Rodney Clemens

Bonsai Artist / Enthusiast

Spending his formative years in the Florida panhandle, Rodney moved permanently to Atlanta, GA when he was thirteen. He was captivated by bonsai in 1973 when he encountered a Trident maple forest that struck chords in his heart and artistic nature. Bonsai has been his passion since that time, which led him to naturally become a bonsai artist and instructor. Best known for his unique “rock plantings”, Rodney excels in capturing the tension in nature and translating it to bonsai.

Rodney was a professional landscaper, specializing in Japanese gardens and natural water features. His work developed his sensitive eye and skill with rock and plant placement which adds realism to his bonsai creations. His style has been formed by studying nature, drawing heavily on childhood memories of coastal Florida. In addition, he studied with E. Felton Jones and enjoyed workshops with many visiting artists like John Naka and Yugi Yoshimura.

The professional history of Rodney includes being past President of the Atlanta Bonsai Society three times since joining the organization in 1973. In addition, he was President of Phoenix Bonsai Federation in 1999. Rodney continues traveling, teaching, judging shows and critiquing collections. He leads a study group at Smith Gilbert Gardens in Kennesaw GA. where he is the curator of their collection. He also is the curator of the permeant collection at The Monastery of the Holy Spirit in Conyers GA. He is a member of the consortium of public bonsai curators which was started by Jack Sustic, Curator of the National Collection in Washington DC.

Rodney has been an invited speaker to numerous Bonsai societies meetings and conventions. A few of the highlights are: 1987 BSF Convention, Fort Walton Beach, FL; 1989-1997 Southeast Bonsai Conferences, Atlanta, GA; 1993 World Bonsai Convention, Orlando, FL; 1996 ABS Convention, Hershey, PA; 1997 International Bonsai Convention, England; 1998 International Bonsai Symposium, Rochester, NY; 2001 Mid Atlantic Convention, Newark, NJ;  2002, 2005, 2009, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and will also is scheduled for 2020 Brussel’s Rendezvous, Memphis, TN; Expo 2005 and 2013 Asheville, NC; He has spoken at four BSF Conventions, the last one was in Gainesville, FL. in 2006. He was a speaker at the 2018 Lone Star Bonsai Federation 2018 convention in Longview, Texas.

Presently, he is applying his talents at his nursery, Allgood Bonsai, designing trees and teaching advanced workshops. Rodney enjoys the opportunity to share and express his love of nature and bonsai with people in the hope that he can influence them in a positive way.