: a ~200 page, hardcover, full-color book following the journeys of 30 bonsai in their world-renowned collection representing the best in bonsai. The book would be unlike any bonsai, art, or design book currently in print; it is a unique combination of all three genres. Packed with photographs and histories, this kind of information, at this level of detail, doesn’t exist anywhere else.
“This book is a rare look into the history of living beings,” says Kathy McCabe, Pacific Bonsai Museum Executive Director. “It is quite unexpected. You learn where the trees and artists came from, and their stories draw you in.”
Bonsai is an art that can be appreciated by anyone; therefore, this book is written for a wide audience of nature lovers, art and design-minded people, and bonsai appreciators and enthusiasts.
The campaign to fund A Gallery of Trees launched on Kickstarter on October 29, 2019, and runs through December 12 at 11:59 pm PST. To date, the campaign has 136 backers who have pledged $15,504 (64% of their total goal of $24,000, which is the amount they need to print a run of 500 books). Backers who pledge $79 or more will get a copy of the book should the campaign be successful.