A pop-up pumpkin patch at Santana Row is becoming a new Fall tradition. In early October, hundreds of people showed up or just happened to walk by the glass pumpkin patch. The event featured almost 6,000 glass pumpkins displayed atop hay bales and in small patches. Just like a regular pumpkin patch, guests were allowed to pick and choose their favorites.
All of the pumpkins were created by artists connected to the Bay Area Glass Institute (BAGI), a San Jose non-profit that offers local glass artists a place to call home. The annual glass pumpkin patch is a way for artists to show off their work as well as help raise funds for BAGI.
“[It’s about] supporting the artists, bringing the artists to display and present their works,” said Treg Silkwood, BAGI board member and artist. “BAGI was pretty much founded on glass pumpkins.”
This is the fourth year the glass pumpkin patch has found its way onto Santana Row, but the event itself has been a tradition for more than two decades. BAGI also hosts an annual glass pumpkin patch in Palo Alto, something it’s done since 1996.
“I love having all of the artists come out here and participate,” said John Peters, BAGI board member.
The funds raised by the two events will help BAGI operate in the coming year. The institute recently opened a new studio in San Jose’s History Park. The studio is open to the public with glassblowing classes for everyone from the beginner to the advanced.
BAGI was founded in the 1970s by a group of recent San Jose State University graduates who needed a place to continue honing their craft. They opened up BAGI for glassblowers just like them and people who wanted to learn.
The institution has hosted a number of community glass events since its founding. In 1997, it teamed up with Santa Clara’s Triton Museum to host The Great Glass Egg Hunt. The event lasted five years until 2002.
The next event for BAGI will be on Santana Row in December. Glass artisans will be blowing glass Christmas ornaments and selling decorations created by local artists.
For more information about BAGI including details on youth and adult classes as well as upcoming events, visit www.bagi.org.