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The Bay Area Glass Institute (BAGI) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to make the celebration of glass art accessible to all and provide continued artistic, educational, and intellectual growth to our members and the community.
The Bay Area Glass Institute was founded by four SJSU student artists, Mike Binnard, Bobby Bowes, Mariko Takada, and Jonathan Tepperman in 1997. For years, they created and sold glass pumpkins to raise money towards building a space to house their collective brainchild, a rental studio and gathering place for South Bay glass artists. In the beginning, the institute was formed in a garage in Bobby Bowes' backyard. The glass blowing continued as they struggled to raise funds to move to a larger location that would serve as a fully operational glass blowing facility. To raise the funds needed to move into and maintain the new facility, the Great Glass Pumpkin Patch (R) was created in 1995 by Bobby Bowes, the Palo Alto Art Center and a small team from BAGI. This event has become a Bay Area institution in the fall with a week-long exhibition and weekend glass sale where thousands of customers buy beautiful glass pumpkins. Why create an institute? In addition to being a working space for glass blowers, it's also a public education facility. The goal is to provide a way for the public to get familiar with glass and the processes used to make fine glass art. In addition, BAGI supports local artists as they emerge in their careers and provides beginner through advanced level classes for folks that want a hands on experience
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