MBS Bonsai Exhibits & Shows

Our opportunity to display for the aesthetic enjoyment of members and the Wisconsin community.

The Milwaukee Bonsai Society promotes its activities locally at several exhibits and shows each year. These exhibits introduce bonsai to audiences of all ages. Our programs and demonstrations bring the power of nature and art to life and inspire the lives of the people they reach.

Whether we are exhibiting in a lower level media room, reaching young minds at a folk fair, or bringing bonsai to middle school and seniors, our programs are accessible year-round and are affordable. These programs elevate and energize our creative spirit. Regardless of your background, age or physical capacity, bonsai can stimulate and empower you. Our exhibits and programs strive to encourage people to share in the elegance of bonsai. Let's look at a few starting early in the seasons.

Winter Silhouettes Exhibit

Silhouette Show 2015

In addition to the joys of snow during the winter and early spring months, we in the Midwest have an opportunity to view our landscape in the ‘raw’, that is, without the dressing of buds, leaves and flowers. This show is our annual Winter Silhouettes Exhibit, usually held at The Domes in conjunction with the Garden Railway Show. Only deciduous trees are featured such as maples, hornbeams, elms, hawthorns, apples, to name a few.

Wisconsin State Fair

WI State Fair

During the Wisconsin State Fair in August, the Grand Champion Hall (formerly known as the Horticulture, Craft & Culinary Pavilion) is home to an extensive collection of bonsai trees during State Fair with three different displays: Exhibit 1 – Thursday – Sunday, Exhibit 2 – Monday – Wednesday and Exhibit 3 – Thursday – Sunday.

Each year the Wisconsin State Fair comes up with a new theme and with this theme in mind we share our trees with the thousands of fair goers. All three exhibits are judged as separate shows so there are plenty of ribbons to go around!

Annual Exhibit

Annual Exhibit

Our first annual exhibit was in 1970, only one year after founding MBS. Each and every year since then we have held an exhibition our member's best trees. In recent years we have made this exhibit not only a member event but a public celebration of our bonsai achievements. We have added a headlining artist to judge, vendors, workshops, and a banquet. It’s our opportunity to enjoy each other’s company in work and play among our bonsai. Please check out the links below for details, times for this 3 day exhibit

Spring Bonsai Display

Spring Show

In spring, trees that have been dormant all winter are covered with new buds and foliage. Some even bloom. This annual renewal of life is our Spring Bonsai Display which features spring-blooming trees, trees just kicking off their flush of growth. Usually this show is held at the Lynden Sculpture Garden giving visitors an opportunity to learn about this fascinating ancient art form as well as explore the variety of stunning outdoor sculptures.

Holiday Folk Fair


Join in the celebration of cultural diversity. Holiday Folk Fair International showcases the heritage and culture of over 50 ethnic groups through international exhibits, food and dance performances. Our commitment to children's activities includes this very unusual exhibit. Our members display trees and provide children's activities. There is an especially big rush on Friday as children race to fill their "passport".

Exhibit Activities

MBS has also sponsors booths at garden shows, Japanese Cultural Events, fundraising events, garden tours, athletic clubs and specialty shows. Watch the What's New page to learn which events are upcoming.