Bruce Wilson was a founder of the Asian Studies program at St Mary’s College and continues as Professor Emeritus. He initiated a course called Japanese Art and Culture that introduced students to the concept of the Japanese arts as forms of spiritual discipline. St Mary’s College offers one of the few credit-bearing Ikebana courses in the US.
Bruce has studied Ikenobo, Kiku, and now holds the rank of Seikyoju with the Saga Goryu School in Kyoto. He has presented in the DC area at: The National Arboretum, the Japan-America Society of Washington, DC, the National Geographic Society, the National Cherry Blossom Festival, the Walters Gallery, Abroad, he has had exhibits in Kyoto, Japan; Dusseldorf, Germany; and Amman, Jordan.
Bruce is also active in Ikebana International and is Past President of Chapter 1. He teaches Ikebana on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC and on his Chesapeake bayside farm in Dameron, MD.
Ilse Beunan's first teacher was Kobayashi Miwako, from which she learned the beauty and the basics of Sogestu Ikebana. After moving to Yokohama in 1995, she continued studying with her current teacher, Crivelli Joko. She holds the rank of Jonin Somu in the Sogestu School. In 2000 she returned to Belgium and started her Ikebana atelier. She is working hard to increase the awareness for Ikebana. She teaches online and in-person, giving workshops abroad and writing books. After obtaining her teaching certificate in 1997, she taught Ikebana to Japanese and foreigners.
All Photos taken by Ben Huybrechts at the VMFA. His biography is below.
Ben Huybrechts graduated from university with a Master in Metallurgical Engineering. Ben left for Japan, where he started an Academic Career. He made it up to a professor position at a Japanese University. Still living in Japan, he switched to business as a representative for the Belgian Flanders Government, helping Japanese
companies to get established in Flanders.
After his return to Belgium in 2000, he was co-founder of the software company, WHISE of which he was co-CEO for 20 years. Starting a Creative Career—The urge to start a creative career grew over the years. He photographed numerous Ikebana demonstrations and exhibitions. In 2021 Ben joined Ilse full-time in her Ikebana business.
As a photographer and marketeer, he now combines his passion for teaching, photography, and social media. Ilse & Ben made their home multi-functional and the living room doubles now a photography studio.
Annual Ellen Gordon Allen (EGA) Demonstration - Elaine Jo, Executive Master in the Ichiyo School of Ikebana
Annual Ellen Gordon Allen (EGA) Lecture/Demonstration on October 6, 2022 10am at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. Our featured presenter was Elaine Jo, Executive Master in the Ichiyo School of Ikebana.
Elaine lived in Tokyo, Japan for 25 years and received her Master Degree from the Ichiyo School during that period. She likes to arrange both classical and contemporary but contemporary is her favorite. After moving to the United States in 1989, she began teaching, traveling, and giving workshops/demonstrations. In 1998 she was awarded an Executive Master Degree by the Ichiyo School. In 2009 she was appointed President of the newly formed Atlanta Chapter of the Ichiyo School and held that position until 2021 when she became chief advisor.
Our first program of the year is on Sept 8 in the auditorium at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden.
Dr. Tim Brown will be presenting a program entitled "Arboreal Buddhism: Trees in the Buddhist Imaginary from India to Japan”. Come and be prepared to expand your awareness of trees as reflected in Buddhist imaginary and how we can apply that to our Ikebana practice.
Dr. Brown is an Associate Professor and Chair of Religious Studies at Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, Virginia. Dr. Brown has a Ph.D. in Religion from Syracuse University, an MA from New York University, and a BA from Wabash College. He teaches courses on Asian religions, such as Hinduism, Buddhism, and Japanese religions, indigenous religions of North America, and topical courses on new religious movements and religions and ecology. Prior to taking a position at Randolph-Macon College, Tim worked as a gardener in the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation for ten years.
Tim received training at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden and was stationed in northern Manhattan’s historic Heather Garden in Ft. Tryon Park/The Cloisters where he focused on historic gardens and native forest restoration. He is currently co-director of the Brian Wesley Moores Native Plant Garden at Randolph-Macon College and an avid home gardener in Ashland, where he lives with his wife and two sons.
As a child Mary Jane Sasser helped her father plant, cut and arrange flowers. Over lemonade he would bring out the book of beautiful Japanese flower arrangements. Together they would try and figure out the magic of those arrangements, the book was written in Japanese.
30 years later before Instagram, Google or Facebook, in 2003, Mary Jane found the Sangetsu School of Ikebana and her teacher Professor Helena Arouca. Two years later the Sangetsu School of Takoma Park put on an exhibit using recycled materials such as window shutters, tire irons and egg shells as vases. Participating in that exhibit gave Mary Jane a broader definition of a vase and ignited her passion for the technical skill required to share the beauty of nature through ikebana. In 2012, she earned her Instructors certification Since then Mary Jane has taught ikebana to football players, senior citizens and inner city children.
Her work has been exhibited at the National Arboretum and the Japanese Embassy in Washington DC. Mary Jane loves a beautiful vase but she loves seeing people’s eyes light up when they re-imagine a container into a vase with their own unique creative vision even more!
Rekha Reddy First Master, Ohara Ikebana presented “Stories From the Land of Spirituality, Ikebana from India”. She studied under Grandmaster, Horya Meena Anantnarayan and her mother, Shamala Y.R. Reddy. She has been teaching Ikebana, holding workshops, and demonstrations for over 25 years.
She received the ‘Commendation Award’ from the Japanese Consul General Chennai in 2015. She is passionate about spreading Ikebana, promoting an understanding of Japanese culture and friendship between Japan and India.
It's Fall!!!...Time to Create Dried Materials with Fresh Flowers...with Interesting Expression of Color, Ichiyo's Compound Form as well as the use of Shikimono
Laurie Wareham, a Certified Instructor & Master in The Ichiyo School, presented seasonal arrangements, Ichiyo principles, and using Shikimono.
Ikebana members Eveyln Klumb of the Ikenobo school, Linda L. Taylor of the Ohara school, Shirely Woodle of the Ichiyo school, Kumiko Suzuki of the Sogetsu school, and Grace Morris of the Sangetsu school presented arrangements that interpreted prints by artist Yoshiko Yamamoto.
Junko Liesfeld presented the history and art of Japanese Kimono and shared her personal kimono collection with the members.
Janice Whitehead(Ikenobo School), Judy Sheldon(Ohara School), Paula Nachman(Sogetsu School), Annette Ernst(Keika-Kazan School), Alice Lichfield(Ichiyo School) and Helena Arouca(Sangetsu School) presented a demonstration entitled "Six Ikebana Schools---A Members' Spring Showcase".