Foci - Minnesota Center for Glass Arts (MCGA) is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization dedicated to the education and exhibition of glass arts. Our building hosts a glass studio, education center and dedicated exhibition space. Member-supported and staffed by member-artists, Foci offers advanced glass classes, where our expert instructors teach students a wide range of styles and techniques. Through these opportunities, we engage our local community and establish our Minneapolis studio as a premier destination in the appreciation of glass arts.
We provide hands-on glass experiences for individuals, couples and groups as well as narrated demonstrations of hot glass art. Artists use our facilities to create unique works that are displayed and sold in our gallery. The gallery and studio are free to visit and open to the public seven days a week, from 10am to 9pm. Foci MCGA provides opportunities for advanced learning through our glass education curriculum, where our expert instructors teach students an in wide range of styles and techniques. Through these efforts, we seek to engage our local community and establish our studio in Minneapolis as a premier destination for the appreciation of glass arts.
To engage the Minnesota community in the study and appreciation of glass arts while expanding the potential of the medium.
The vision for Foci MCGA was in the mind of Michael D. Boyd for almost as long as Michael has been blowing glass. He envisioned a community that shared knowledge, encouraged creativity and pushed the limits of the artistic potential of glass. In 1987, as a young teenager in Toledo, Michael's parents enrolled him in glass blowing lessons. Throughout high school, Michael continued to study glass blowing at the Toledo Museum of Art.
Foci Glass began in Ohio in 1999 where Michael and his brother, Scott, built a glass studio on his parent's farm in a pole barn. They developed their skill and traveled to art shows around the country to sell their work. After several years, Michael moved to Minneapolis to work for glassblowers Robinson Scott, Dick Huss and Patrick Cassanova. With the experience gained from working with these artists, attending workshops with other glass artists, and working in various studios in Madison, Wisconsin, Michael decided to start his own glass studio.
In early 2002, Michael moved Foci Glass to Minneapolis into the 2010 Building on East Hennepin. Michael shared his vision of a community glass studio with Lucinda Silvis, a former Foci MCGA board member, whom Michael met at the Uptown Art Fair in Minneapolis. Lucinda visited his new studio in Minneapolis and asked if she could share the space with him. After accepting her request, other glass artists came out of nowhere to ask if they could also share the studio. In addition to Lucinda, Andrew Thompson and Todd Cameron were three of the first renters to use the studio. Eventually, Andrew and Todd became Foci MCGA's first studio managers. As more and more people became involved with Foci Glass, it became obvious they needed to expand. In 2005, the studio moved to its current location, in Building 10 of the 2010 Building.
This small glass community suddenly had a lot of space to fill (and pay for) and the need to grow became evident. Building on their established foundation, they decided to teach glass blowing and Foci Glass began offering glassblowing classes to the public. In addition to teaching many of Foci's classes, Michael has taken on many mentees over the years, including at-risk youth who wouldn't have the opportunity to engage in this relatively expensive art form. Glassblowing changed Michael's life when he was a teenager and he continues to pass on the gift to youth in the Twin Cities community. In 2009, Foci Glass strategically became Foci Minnesota Center for Glass Arts. This transition to a non-profit education necessitated the successful application and receipt of 501(c) (3) status. Since receiving this status, Foci MCGA has received several grants to help foster the development of their educational programming and administration, as well as to fund improvements to their facility and equipment.
Foci MCGA has continued to expand it class and programmatic offerings to include glass demonstrations for community groups, classes in torch working, kiln casting, sand casting, fusing and neon. Its signature Glass Discoveries, Hot Glass Socials and Glass Demonstrations have introduced hundreds of participants to the hot glass experience. Over the past several years, Foci MCGA has steadily grown into Minnesota's only non-profit, public-access community glass studio and education center. Today, Foci MCGA is an active, vibrant organization with a dedicated, growing membership that is passionate about working with and supporting hot glass as an art form. Thank you to all of our members, students and supporters who continue to help us grow our ever-expanding programs!