Gabrielle Kathleen Nastuck
(aka Miss Gabi)
A 2001 Graduate of Saint Vincent College, Gabrielle Kathleen Nastuck, is an artist, art teacher, graphic designer, and the former Director of the Latrobe Art Center. She holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Studio Arts with a focus in Graphic Design as well as a Minor in Art History. After graduation, she attended the Art Institute of Pittsburgh where she received her Digital Design Diploma.
In 2003, she started teaching a children’s drawing class on Saturday mornings at the LAC. From there, her passion for the arts grew. “Miss Gabi,” as her students call her, served as Vice President of the Board of Directors, became the Webmaster/Graphic Designer and in February of 2010, was promoted to Director.
During her tenure as Director from 2010 to 2017, the Latrobe Art Center expanded from one room with jewelry and other objets d'art to triple in size. She led her team with adding a café that serves full breakfast and lunch daily and numerous programs and annual exhibitions making it a hub for community activities.
Under Miss Gabi's direction, the center was known to have "something for everyone!" She created programs for Children with Special Needs, four weeks of children's art camps in the summer time, and organized nationally known workshops for adults. Paint-It-Yourself nights, (Pop the Cork) culinary classes (Palette to Palate), and open mic nights for local musicians was all created by Miss Gabi. She continues to mentor and work with art education and therapy students from local colleges. Miss Gabi is not only interested in Art but in The Arts. To that end she sponsored the Cabaret Theatre and made the Center available to this local theatre group which produced thirteen plays within the Center from 2015 through 2016.
Miss Gabi was in charge of creating the class and workshop schedules and managed the Featured Artist Exhibits throughout the year.
Currently, she serves as the coordinator for the Westmoreland Intermediate Unit’s “Champion of the Art” Program. This a program for Children with Special Needs and covers all 17 School Districts within Westmoreland County. She teaches beginners drawing, portrait drawing, beginners colored pencil classes, children’s art classes, and coordinates additional after-school art programs through the New York based program Art Is Good with artist Tim Kelly. In one year, Miss Gabi taught close to 3,000 individuals a year at the Latrobe Art Center and throughout the community.
In conjunction with the Mc-Feely Rogers Foundation, Miss Gabi was chair of a special event that promoted Mister Fred Rogers mission and vision in his hometown. The Latrobe Art Center spearheaded the recent "Bringing Fred Home" event that included participation in the Puzzle Art Installation and Collaborative Project, a world wide project created by Artist Tim Kelly from Brooklyn, New York. Tim and Gabi worked with the community through Art Is Good Workshops and creating a Puzzle Art Exhibit of over 2,000 pieces in honor of Mister Fred Rogers. In addition, Miss Gabi and her team coordinated a formal Neighborhood Gala with food, theatre, and live music, Family Day in the Neighborhood with a visit from Daniel Tiger and the Neighborhood Trolley, and the unveiling ceremony of the Historical Marker, "Mister Rogers Born and Raised in Latrobe" and the unveiling of the Bronze Statue of Mister Fred Rogers took place in the Fall of 2016.
She has been recognized for her commitment to her job, community, and Saint Vincent by receiving the "2012 Recent Alumni Distinction Award,” And in 2014 was awarded the “Trailblazer of the Year” award by the Laurel Highlands Visitors Bureau and most recent 2017 Non-Profit of the Year Award by the Chamber of Commerce. Her additional awards include South Western Pennsylvania Council of the Arts Annual Regional Juried Art Exhibition – 2010 & 2012, Mr. Fred Rogers Regional Juried Exhibition 2011, and the Westmoreland Biennial in 2010.
What's Next on Miss Gabi's agenda?
"Oh just you wait and see!"
Miss Gabi's Studio!
So what happens when you "take this leap of faith, trusting in God and the Universe to guide you?"
Doors open, collaborations start to happen, networking begins and you are blessed to come in contact with Kate Cala of East Suburban Citizen Advocacy, a Murrysville-based nonprofit group whose mission is to “provide advocacy and to build inclusive opportunities for individuals with developmental disabilities.”
Under the ESCA Umbrella of the "Art from the Heart" Program, we will be opening "Miss Gabi's Art is Good Studio." An all inclusive art studio where children and adults of all abilities can come and find their voice within. We are including ALL FORMS OF ART. Music, theater, and writing included.
Over the past month, I have been working hard on a business plan, revamping my website, and networking, networking, networking. We found a space, and are now raising funding for start-up costs.
We are very excited and will continue to share with you every step of this artful journey.
I've learned so much in such a short amount of time. This is an exciting time for me to create exactly what I envision in my head. I can't wait for you to share this art journey with me.
Let's get this party started! I am ready!