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Marybel Balendonck

Originally from Texas, Marybel moved to California in the 60’s.  Fascinated with Oriental art she became interested in Bonsai, and at first was self-taught by acquiring books on the subject.  She  later started her formal training in 1965 with John Naka.  Marybel was recognized as an accomplished bonsai artists.  Marybel

was one of the original Kofu Bonsai Kai board members

along with Harry Hirao, and Larry Ragle.  She was

President of Santa Anita Bonsai Society and held

positions on the boards of the California Bonsai

Society, Golden State Bonsai federation, and

the first female member of Nampu Kai Bonsai.  

She has been on the board of directors for the 

National Bonsai and Penjing Museum in Washington D.C.

Marybel was very active in the Bonsai community and

displayed her art on a regular basis at venues such as

the Huntington Library and Gardens, L.A. County 

Arboretum, Japanese American Cultural center L.A.

and the Bowers Museum in Orange County. 

Marybel passed away in 2023.

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