Tom Phardel: Bonsai
August 22-September 10, 2014

Detroit native Tom Phardel is highly regarded for his large-scale ceramic and mixed-media sculptures. Few people know, however, that alongside his work as a prolific artist and educator, Phardel has maintained an active engagement with plants, especially the art of bonsai (miniature trees), at his home and studio in Ann Arbor.

This exhibition of approximately one dozen different species of young and mature trees represents the first time that Phardel has shown them to the general public, with the hope of communicating the rich beauty of this ancient art form and showcasing its relationship with other art forms, including performance and writing. Additionally Phardel will include examples of suiseki, the Japanese appreciation of stone art, providing a wonderful interruption to this green installation.

Tom Phardel was born in Detroit. He is Chair of Ceramics at the College for Creative Studies. His artwork has been acquired by many institutions, including the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Dennos Museum Center (Traverse City), and Crocker Art Museum (Sacramento), and is featured in numerous private collections throughout the country.