Jim Smith Memorial – November 19

This is your invitation to become a part of a tribute to James J. Smith and his contributions to bonsai.

The 2016 Heathcote Botanical Gardens annual Fall Festival (November 19-20th) will be dedicated to the life work of bonsai master James Joseph Smith. Mr. Smith passed away June 29, 2016, but his influence in the bonsai community will live on for generations. Mr. Smith’s sixty-year commitment to the art has spread like the canopy of a massive banyan tree across Florida and the wider world. Today, more than 100 bonsai from Mr. Smith’s private collection reside in the James J. Smith Bonsai Garden in Fort Pierce, Florida, the largest public tropical collection in the United States. Heathcote is offering both an opportunity to say, “Thank you, Jim” and to catch a glimpse into Mr. Smith’s private world, known only to his family and closest friends. On display will be his bonsai, pottery, photography, and the wooden model ships he built so painstakingly.

As a student/friend/bonsai artist you are invited to display a bonsai (or several) with direct connections to Mr. Smith – either because he inspired it, worked on it, or grew the original material. There will be two types of displays:

Live bonsai will be arranged on 4’ x 8’ tables throughout the Heathcote property. Each artist will be allocated space as needed. If you have ANY available photos showing Mr. Smith working on your tree, these would be especially appreciated. All tables will be covered with simple grass mats; however, individuals who bring their own display materials will be accommodated. Trees should arrive at Heathcote on Friday no later than seven o’clock p.m. for placement. A one-page synopsis (basically the Who, What, When, etc.) should be included, see attachments A and B. We will laminate these photos and the synopsis for inclusion with your display.

Photographs of bonsai on easels. The photos will be printed as large as possible and displayed on easels throughout the garden. These entries should be digitally sent to Belinda Kehoe at keh406@gmail.com. All digital photos should be at least 8” x 10” at 200 dpi. Larger is better to ensure high-quality reproduction. After printing, posters will be made and for the event will be arranged around the garden. Please provide as much cutline information as possible, including the tree’s species, style, history, and connection to Mr. Smith (see attached form A). If you provide contact information, I will speak with you personally in preparing these cutlines.
Ownership will be attributed to all displays unless privacy is requested. Heathcote will be providing added security for this event. All trees will be watered daily unless the owner specifies differently.

Mr. Smith’s garden and pavilion are reserved for only his work during this event. For those who have known “Jim” many years, some surprises still await. Smith’s surviving sons are allowing a one-time display of Jim’s magnificent sailing ships and examples of photography.

The pavilion will also house a collection of one-of-a-kind bonsai pots created by Mr. Smith during the 1970s and 80s. A Registry is currently being created (see attachment). Anyone willing to display a JJS pot should speak with Belinda via email or phone to make arrangements.

Please contact Belinda AS SOON AS POSSIBLE if you can participate. Feel free to share this announcement with all your bonsai friends. Mr. Smith generously shared his knowledge, painstakingly accumulated during bonsai’s infancy here in our area. His Sundays Under The Oaks seminars were legendary, where masters and novices gathered to learn, share and discuss the art of bonsai. This event is our moment to demonstrate the importance of James Smith’s legacy. We all owe him more than we could ever repay. We look forward to hearing from you.

Save the date: November 19-20th

Belinda Kehoe, Coordinator

James J. Smith Memorial



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