For more than 45 years, the Pilchuck Glass School (Pilchuck) has been a primary force in the evolution of glass as a means of artistic expression. Today, Pilchuck (which means “red river” in the Native American language of the region) is the largest, most comprehensive educational institution of its kind in the world, recognized as the preeminent learning center for artists working and experimenting in glass. Founded in 1971 by visionary glass artist Dale Chihuly and philanthropists Anne Gould Hauberg and John H. Hauberg, Pilchuck serves as an incubator of creativity and technological advances and is at the epicenter of the international glass community.
Pilchuck’s artistic and educational programs provide an educational opportunity that focuses on artists surrounded by artists, sharing knowledge, and creative practice, with hands on experience. From April to November each year, Pilchuck offers an immersive experience and intense learning environment through a series of courses and residencies for artists in all media. The legacy of the Artist in Residence Program dates to the beginning of the school. Over the years, hundreds of notable artists from a wide range of artistic disciplines have come to Pilchuck to explore how glass can factor into their practice and visual vocabulary. Residence sessions taught by world-renowned artists and instructors emphasize experimentation and teamwork while fostering individual expression. In 2017, these programs served 292 students, ages 18 to 76, from 25 countries. In addition, several artist residency programs serve an international population of distinguished, mid-career, and emerging artists.
The 54-acre Pilchuck school campus is located 50 miles north of Seattle in Stanwood, Washington. The studio and shops are equipped for glassblowing, hot casting, kiln casting, coldworking, flameworking, neon, fusing, glass painting, stained glass, and printmaking. The campus also includes a wood and metal shop and the innovative BotLab studio that houses 3D printers and 3D scanners. Seattle architect Tom Bosworth won an award from the American Institute of Architects for the shake-and-timber design of Pilchuck’s lodge. Built in 1977, the lodge houses the campus dining room, kitchen, and library. Artist and student housing is rustic, with everyone eating, working, and sleeping on campus for courses and residencies. Pilchuck’s administrative offices and exhibition space are located in Pioneer Square, the original downtown of Seattle.
Pilchuck’s 2015-2020 Strategic Plan uses Artistic Director Tina Aufiero’s vision to establish programming goals, which include staying at the forefront of glass and design education; capitalizing on the unique properties of glass and its interdisciplinary possibilities; and incorporating bold innovations and technology. Pilchuck is developing new opportunities for educational and artistic programs as well as outreach initiatives for diverse populations, while still maintaining its core courses and residencies for emerging and established glass artists.
Governed by a 41-member Board of Trustees led by President Kent Carlson, Pilchuck has a staff of 19 year-round and 140 seasonal employees. Pilchuck is also supported by its Artistic Advisory Committee and its International Council, which promotes knowledge and visibility of the school. James Baker is the retiring Executive Director. The 2017 budget is approximately $2.7 million and the organization has an endowment of just under $3 million.
Named by Kiplinger as one of the “10 Best Cities for the Next Decade” and dubbed “Brain City,” Seattle is one of the fastest growing cities in the nation. Surrounded by extraordinary natural beauty, including Mount Rainier and Puget Sound, the city is home to innumerable globally-recognized organizations, including the ubiquitous Starbucks Coffee Company, REI, Amazon, Boeing Commercial Airplanes, and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Median household income in the metropolitan area is more than $78,500, which is the fourth highest among major metropolitan areas in the country.
With a reputation as a great arts city, Seattle is the epicenter of American glass art. In addition to Pilchuck, the metropolitan area boasts Chihuly Garden and Glass, Museum of Glass in Tacoma, Pratt Fine Arts Center, and many practicing glass artists. The University of Washington’s School of Art + Art History + Design offers a ceramics + glass + sculpture MFA. Beyond glass, Seattle is home to some of the most prestigious arts organizations in the country, including Seattle Arts Museum, Seattle Theatre Group, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Seattle Opera, and Seattle Symphony Orchestra. Seattle also has a multitude of professional sports teams and plenty of outdoor recreation options.
While Pilchuck’s administration offices and exhibition space is in Seattle’s bustling historic arts district, its school campus is 50 miles north of the city in Stanwood (population 5,000). Known as Seattle’s Backcountry, the surrounding Snohomish County is equal parts urban and rural, manufacturing and research, and maritime and alpine. Snohomish County has excellent K-12 schools, two highly regarded community colleges, an extensive library system, and beautiful scenery, from saltwater wetlands to Cascade Mountain peaks. Median household income is just under $72,000. In addition to Pilchuck, cultural attractions in the area include the Hibulb Cultural Center and Natural History Preserve, Mukilteo Lighthouse Park, the Museum of Northwest Art, and the public art of the Lynnwood Civic Center Campus, among others.
The Executive Director (ED) of Pilchuck will serve as the chief executive officer, responsible for supervising all aspects of the organization’s programs, operations, fundraising, public visibility, and financial and business planning. Reporting to the Board of Trustees and working in partnership with the Artistic Director, the ED will be charged with strategic leadership of the organization, with a clear vision of artistic and educational excellence, service to artists and students, community engagement, and financial stability as a guide. Embracing creativity, diversity, and cross-cultural understanding, the ED will promote an environment of sensitivity and creativity with the students, artists, donors, Board, staff, and community partners.
Vision, Strategy, and Leadership
Governance and Financial Stewardship
The next Executive Director will be a dynamic and inspiring leader who builds compelling relationships and values frequent communication and engagement with Pilchuck’s many diverse stakeholders. Able to honor the past and chart the course for the future, this individual will be versatile and competitive, with a will to succeed and a passion to lead an organization with an unparalleled history in the glass art movement. Valuing creativity and self-expression, the successful candidate will be an optimistic and decisive leader, with an appreciation for practical accomplishments and the ability to balance the external- and internal-facing requirements of the position.
Other key competencies include:
Qualified applicants must have a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree preferred, plus a minimum of 10 years of increasing responsibility in a senior management role at an arts organization, arts education organization, craft school, college, university, or similar organization. Candidates must also demonstrate quantifiable success in fundraising, with a proven track record in donor stewardship and the successful solicitation of major gifts, including success with a national donor base. They should also possess strong strategic planning, staff development, communication, and financial management skills. Candidates should know how to work effectively with an artistic director, Board members, staff, artists, and students. The Executive Director must be willing to divide their time between Pilchuck’s two locations and travel nationally to build strong relationships with Pilchuck stakeholders and to advance the organization’s mission and vision.
Pilchuck provides a competitive salary and comprehensive benefit package, including medical, dental, and vision insurance, retirement plan, vacation and sick pay, and the quality of life that the Pacific Northwest offers.
Please submit a letter and resume (electronic submissions preferred) with a summary of demonstrable accomplishments to:
Mr. Martin Bragg
Senior Vice President
818 SW 3rd Avenue, Suite 236
Portland, OR 97204-2405
Tel (888) 234.4236 Ext. 205
Pilchuck does not discriminate on the basis of gender, sexual orientation, race, religion,
nationality, or ethnic origin in employment or in artistic or educational programs.
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