SAC Alumni Highlight: Gini Garcia
Gini Garcia discovered the glass art movement at the age of 29 in Utopia, Texas. Today, more than 20 years later, she lives in a somewhat utopian world— she is an internationally recognized artist whose client list includes Marriot, Hyatt, Starwood Hotels, and the city of Dresden, Germany.
Most known for her role as President & Chief Creative at Garcia Art Glass, Garcia also offers design services and consulting through G3 Advanced, and she recently launched a nature-inspired furniture line through G4 Art International.
Garcia’s life has taken many twists and turns, somewhat like the hot glass she skillfully molds. Born in Monterrey, Mexico, Garcia has called San Antonio home since she was five years old.
By the mid 1980s, Garcia graduated from Incarnate Word High School and registered at St. Mary’s University. She thought she would become a doctor like her father, but life had other plans.
Although she enjoyed the requisite biology labs, Garcia became most excited when her assignments required using colored pencils. With advice from her mother, Garcia decided to take a semester off to explore art.
Almost immediately upon enrolling at SAC, Garcia realized that she was destined to be a storyteller. She remembers SAC as a ‘hotbed’ for creative types, a place for one to contribute to the creative economy. For the first time in her young life, she began to contemplate some major philosophical questions like… Who am I? Why am I here? What is God? What is the meaning of life?
SAC proved to be the ideal setting to ponder those questions and have penetrating dialogue with students, faculty, the universe, and herself. To this day, Garcia says SAC ‘changed her to her core.’
During a “Portfolio Days” event hosted by the art department, the 22-year old got a “lucky break.” As president of the Art Guild, she was asked to give a tour to a representative from the Kansas City Art Institute—the renowned school where Walt Disney took Saturday classes as a child. Naturally, Garcia made an impression. She soon moved to Missouri where she earned two degrees in industrial design and set design with an emphasis in environmental design.
Before opening Garcia Art Glass in 1998, the young entrepreneur started a graphic design firm. On a visit to Utopia, Texas, Garica was introduced to a client’s glass art collection. She became hypnotized by the colorful creations, and began to doggedly pursue this new medium.
Once again, Gini returned to education taking graduate courses in glass blowing, and even traveling to glass blowing factories in Venice, Italy, Maine, New Orleans and North Carolina. Eventually, she settled close to home and began an apprenticeship in Wimberly, Texas.
The rest, as they say, is history.