Art of Bonsai Awards

Art of Bonsai Awards 2009

Art of Bonsai Awards Winners

Discuss this Contest >>

We are please to announce the winners of the 2009 Art of Bonsai Awards.

Separating the entries into the categories of the contest, adding the scores of our four judges together for each entry, and dividing that total by four to determine the average score per entry determined the winners. The entry with the highest total average score was declared the winner of that category.

An experienced artist judged entries that tied. The scores and averages were then adjusted to reflect the additional score. The tied entry with the highest total adjusted average score was declared the winner of that tie.

All documents concerning this contest, including the judges individual judging sheets, our scoring sheet, and the tie breaking process can be accessed here.

The judges for this contest were:

Warren Hill U.S.A. (AoB Awards Judge)

Guy Guidry U.S.A. (AoB Awards Judge)

Andy Rutledge U.S.A. (AoB Awards Judge)

 

The Art of Bonsai Award winning entry was selected by the AoB Editorial Staff.

The American National Bonsai Exhibition Award winning entry was selected by William N. Valavanis.

The Joshua Roth Limited Award winning entry was selected by the staff of Joshua Roth Limited.

The Bonsai Clubs International Award winning entry was selected by Robert Kempinski.

The ICHIBAN Award winning entry was selected by Marco Invernizzi.

The judges original judging sheets and the final score sheet, which combines all the judges scores and comments together, are attached to maintain transparency and for those who wish to compare.

Please take a moment today and help us thank all of the people, sponsors and entrants that made this contest the success it is by dropping by our thank you thread and posting a word or two.

And now, the winners of the 2008 Art of Bonsai Awards!

The Art of Bonsai Award

Most artistically innovative entry of all entries from all categories.
(Selected by the AoB Editorial Staff.)

AoB Awards 2009

AoB_038
Nacho Marin - Caracas, Venezuela
Junipero San Jose (Juniperus 'San jose')
Height: 27 in, 69 cm
Pot: Ensamble Coraline Rock
Categories: Landscape

Grand Prize

The entry from all categories achieving the highest average score from our esteemed judges.

AoB Awards 2009

AoB_072
Walter Pall - Germany
Trident Maple (Acer burgerianum)
Height: 20 in, 50 cm
Pot: Derek Aspinall

Judge Warren Hill scored 9
Judge Guy Guidry scored 10
Judge Andy Rutledge scored 8
Total score 27
Average score 9.0

Judge's Comments:

"Strong base and beautiful color make us aware the on coming winter. Trees vigor and vitality suggest it will endure be many more winters ahead. Beautiful!" - Guy Guidry

"Quite nice! The stand (slab?) should be larger and darker" - Andy Rutledge

Best Conifer

Conifer entry achieving the highest average score from our esteemed judges.

AoB Awards 2009

AoB_066
Walter Pall - Germany
European spruce (Norway spruce) (Picea abies)
Height: 24 in, 60 cm
Pot: Genuine German sinter stone, collected

Judge Warren Hill scored 8
Judge Guy Guidry scored 9
Judge Andy Rutledge scored 6
Total score 23
Average score 7.67

Judge's Comments:

"Looks like a real tree. I love it. It would be nice if the two branches on left, the main one and the one near the top had a little more foliage on them so I didn’t see everything! Great choice of pot. Very natural! Killer!" - Guy Guidry

"A powerful, evocative, natural image marred by poor placement on a too-small slab. The lower slab/stand is wrong." - Andy Rutledge

Best Broad Leaf Tree (non-conifer)

Broad Leaf Tree entry achieving the highest average score from our esteemed judges.

The broadleaf entry with the highest average score this year also had the highest average highest score of all entries, making it the grand prize winner. As per the rules, the best broadleaf award would then go to the next highest average score, which brought a tie between two entries, both scoring an average score of 7.0.

The AoB editorial staff (with the exception of any who entered the contest) each scored the tied entries separately leading to an average tie-breaking score of 8.0 for the winner of the broadleaf category below and of 6.75 for the other tied entry, aob_105. Full documentation of the votes can be found in the "contest documents" thread.

AoB Awards 2009

AoB_039
Nacho Marin - Caracas, Venezuela
Quiebracho (Phitecellobiumtortum)
Height: 36 in, 90 cm
Pot: Chinese

Judge Warren Hill scored 8
Judge Guy Guidry scored 7
Judge Andy Rutledge scored 6
Total score 21
Average score 7

Tie-Breaking Scores:

Will Heath scored 9
Carl Bergstrom scored 8
Dorothy Schmitz scored 7
Paul Stokes scored 8
Total score 32
Average tie-breaking score 8.0

Judge's Comments:

"Powerful natural looking tree matches pot well. This bonsai makes the viewer feel the power of the tropics!" - Guy Guidry

"Nice use of the material and nice presentation (but where’s the stand!?). However, wire is inappropriate when displaying such a tree." - Andy Rutledge

Best Shohin Bonsai

Shohin entry achieving the highest average score from our esteemed judges.

