Yardie Interviews → Islay Taylor and Jackson Morley

August 9th, 2011 - Islay Taylor and Jackson Morley: The Passing of the Volunteer and Communications Torch

This month marks the passing of the torch from the outgoing Volunteer Coordinator and Communications Director, Jackson Morley, to the incoming one, Islay Taylor.  Probably because there was a torch involved, The Spark made a special appearance to facilitate an interview between Jackson and Islay!


          Islay Taylor (pronounced 'eye-lah') - Artist, maker, educator, and the new Steel Yard
          Communications Director and Volunteer Coordinator
          Hometown - Wakefield, RI
          Favorite food - Tortilla Chips (for dinner)

         Jackson Morley - Maker, DJ and ex-voice of The Spark
         Hometown - Lawrence, KS
         Favorite food - Anything from Pat's Pastured - Anything from Pat's Pastured

The Spark: Welcome Islay, and goodbye old friend Jackson...
Jackson Morley: I'm sad to go!  
Islay Taylor: Thank you!  I'm very glad to be here, but I'm also slightly terrified by the 'huge shoes' I have to fill...
JM: Aww, well thanks.  

IT:  So, Jackson, why are you leaving anyway?
JM: My partner is studying applied linguistics overseas, and it seems like an opportunity to live abroad doesn't come around so often.  The program is less than a year, so expect to see us back at the Yard in not too long.

JM: Islay, where did you come from?
IT:  Physically, I came from South Main Street.  Mentally, I've been working as a gallery director at Hera Gallery, teaching here at the Steel Yard and at RISD, curating art shows and having my own studio practice.  I'm looking forward to becoming a more active member of the Providence Community.  
TS: I'm looking forward to this new voice and incarnation!  Not that the old voice was that bad...
JM: I appreciate that.

TS:  What about me (The Spark) are you most excited about?
IT: Not to toot your horn, but you have a big audience and I'm excited to share the Yardie stories with everyone.  
TS: *Blushes*

IT: Jackson, what experiences will you take with you abroad from the Steel Yard?
JM: The Steel Yard has taught me a lot.  Coming here just out of school, I grew a lot professionally.  I gained a lot of skills, in both administration and also design and planning of projects and programs.  

IT:  And you've mentioned that you would like to keep your steelyard.org blog, right?
JM: Yeah, I'm going to keep the Yardies up to date on metalworking in Spain.  There is a lot of impressive metalwork over there.  Even just the window grates are all really striking and on a larger scale then what I see around here.  

TS:  Jackson, it's been real, and I'm going to miss you.  Even though it's hard to imagine a spark crying - with the whole fire and water thing - I may just shed a tear.  
JM: I'll miss you too. *sniffle*  

JM: Islay, what's the most exciting thing about your new position and involvement at the Yard?
IT: I'm really psyched to work within the Yardie community, there's a really strong existing network here.  Also, being able to bring new people into the fold will be great.

JM:  It's been two-weeks since you were selected for the position.  What been the biggest shock?
IT: The fact that I was selected at all was quite a surprise!  Not to blow smoke, but the job itself is so amorphic, and its amazing how much your position takes on and all of the areas this position infiltrates around the Yard.

IT: So Sparky, who's your biggest crush?  
TS: I've got a thing for the burnt-out wooden skull created at the 2006 Iron Pour.  I think if we got together there might be flames.

JM: Sparkie, you're like an ageless all-seeing being at the Yard.  What is the most amazing thing you've seen here?  
TS: The transformation.  For 100 years this was an exclusively industrial site.  I look around today, and I see new solar panels on the corner building, plasma cutting in the studio, green space, jewelry and ceramic work being created and kids and families coming to see what's going on daily.  It's quite an evolution from the way things used to be.  I see a lot of people embracing this change.  

IT:  What's your biggest fear?
TS:  Fire extinguishers and the Woonasquatucket alligator.