Gini Garcia attained international status with several significant glass works: a commission work for the Vatican; a one thousand pound chandelier for the Lingner Castle in Dresden, Germany valued at $250,000, and a prodigious glass wall for a Marriott in Aruba. She has completed 50 site artworks worldwide, including 150 pieces for the Harry Potter premiere party in London.
Garcia lives and works in San Antonio but to construct a 250 foot monumental blown glass structure depicting Texas wildflowers, one of the largest glass structures in America, for the J.W. Marriott in Dallas, she leased a studio in New Orleans. Collectors from Europe, Latin America, and Asia frequent her studio and shop in Southtown San Antonio.
Garcia, born in Monterrey, Mexico, came to the United States at the age of five. Her father, a Mexican trained physician, accepted a medical post in San Antonio in the early 1960s and he came to Texas with his wife and seven children.
Garica did not grow up around art. As a teen she focused solely on the goal of becoming a champion diver. She did well on the swimming team until she broke her wrist in a diving accident. That ended her interest in athletics, and she turned to her studies with the intent of one day becoming a doctor like her dad. At St. Marys’ University she took pre-med classes and developed a special interest in her laboratory experiments. Her mother, Dora Elia Garcia, sensed that she would not pursue the study of medicine and encouraged her to study interior design.
The path to becoming an artist varies. Until recently, few artists in Texas worked with glass-making. Garcia did not initially consider studying the art of glass making or pursuing a career as an artistic designer until she explored traditional art routes in painting, drawing, and industrial design. While studying at the San Antonio College library, she came upon a book on industrial art that fascinated her. From that point on, she focused all her art projects on three dimensional art. She constructed three-dimensional projects with various materials. A college recruiter from Kansas City Art Institute of Industrial Design saw her class portfolio and offered her a full scholarship to study in their Bachelor of Fine Arts program.
Upon completion of her industrial arts degree, Garcia took a job in the industrial design sector. While doing a project for an art collector in Utopia, Texas, she saw and admired the customer’s beautiful glass collection. On a trip to New Orleans she saw additional glass art which fascinated her. She returned to San Antonio and found that the Beeville Community College near Corpus Christi offered classes in glass-making. After two semesters there she fell in love with the art of glass-blowing. The desire to learn more led her to enroll at UrbanGlass, Haystack Mountain School of Crafts and later at La Scuola del Vetro Abate Zanetti in Murano, Italy. She is one of the few Latinas to receive training at the famed Italian Murano art glass studios.
Following her training in Italy, Garcia accepted a post in Wimberly, Texas with a well established glass maker. The post did not work out in Wimberly, and she decided to move to Boerne, Texas to start her own glass blowing studio. The decision not to remain in Wimberley proved fortuitous. Garcia’s mom, Dora Elia and her sister Dora Garcia Esparza joined her in starting a glass studio and shop in San Antonio’s Southtown in the early 2000s.
Garcia’s training in the industrial arts, her deep grasp of three dimensional artistic parameters, and her extensive tutelage in glass blowing, have enabled her to engage in new forms of combining steel and bronze with glass pieces. In an effort to move into new multidimensional material concepts, Garcia formed a new company with a partner in South Beach, Florida. She is especially proud of her elegant tables with glass tops and steel, bronze, or iron legs. For a recent commission, Garcia added mesquite wood to the design, which produced elegant small glass tables.
Garcia excels as a glass designer. There are glass objects for every occasion in her shop. Her bright glass plates decorate many local restaurants. She is fond of making glass vessels and flower vases that are often awarded at San Antonio gala events. Over the Christmas holidays her glass-blown ornaments are popular with collectors of authentic glass art work. As modest collectors of glass art, my wife and I are especially fond of her magnificent chandeliers, and we purchased a beautiful multi-color one for our dining room in our Monte Vista hundred-year-old home with high ceilings.
To meet the increasing demands for her artwork, Garcia has a team of glass blowers. Her sister Dora Gracia Esparza and the Mexican maestro, Geraldo Munoz, are valuable members of her team. Maestro Geraldo learned glass-blowing at an early age in Tonala, Jalisco, one of the major glass art centers of Mexico. Every piece of glass that is blown in the Garcia studios is numbered and signed by the Garcia team. Garcia estimates that they design and create at least 10,000 pieces of glass art per year.
Garcia is a highly successful business woman and artist. Today she oversees the studio work and focuses on artistic glass pieces that are meaningful to her, such as the beautiful glass hearts for the Archbishop to include as gifts to the families in Uvalde, Texas who lost loved ones last year in the horrific killing of 21 students and teachers.