California’s Bay Area Glass Institute Seeks New ED


Mark Murai

BAGI Executive Director Mark Murai Returning to the Private Sector

The Board of Directors of the Bay Area Glass Institute (BAGI) has announced that Mark Murai will be leaving his position as Executive Director to return to the technology sector. Over the past two years as the organization’s leader and as a staff member since 2006, BAGI has grown its impact by expanding class offerings, adding programs for kids, bringing in thousands of new students of all ages, while continuing to be a resource for local artists to work and learn.

Mark said, “It is a bittersweet choice I have made but this decision will help take care of a situation very important in my personal life. I will be part of the interview team for the next Executive Director and will continue to help BAGI with events, studio repairs and as “an Artist” … The next Executive Director will have a chance to work with some great people and an organization that is truly something very special in the South Bay.”
You can read more of his note to the BAGI community here.

“Mark brought a great spirit of entrepreneurship to his role,” said Steven Aldrich, BAGI Board Chair. “His energy and passion to expand our outreach has grown the organization in the past two years through challenging economic times. Mark has had a tremendous impact and opened a number of doors by building relationships in the local community.”
BAGI’s Board has started the search for a new Executive Director and multiple Board members are working to ensure a smooth transition when Mark leaves in mid-July. Tom Upchurch, Board member and BAGI’s Executive Director before Mark, will serve as Interim Executive Director during the search.

Click HERE to read about BAGI’s search qualifications.

The Bay Area Glass Institute (BAGI), a non-profit arts education center founded in 1996, is the only public access glass-working facility in the Santa Clara County that has fully functional glassblowing, fusing, cold-working and torch working studios. BAGI educates the public about art glass by teaching a variety of glass-working classes, offering free public demonstrations, and bringing in guest artists to conduct free demonstrations and lectures. BAGI’s goal is to continue expanding its education and program offerings to artists and the general public.
BAGI is located at 401 East Taylor Street, in San Jose, CA.

For more information about BAGI, click HERE.

10th Annual Bay Area Glass Institute Auction


Ethan Stern – Saber T

The Bay Area Glass Institute (BAGI) Presents its 10th Annual GREAT GLASS AUCTION
Saturday, March 26, 2011 5:30-9:30 pm

Preston Singletary

The Benefit supports emerging glass artists, aspiring students and public glass art education
Come join California Bay Area glass lovers, artists, collectors, and patrons as they bid on nearly one hundred pieces of exquisite fine art glass donated by well-known local, national and international artists at the 2011 Great Glass Auction, on Saturday, March 26, 2011 from 5:30-9:30 p.m., in the Cultural Hall at the Palo Alto Jewish Community Center (JCC). The special evening features silent and live auctions of one-of-a-kind glass art and also awards to outstanding glass artists.

A highlight of the Auction evening will be the announcement of the prestigious Saxe Fellowship Award for outstanding craftsmanship and achievement in glass chosen in a juried competition, as well as the People’s Choice Award, selected by auction attendees, that honors the best piece contributed by a local artist. The Saxe Fellowship jurors this year are: Susan Krane, Executive Director, San Jose Museum of Arts and world renowned collector Dorothy Saxe of San Francisco, California.

Demetra Theofanous

Michael Janis Goes West!


photos by Demetra Theofanous

An earlier WGS blog post mentions that our own master of glass imagery – Michael Janis – was heading out west to teach a series of workshops at California’s Bay Area Glass Institute (BAGI).
Michael’s workshops were about integrating imagery into glass – one workshop was creating deep bas-relief and in the other workshop he taught how he does his unique frit powder drawing technique.
Below are some photos of the California workshops:

Making clear and color bas-relief samples.

The students try out working in the plaster molds.

Mark adds color to his work; a student’s work shows the cast glass bristles of a paintbrush.

BAGI Executive Director Mark Murai is amazed at the detail captured by the kilnformed glass.

Michael Janis describes what goes on inside the glass during the firing.

Michael reveals all his secrets in how to use frit powder for drawing and how the layers of glass create the depth of the work.

Michael said he had really enjoyed working at BAGI’s facilities: “It’d be my new home… it has that experimental vibe – where as an artist you can really respond and can take your work the next level.”

Click HERE to jump to BAGI’s website.

Michael Janis in California


Michael Janis discussing his work.

