Gabrielle Kathleen Nastuck (aka Miss Gabi)
Director of Latrobe Art Center
A 2001 Graduate of Saint Vincent College, Gabrielle Kathleen Nastuck, is also an artist, art teacher, graphic designer, as well as 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 and Latrobe grew. “Miss Gabi,” as her students call her, served on the Board of Directors, became the Webmaster/Graphic Designer and in February of 2010, was promoted to Director.
When she became Director in 2010, the Latrobe Art Center was one room with jewelry and other objets d'art. Six years later, it has doubled in size, added a café that serves full breakfast and lunch daily and has also added numerous programs and annual exhibitions and become a hub for community activities.
Under Miss Gabi's direction, the center is known to have "something for everyone!" She has created programs for Children with Special Needs, four weeks of children's art camps in the summer time, and nationally known workshops for adults. Paint-It-Yourself nights (Pop the Cork) and culinary classes (Palette to Palate), and open mic nights for local musicians. She also mentors and works with art education and therapy students from local colleges.
Miss Gabi is in charge of creating the class and workshop schedules and sets up the Featured Artist Exhibits throughout the year.
Currently, she is 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 continues to teach beginners drawing, portrait drawing, and 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 teaches 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 has taken on the role in assuring that Mister Fred Rogers will be remembered 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 ended up creating a Puzzle Art Exhibit of over 2,000 pieces in honor of Mister Fred Rogers. In addition, Miss Gabi and her committee 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, Born and Raised in Latrobe. In the Fall, the unveiling of the Bronze Statue of Mister Fred Rogers will take place.
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. 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? "You have to wait and see. . ." she says and laughs. "I like to keep you in suspense!"