Guest Artist

Jack Douthitt

Jack’s passion for the last fifty years has been bonsai. After retirement he began writing creatively and now both his bonsai, and his writings, reflect his excellent story telling ability. His bonsai have been selected, numerous times, as "Best of Show" at various regional bonsai exhibits, and they have won many Blue Ribbons and Awards of Merit. His bonsai have also been featured on the covers of six bonsai magazines. Jack's bonsai have been selected to be included in both the National Arboretum Collection of American Bonsai in Washington DC and the Weyerhaeuser Pacific Rim Bonsai Collection in Tacoma WA. Jack believes that the most important thing for a student to learn is that 'they should listen to the tree. Not every piece of material has perfect potential. But every tree has its own personal charm and story. The student must learn to discover the story in each tree and, hand in hand with nature, develop that story into a work of art. In 1987 he was recognized as "One of Americas Outstanding Bonsai Artists" by the National Bonsai Foundation. His book, Bonsai: The Art of Living Sculpture approaches bonsai as art, exploring how the traditional fine arts apply to bonsai. He focuses on the specific design elements of the bonsai - the roots, trunk, branches, foliage, and container - and discusses how bonsai artists manipulate elements for a specific effect. Unlike traditional arts, bonsai requires working with material that is alive and ever changing, presenting unique challenges and rewards.

In 1987 he was recognized as “One of Americas Outstanding Bonsai Artists” by the National Bonsai Foundation. Jack was a past president of MBS, he was a member of the Board of Directors of Bonsai Clubs International for ten years and served as President of BCI from 1994 to 1996. He has written several articles for the ABS and BCI Journals.

In 2002, he conceived, sponsored and produced the first North American New Talent Bonsai Competition. It has now become an annual event of the American Bonsai Society and is sponsored by the Joshua Roth Company of Albany Oregon. His greatest achievement has been challenging MBS and spearheading the Bonsai at Lynden, a collaboration between: Lynden Sculpture Garden, Milwaukee Bonsai Foundation and Milwaukee Bonsai Society. Today the exhibit is open Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays during spring, summer and fall.