After an international search, Pilchuck Glass School is excited to announce Benjamin Wright as its incoming Artistic Director.
"I am delighted to be joining the talented staff at Pilchuck Glass School as the next Artistic Director,” shares Wright, “and I am humbled by the fearlessly experimental creative lineage on whose shoulders we will together build the future programs of this important and inspiring nexus of the glass world.”
Pilchuck Glass School’s legacy as a premier institution for glass art education has attracted thousands of artists from around the world since its founding in 1971. In its nearly 50 years, Pilchuck has been fortunate to have a long history of artistic direction from leaders like Dale Chihuly, Benjamin Moore, William Morris, Pike Powers, Ruth King, and most recently, Tina Aufiero.
The search was led by Executive Director Christopher R. Taylor and a specially-selected hiring committee comprised of artist members of the Pilchuck Board of Trustees and respected members of the Seattle-area glass community.
“We are thrilled that Benjamin Wright will be joining us and taking the helm of artistic programming at Pilchuck,” shares Executive Director Christopher R. Taylor. “As a practicing artist who has been involved with Pilchuck in so many capacities, from student to summer staffer, Hauberg Fellow, instructor, and more, he has an incredible depth of experience with the school and a passion to see it thrive. Ben has all of the marks of a visionary, like those before him, to produce inspiring and relevant programming that advances the glass community."
For the past four years, Wright has held the position of Director of Education at Urban Glass in Brooklyn, New York, growing the team and program there to produce over 300 events and workshops annually.
He holds a BS in Evolutionary Biology from Dartmouth College, a BFA in Glass from the Appalachian Center for Crafts, and an MFA from Rhode Island School of Design. He has taught and exhibited his unique approach to art making at numerous schools including Pilchuck Glass School, Penland School of Craft, and the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, and abroad in Germany, Turkey, Denmark, Japan, Belgium, Poland, and Australia. Additionally, in Wright's extensive curatorial experience, he has produced exhibitions at the Museum of American Glass, Islip Art Museum, and Urban Glass, among others.
“I look forward to serving as an immersed and engaged catalyst in a community crackling with creative energy," says Wright. “Together we will endeavor to bring a passion for glass to new communities and create a more accessible, inclusive, diverse and family-friendly atmosphere on campus. At Pilchuck, we’ll be presenting a curriculum that stretches the boundaries of an ever-evolving field."
Each year, Pilchuck Glass School invites hundreds of artists to its serene campus in Stanwood, Washington to learn, share ideas, and experiment in glass art. As Artistic Director, Wright will lead summer and fall education programs and exhibitions in the Seattle-based gallery, while deepening Pilchuck's commitment to new youth and outreach programs.
"It’s an exciting time to be joining the team at Pilchuck. As we reach the golden anniversary of this grand institution, it will be important to look back and celebrate the values of Pilchuck that will both sustain and propel us forward into the future.”
Benjamin Wright will join the team at Pilchuck in May, just in time for the start of 2019 Summer and Fall Programs.