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Christopher Taylor

Christopher Taylor ’99 has been named the new president of the Clay Studio, a world-renowned ceramic arts learning center located in Philadelphia, Pa. Taylor is succeeding Amy Sarner Williams, who will step down after 10 years as the leader of the organization.

"I am very excited to join the team of the Clay Studio. Along with the board, staff, and community of artists, we will be working to plot a course that builds upon our success and strengthens our position for years to come," Taylor said.

Taylor was selected after a nationwide search. He brings a wide variety of experience and skills to the position of president of the Clay Studio. He is a passionate, charismatic arts leader with diverse experience in nonprofit governance, fundraising and strategic planning. Among his talents are a strong sense of aesthetics and curatorial ability, superb relationship-building skills, and a gift for synthesizing information and creating consensus.

Prior to this appointment, Taylor has held positions as executive director of a contemporary art museum in Montana, associate director of a major arts festival in Pittsburgh, and a cultural program director in Chicago. His entrepreneurial spirit led him to start his own arts consulting firm, TaylorArts Group, which served small and mid-sized arts organizations in Pittsburgh, Chicago, and Philadelphia. A native of Pittsburgh, Pa., Taylor earned a Master of Arts in Administration and Policy at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and a B.F.A. in Sculpture and a B.A. in Religious Studies from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

Honoring the history of the organization, Taylor's appointment continues in the Clay Studio's tradition of having an artist as its leader. Taylor said, "In my heart, I am a sculptor and a clay artist. I was honored this past summer to be a partner with the Archie Bray Foundation and its 60th Anniversary Celebration in Montana. I look forward to working with the Clay Studio team on a mission that supports contemporary ceramic arts and ceramic educational programming."

The board of directors overwhelmingly approved Taylor's appointment. Chair of the Board Brian Bernhardt said, "We are very excited to hire Christopher Taylor as the next president of the Clay Studio. Over the past ten years, the Clay Studio has been fortunate to have Amy Sarner Williams at its helm, helping to bring the organization to such a strong financial position and level of prominence within the field. Taylor's appointment comes at an opportune time in the Clay Studio's history, and the board of directors is confident in Taylor's ability to lead the organization in its next stage of growth."

Taylor begins his tenure on November 14, and Sarner Williams will step down as President & CEO in mid-December.

For further information, contact VP for Institutional Advancement Christina Edleman at christina@theclaystudio.org or 215-925-3453 x13.