Artist Painting Hinoki Cypress at the Pacific Bonsai Museum on June 18. Sarah Fox/Sound Publishing

Artist Painting Hinoki Cypress at the Pacific Bonsai Museum on June 18. Sarah Fox/Sound Publishing

Review: A summer evening spent at the Pacific Bonsai Museum

The museum hosted its Summer Bonsai Solstice event on June 18.

A mild breeze stirs the dainty branches of the bonsai trees. Soft chords of a ukulele drift through the evening air as painters capture the tiny majesty of Japanese maples, junipers, and redwoods.

On this summer night, a whisper of magic seems to ride the air.

The Pacific Bonsai Museum (PBM) hosted a summer solstice event on June 18 with live music, a visiting painting class, and two pop-up stores.

“It’s incredible, the artistry that goes into it,” said one guest looking at a miniature Tucker Oak tree. She went on to say she had wanted to visit the museum for a while but had never gotten around to it until she saw an advertisement online for the event and decided to attend.

The leader of the visiting Modern Color Atelier art class, Kimberly Trowbridge, brought students to paint the likeness of the exquisite tree exhibits on display.

This method “focuses on identifying discrete shapes of colors” and mixing them in order to place them on canvas, according to Trowbridge.

Visitors had the opportunity to observe these artists as they painted the trees, noting the color blocking technique employed by the painters.

Throughout the night, Arden Fujiwara wandered the museum grounds, weaving an atmospheric soundtrack to the mild evening on the ukulele.

After observing the trees and painters, guests had the opportunity to pot their own succulent at the ReRooted pop-up store and purchase souvenirs from the museum’s own pop-up store.

Over 150 bonsai trees are housed at the PBM of several varieties, including Japanese maples, Chinese Elm trees, junipers, pears, and many more. Sixty trees are displayed at a time on a rotating schedule, allowing visitors to enjoy new sights during each visit.

“Any woody plant is a candidate for bonsai, though ones with smaller leaves/needles tend to be the most ‘convincing,’” according to the PBM website.

There are several exciting events coming up at the PBM, including Bonsai Basics classes on July 16 and 23. Here, students can learn the beginnings of the art of bonsai. Register on the PBM website.

The Puget Sound Sumi Artists will visit the museum to capture the beauty of the bonsais on July 30. Another event, Branch Out, is held Saturday, Sept. 11 which will provide refreshments and live entertainment.

Learn more about the Pacific Bonsai Museum and upcoming events at pacificbonsaimuseum.org.


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Kimberly Trowbridge painting Tucker Oak Bonsai at the Pacific Bonsai Museum on June 18. Sarah Fox/Sound Publishing

Kimberly Trowbridge painting Tucker Oak Bonsai at the Pacific Bonsai Museum on June 18. Sarah Fox/Sound Publishing

Japanese Maple Bonsai at the Pacific Bonsai Museum on June 18. Sarah Fox/Sound Publishing

Japanese Maple Bonsai at the Pacific Bonsai Museum on June 18. Sarah Fox/Sound Publishing

Formosan Juniper bonsai at the Pacific Bonsai Museum on June 18. Sarah Fox/Sound Publishing

Formosan Juniper bonsai at the Pacific Bonsai Museum on June 18. Sarah Fox/Sound Publishing

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