WGS’ Michael Janis will be jetting off to sunny California to teach at the Bay Area Glass Institute (BAGI). Michael received the 2010 Saxe Fellowship for his work in glass, and he will be teaching bas relief casting and imagery in glass workshops. Click HERE to jump to BAGI’s workshop listing on its website.

The Bay Area Glass Institute is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit Art Education facility founded in 1996 to make glass art accessible to all and provide continued artistic and educational growth to artists, patrons and the community. BAGI is funded in part by the City of San Jose’s Office of Cultural Affairs and the Arts Council Silicon Valley.

Michael Janis Awarded Saxe Fellowship

>This weekend was the annual auction at California’s Bay Area Glass Institute (BAGI – a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting and educating glass artists, students and the community).
Lots of beautiful and provocative works of art were auctioned, raising over $110,000 to benefit the school.

The judges chose the best piece in the auction, and three other Jurors’ Choice Awards. The criteria for these awards were uniqueness and creativity within the world of glass as well as for the individual artist, technical mastery, and content beyond mere technical beauty or mastery.

Awards were given, and the top prize, the Saxe Award went to Michael Janis for his piece ‘Meridians’.

Michael Janis / Meridians
Glass, Fused glass powder imagery, steel 12.5″ x 12.5″
photo: anything photographic

The Saxe Fellowship Award, named after world-renowned collectors George and Dorothy Saxe, is chosen by a jury of Dorothy Saxe, Maurine Littleton, Director of the Maurine Littleton Gallery, and Micaela Von Zwoll, Director of the Micaela Gallery. The winner of the Saxe Fellowship will receive a cash prize and will be invited to participate in BAGI’s Visiting Artist series. Previous winners of the fellowship include Sabrina Knowles and Jenny Pohlman.

Congratulations to Michael and all the artists!

There are still several pieces available – the full catalog is online… please call Chris Moore at 408 993-2244 to inquire about them.

Liz Mears at BAGI Auction

>Elizabeth Ryland Mears is one of the Glass School’s favorite flameworkers. Working from her studio in the Workhouse Arts Center in Lorton, VA, Liz creates some of the most beautiful, evocative and lyrical sculptures.

Building upon a successful career in flat glass, which included teaching techniques in such places as the Smithsonian Institution, Liz began to focus exclusively on flameworking in 1993. She works with clear borosilicate glass and incorporates colored glass either as surface treatment or color inclusions. In addition, she utilizes sandblasting, kiln fired surface paints, and gold leaf to create depth in her pieces, which range from large sculptures to functional items.
Liz is part of the Illinois Wesleyen University exhibition of glass art “A Survey of Contemporary Flameworking 2010,” which features artwork by 17 artists from around the world, which runs through Feb. 4, 2010.

Liz Mears’ artwork will also be part of California’s Bay Area Glass Institute (BAGI) auction, along with Mark Abildgaard, Larry Cazes, Paul Cunningham, John De Wit, Kathleen Elliot, Rudy Faulkner, Shaun Griffiths, Martin Janecky, Michael Janis, Susan Longini, Chris Moore, Mark Murai, Jay Musler, Jeff Owen, David Patchen, Marc Petrovic, Sabrina Knowles and Jenny Pohlman, Deva Priya, Richard Royal, Ethan Stern, Toland Sand, Chuck Savoie, Jon Scally, Jonathon Schmuck, Hiroshi Yamano and more.

The Bay Area Glass Institute’s (BAGI) Ninth Annual 2010 Great Glass Auction, will be held on Saturday, February 6, 2010 from 5:30-10:00 p.m., at the Fourth Street Summit Ballroom, in San Jose, California.The BAGI Annual Benefit supports emerging glass artists, students and public glass art education

Bay Area Glass Institute
401 East Taylor St, Suite 115, San Jose, CA 95112

PREVIEW: Friday, February 5, 2010 / 6:00-9:00 pm
Fourth Street Summit Ballroom, San Jose, CA
AUCTION: Saturday, February 6, 2010 | 5:30-10:00 pm

A highlight of the Auction evening will be the announcement of the prestigious Saxe Fellowship Award for outstanding craftsmanship and achievement in glass chosen in a juried competition.
The Saxe Fellowship jurors this year are: Maureen Littleton, director of the Washington D.C’s Maurine Littleton Gallery; Micaela Van Zwoll, founder and director of the San Francisco-based Micaela Gallery; and, world renowned collector Dorothy Saxe of San Francisco, CA.

For more info about the BAGI Auction, click HERE.

Click HERE for the Bay Area Glass Institute website.