Finding Art in Stones

October 08, 2018
Finding Art in Stones
Contemplative Viewing Stone Exhibit ‘Stone Images IX’ Opens October 16
Stone Images IX is a free exhibit open to the public featuring 28 stones collected from Washington, California, New Mexico, and Alaska by members of the Puget Sound Bonsai Association’s Viewing Stone Study Group. Viewing stones, as they are known in the United States (a.k.a. suiseki in Japan, or scholar stones in China) are naturally formed stones valued for their shape, color, beauty, pattern, and/or for what they can been seen to represent. Some collectors choose certain stones because they see in them natural scenes, such as scenic vistas or animals, or naturalistic imagery within the face of the stone.
After being collected, viewing stones are typically displayed on wooden stands (daiza); some stones are polished. When paired with bonsai, the viewing stone and bonsai tree each enhance the qualities of the other, and together, create a scene that might be found in nature. The practice of collecting and viewing stones originated in China about 2,000 years ago; it was introduced to Japan in the sixth century CE, and is now practiced worldwide.
Stone Images IX is the ninth in a series of exhibits organized by the Puget Sound Bonsai Association’s Viewing Stone Study Group. Since the exhibit series’ inception in 2010, 250 viewing stones collected from countries around the Pacific Rim, including the Pacific Northwest, Wyoming and Alaska have been displayed at Pacific Bonsai Museum.
Information about each stone--including viewing stone classification, place of origin, name of the collector, and (in many cases) the poetic title given to the stone by its collector--will be displayed beside each stone in the exhibit. The entire exhibit will be displayed in two, glass-fronted cabinets lining the interior of the Pavilion at Pacific Bonsai Museum.
Opens: Tuesday, October 16, 2018 / Closes: Sunday, December 9, 2018
On October 21, 2018, Joel Schwarz, a member of the PSBA Viewing Stone Study Group and exhibitor in Stone Images IX, will be at Pacific Bonsai Museum for this free, public event. This is a hands-on activity where the public can pet, polish, and sand stones, see daizas (viewing stone stands) in progress, and learn about viewing stone displays. Schwarz will answer questions about the exhibit and demonstrate stone polishing. 10am to 2pm.
The Pacific Bonsai Museum is located on the campus of the former Weyerhaeuser headquarters at 2515 S 336th Street, Federal Way, WA 98001.
Tuesday through Sunday, 10am to 4pm. The Museum is closed every Monday, as well as Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day.
Free parking is available across from the Museum (follow signs to ‘Garden Parking’); handicapped parking is available at the museum entrance.
Viewing Stones Study Group of the Puget Sound Bonsai Association
The Pacific Bonsai Museum connects people to nature through the living art of bonsai. Fifty to 60 of the Museum’s 150 bonsai are displayed at any given time in an outdoor, fine-art-museum-setting in the open air of a large forest in Federal Way, Washington. One of only a handful of museums dedicated to bonsai worldwide, the Pacific Bonsai Museum is poised at the forefront of an ancient-yet-modern art form that is transforming in a uniquely American fashion. Approximately 35,000 people from across the globe visit the museum each year, with visitorship growing as people discover this gem of the Pacific Northwest. Admission by donation. Learn more at:
The Puget Sound Bonsai Association (PSBA) was formed in 1973 and is a non-profit organization dedicated to the education of its members and the general public in the art and culture of bonsai. The Viewing Stones Study Group was founded in 2006 to encourage appreciation of these nature-formed artworks and encourage appreciation of the qualities that make a stone art. More at:
Photo attached: Petroglyph Stone with Quartz inclusions / Collected by Judi Kuehn near the Black Butte Lake, California / Stand carved by Ed Kuehn. Photo: Pacific Bonsai Museum.