Susan Warner, artistic director at the Museum of Glass, will leave the Tacoma museum to take up the post of executive director at the Vashon Center for the Arts, both institutions announced Tuesday. Warner leaves after 16 years at the waterfront museum, where she rose from education director to executive director and finally artistic director.
She will begin at Vashon in May.
“The position at Vashon Center for the Arts is an exciting opportunity for me to contribute to projects the likes of which I have not yet encountered in my career,” said Warner in a press release. “What VCA has done these past few years is nothing short of amazing. I am extremely privileged to step into this position and continue building on the legacy created by so many here on the island.”
Founded in 1966, the nonprofit Vashon Center for the Arts offers a multidisciplinary arts program on Vashon Island including a professional art gallery, off-site retail consignment gallery, arts education classes and Artists in Schools program, a pre-professional dance school, plus performing arts and lectures. It’s housed in a $22 million, 20,000-square-foot center that opened in 2016. Last year it received the Governor’s Arts & Heritage Award in the Arts Organization category.
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Warner heads to Vashon with 30 years of experience in arts management, including positions at the Seattle Children’s Museum, the State Capitol Museum and the Dayton (Ohio) Art Institute. She began as education director at the Museum of Glass in 2001, one year before it opened, then moved to director of public programs, deputy director, curator and eventually executive director (2012) before the position was split into executive and artistic roles in 2015, with Deborah Lenk assuming the executive position.
“Susan’s contributions to the success of Museum of Glass are vast,” said Lenk in the release. “Her rich knowledge of the historic and contemporary glass movements will be difficult to replace.”
“We are simply thrilled that Susan will be joining us,” said Vashon Center board chairwoman Denise Katz. “Her vision, energy, commitment and sense of community will be a wonderful fit for our organization and our island home.”
Warner will continue to consult in the short-term for the Museum of Glass, which will begin a national search for her replacement.