For Immediate Release
February 24, 2017

Contact: AnnMarie Cornejo

Cal Poly Welcomes Esteemed Bonsai Artist Ryan Neil on Feb. 28

Cal Poly alumnus and esteemed bonsai artist Ryan Neil will present “The Big Picture of Bonsai: How Horticulture, Art, Design, and Architecture All Became One” from 6 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 28, on campus in the Advanced Technology Laboratories conference room (No. 7). The event, hosted by the Cal Poly Horticulture Club and the Cal Poly Plant Science Club, is free and open to the public.

Neil’s career in bonsai began long before he made the commitment to a life with little trees. Born and raised in Colorado, Neil spent his youth among the fantastic array trees that give the Rocky Mountains its splendid character.

Neil discovered bonsai in high school. His passion for the art grew and led him to attend Cal Poly, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in environmental horticulture in 2004. While at Cal Poly, he was a member of the Horticulture Club and participated in an extensive enterprise project involving the producing of bonsai. He apprenticed with world-renowned bonsai master Masahiko Kimura for six years prior to launching his own business.

Neil is now a bonsai professional pursuing excellence in the art of bonsai throughout the U.S. and in Europe and Asia. He operates Bonsai Mirai, an incubator, garden and soon to be live-streaming platform outside of Portland, Oregon.

“We are creating a community of people working to elevate bonsai to a recognized art form capable of representing the American landscape and American culture,” Neil said. “This endeavor has taken us into intense collaboration with world-renowned architects, designers, musicians, artists and a series of exhibitions ranging from the Portland Art Museum to our upcoming gallery show in Manhattan this coming May.”

Neil also plans to tour in Spain, Italy, Japan, India and France to share the company’s innovative approach of using bonsai as a vehicle to connect people to their environment.

About Cal Poly’s College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences
Cal Poly is a nationally ranked, comprehensive polytechnic university. The university’s College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences is comprised of expert faculty members who take pride in their ability to transform academically motivated students into innovative professionals ready to solve the complex challenges associated with feeding the world in sustainable ways. Students have access to state-of-the-art laboratories, including ranch land, orchards, vineyards and forests, all of which provide the basis for Cal Poly’s Learn by Doing methodology. It is the fifth-largest college of agriculture in the country, with 4,000 undergraduate students.

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