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Michiana Bonsai                         Study 


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Meeting Minutes                                            Cheryl Owens' obituary:

About us:

The Michiana Bonsai Study is the latest in a succession of bonsai clubs in the South Bend  -  Elkhart, Indiana area.  We came into being by a vote in the fall of 2010 of the members of our predecessor, the Wellfield Bonsai Study, named after the Wellfield Gardens in Elkhart where the club met. We now meet at various locations in and around the Elkhart - South Bend area.

However, bonsai has been in the Elkhart/St. Joseph counties of Indiana since 1968 with founding of the Elkhart Bonsai Club. From that day to this our members have been blessed with the guidance of our sensei, Cheryl Owens, who has shared her knowledge and training with interested initiates in the art of bonsai. In addition to her studies with John Naka, a bonsai master from the Los Angeles area, now deceased, Cheryl has made a number of trips to Japan, Korea and Taiwan to study bonsai.

From 1968 until 1978 the "Elkhart Bonsai Club" and from 1988 until 2008 the "Elkhart Bonsai Study" met once a month in the Owens' bonsai garden. In 1972 the Elkhart club had its first exhibit and demonstrations at the Pierre Moran Mall. An early member, the late Dr. Burton Kintner, became a great bonsai artist as well as botanist. He was especially known for his prized blooming azalea. In addition to the Elkhart club, two separate clubs formed in South Bend in the 1980's, one which met in the morning and one which met in the evening at Pottawatomi Park. Again, they were led and inspired by Cheryl.

More recently one of John Naka's students, Ben Oki (from Culver City, CA), has visited the area as Cheryl's guest and held workshops to share the knowledge of one of our country's new bonsai masters. Hopefully, we will continue to learn and gain knowledge of this wonderful and ancient art.