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Glass Art

“You stare mesmerized by the scene before you. A glass blower and his assistant dance with fire and a blowpipe with molten glass stuck on the end of it. You feel the blistering heat of the 2000-degree roaring furnace and see the sweat dripping off of the faces of the glass blowers.  All of a sudden the blob on the blowpipe flares into a vase. After 20 minutes of intense labor, the glass artist knocks the piece gently off of the pipe and into the waiting assistant's gloved hands. As he carefully places the vase into the annealing oven, you can't help yourself. You burst into applause! Wow, what an experience! ”

– Ann Lindsay in Inside Benicia, December 2009

Come witness first-hand the astonishing process of turning molten glass into exquisite works of art by masters who practice the old-world art form of glass blowing. The glass artists of Benicia create bowls, stemware, vases, paperweights, coasters, lamps, clock cases and other types of one-of-kind corporate awards, among other stunning collectibles.

You can see the glass art (and often the glass-blowing process) on display at any of Benicia's internationally acclaimed glass studios:

Each art glass studio is recognized for its own distinctive style of hand-blown glass. Smyers is known for its designs of functional glassware. Nourot's work is famous for its intense red color.  Lindsay produces unique paperweights and vessels.

But that's just part of the story. They all create custom lighting designs and will work with you to craft just the right piece. These are items that could easily become your next family heirloom.

Twice a year - the first weekend in May and the first week in December – the glass studios host open houses, where the public is invited to view the glass blowers at work on their special creations. But you can often just drop by the studios and catch the masters at work.

Next: Visual Arts & Crafts »

Upcoming Arts Events
29 Jul 2015 (All day) - 9 Sep 2015 (All day)
Fragments: the Art of Collage and Assemblage

The exhibit celebrates the artistic achievements of ninty-five inspiring artists juried by Sacramento artist Robert Jean-Ray.

Artist Talk: Saturday, August 15, 2:00-4:00 PM

Family Art Day: Saturday, August 16, 1:00-3:00 PM

4 Sep 2015 (All day) - 6 Sep 2015 (All day)
Benicia Film Festival

Benicia Film Festival is Friday-Sunday, Sept. 4-6 (Labor Day Weekend). This is your chance to see quality independent films in the historic Commanding Officers Quarters, the Hayley Horn Auditorium, and the Majestic Theatre in downtown Benicia. More info & tickets at

5 Sep 2015 (All day) - 4 Oct 2015 (All day)
"California As We See It" Photography Exhibit

The Marilyn Citron O’Rourke Art Gallery at the Benicia Public Library is proud to present “California As We See It,” an exhibition of photographs by six East Bay artists known together as The Lightcatchers: Lorraine Castillo, Lisa Franklin, Phil Lee, Sheila Reid, Marilyn Verducci and Cathy Yih. These images explore people and places of California and ask the viewer to pause and notice what might otherwise go unseen as one walks past: to see the beauty in the mundane; the humor in the ordinary; the contrast of nature against the man-made.

Meet the artists at the reception on Saturday, September 19, 3:30-5:30 PM.

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