AoB Awards 2009

AoB_029
Morten Albek - Denmark
Japanese Rhododendron (Rhododendron lysolepsis)
Height: 7 in, 18 cm
Pot: John Pitt

Judge Warren Hill scored 8
Judge Guy Guidry scored 8
Judge Andy Rutledge scored 6
Total score 22
Average score 7.33

Judge's Comments:

"Slanting tree has great balance. Powerful base anchors composition well." - Guy Guidry

"This could be much improved if moss were added between the roots." - Andy Rutledge

Best Bonsai Landscape

Landscape entry achieving the highest average score from our esteemed judges.

This year brought a tie between this winner and the entry aob_060, both scoring an average score of 8.17.

The AoB editorial staff (with the exception of any who entered the contest) each scored the tied entries separately leading to a average tie-breaking score of 7.6 for the winner of the landscape category below and of 6.2 for the other tied entry, aob_060. Full documentation of the votes can be found in the "contest documents" thread.

AoB Awards 2009

AoB_065
Walter Pall - Germany
Ezo spruce (Picea jezoensis )
Height: 45 in, 65 cm
Pot: Genuine German sinter stone, collected

Judge Warren Hill scored 9.5
Judge Guy Guidry scored 10
Judge Andy Rutledge scored 5
Total score 24.5
Average score 8.17

Tie-Breaking Scores:

Paul Stokes scored 9
Candy J. Shirey scored 7
Andy Rutledge scored 7
Carl Bergstrom scored 8
Dorothy Schmitz scored 7
Total score 38
Average tie-breaking score 7.6

Judge's Comments:

"This compositions powerful yet very natural look suggests a real landscape. That of the mountains. Superbly done." - Guy Guidry

"Nice material and styling (could do with some jin). Poor placement on the slab and the stand is inappropriate." - Andy Rutledge

Best Display

Display entry achieving the highest average score from our esteemed judges.

AoB Awards 2009

AoB_102
David Martin and Bob Bailey - England
Japanese Maple (Acer palmatum 'Seigen')
Height: 12 in, 30 cm
Pot: Mopot

Judge Warren Hill scored 8
Judge Guy Guidry scored 9
Judge Andy Rutledge scored 7
Total score 24
Average score 8.0

Judge's Comments:

"Tree in front of scroll is very nice. It creates great depth and balance but I think the pot is a little bulky for tree. Fantastic." - Guy Guidry

"Nice composition, but the stand should be slightly larger.." - Andy Rutledge

Best Companion Planting

Companion Planting entry achieving the highest average score from our esteemed judges.

AoB Awards 2009

AoB_152
Valentin Scordaliu - Romania
Fittonia (Fittonia)
Height: 2 in, 4 cm
Pot: Handmade traditional Romanian pot

Judge Warren Hill scored 9
Judge Guy Guidry scored 8
Judge Andy Rutledge scored 6
Total score 23
Average score 7.67

Judge's Comments:

"Pretty" - Andy Rutledge

SPONSOR AWARDS

This year the staff of AoB decided to offer additional awards, in cooperation with other bonsai organizations and our sponsors, such as the American National Bonsai Exhibition Award, and the ABFF award below.

These awards are in addition to our primary awards above, which are designed to reward and recognize the very best bonsai in the world. These additional awards also differ in that they are judged and awarded by the organizations or sponsors listed, not the AoB Awards judges or editorial staff.

American National Bonsai Exhibition Award

Selected by William Valavanis.

AoB Awards 2009

AoB_117
Ed Trout - USA
Willow Leaf Fig (Ficus nerifolia)
Height: 21 in, 53 cm
Pot: Chinese
Categories: Broadleaf


Joshua Roth Award

Selected by Joshua Roth

AoB Awards 2009

AoB_040
Nacho Marin - Caracas, Venezuela
Ficus Nuda (Ficus Nuda)
Height: 47 in, 120 cm
Pot: Mica
Categories: Broadleaf

BCI Award

Selected by Robert Kempinski

AoB Awards 2009

AoB_154
Louis Nel - South Africa
Buddleja (Buddleja saligna.)
Height: 19 in, 48 cm
Pot: L Le Grange (South Africa)
Categories: Broadleaf

ICHIBAN Award

Selected by Marco Invernizzi

AoB Awards 2009

AoB_002
Alfredo Salaccione - Italy
Mugo Pine (Pinus mugo turra)
Height: 22 in, 56 cm
Pot: Japanese
Category: Conifer

Discuss this contest >>