In a brief announcement issued in the late afternoon on Monday, September 11th, the board of the Pilchuck Glass School announced the departure of its executive director, Christopher R. Taylor, after five-and-a-half years at the helm. Pilchuck's deputy director Donna Davies was named as interim executive director, effective immediately.
Prior to his appointment as Pilchuck's executive director in February 2018, Taylor had served as the executive director of The Clay Studio in Philadelphia, which he led from 2011 until 2018. Upon his hiring, the Pilchuck board had cited Taylor's track record, noting he had expanded the Clay Studio's audience, and boosted its fundraising power.
The announcement of Taylor's departure did credit the outgoing executive director for "successfully navigating the challenges posed by the pandemic," as well as expanding fundraising efforts and marking the 50th anniversary of this iconic center for glass art education started by 1971 by Dale Chihuly, with the support of legendary patrons Anne Gould Hauberg and John H. Hauberg.
Taylor's departure comes almost exactly one month before Pilchuck's annual fundraising auction and gala, set to take place on October 14th at Fremont Studios in Seattle.