Who is BAGI?
As a recognized 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, BAGI is funded in part by the City of San Jose’s Office of Cultural Affairs. We educate the public about art glass by teaching a variety of glass-working classes, offering free public demonstrations, and bringing in international and locally renowned guest artists to conduct free demonstrations and lectures. BAGI cosponsors the Great Glass Pumpkin Patch®. BAGI’s goal is to continue expanding its education and program offerings to artists and the general public.
The Bay Area Glass Institute, affectionately known as BAGI, was founded by four San Jose State University (SJSU) students in 1996: Mike Binnard, Bobby Bowes, Mariko Takada, and Jonathan Tepperman. No longer students at SJSU, the founders of BAGI needed a hot shop to work in. The first BAGI hot shop was located in Bobby Bowes’ backyard/garage. It was the founders’ collective idea to create a glassblowing studio that they could rent out as well as to serve as a gathering place for fellow glass artists.
Why create a glass art institute? In addition to being an affordable work space for local glass blowers, fusers and torch workers, it’s also a public education facility. The goal is to provide a way for the public to become familiar with fine art glass and the processes used to make it. In addition, BAGI supports established local artists as well as beginning level students in their efforts to further their glass working careers and/or journeys.