Islay Taylor has been named Associate Director of the Steel Yard. With a BFA in Sculpture and Printmaking from Alfred University in NY and an MFA in Jewelry and Metalsmithing from Rhode Island School of Design, Taylor began her career at the Steel Yard as an instructor in 2009.
Her recent promotion to Associate Director in March 2017, follows her tenure as Program Director (2013-2017) and Communications Director/Volunteer Coordinator (2011-2013) at the Steel Yard. “I joined the Steel Yard almost a decade ago as a course instructor; over the years my role has grown to become a facilitator and advocate for our studio, educational programs, and community members. I look forward to the expanded responsibilities related to my new position as Associate Director. It will be an opportunity for me to more thoroughly be able to support the Yard and its programs,” says Taylor.
With over fifteen years of experience in art curation, teaching and jewelry making, Taylor was also Gallery Director at Hera Gallery and has exhibited her own line of jewelry both locally and internationally. Her work is part of permanent collections at the Collection of Contemporary Art Jewelry in Legnica, Poland, the University of Rhode Island and at Alfred University in Alfred, NY.
Taylor’s promotion to Associate Director is a recognition of her leadership in the community and an acknowledgment of the respect garnered among peers, students, teachers, and artists. Howie Sneider, Executive Director of the Steel Yard comments, “Islay believes strongly in the mission of the Steel Yard and I am confident that she will bring her enthusiasm, thoughtfulness, and creativity to bear on her new responsibilities. During her time at the Yard, she has greatly expanded educational programs, job- training, and artists’ residencies and created a wonderful team to support these efforts.”
The Steel Yard is an interdisciplinary and inter-generational creative hub that brings diverse groups of professional artists, fabricators, and makers together to pursue their crafts and knowledge. Located on a 3.8 -acre community campus, the Steel Yard is the only publicly-accessible industrial arts school and center in Rhode Island, providing over 10,000 square feet of studios and community space equipped for welding, blacksmithing, ceramics, jewelry making and iron casting.