Local Art Instructor Featured in National Magazine | Local News

On Saturday mornings, people of all ages can tune into Gabrielle “Gabi” Nastuck’s free online art classes. On Thursday evenings, they can join her for a casual coloring hour. Then, on weekday mornings, she teaches art to adults with special needs at the Clelian Heights Clelian Center near Greensburg.

Between these scheduled times, she teaches online and in-person classes to people of all ages and skill levels.

It’s part of his lifelong dream to bring art to people of all abilities.

For this reason, Nastuck and her Miss Gabi’s Art is Good Studio are the photo essay featured in the February/March issue of Signposts, a national magazine that highlights “Inspiration for Life”.

“When we heard about Gabi’s art studio and her perseverance in helping people of all abilities express themselves creatively, we knew we wanted to share it with our readers,” the editor said. Megan Troise. Newsletter. “His passion is contagious.

The four-page spread highlights the classes she teaches adults in the Clélian workshop and community service programs. They watch Nastuck’s lessons on the big screen and she can see them all on zoom links. She first taught them in person, but has been teaching virtually since the pandemic began.

“You should see the progress that everyone has made, me having them in class every day,” she said. “It’s absolutely breathtaking. Never underestimate what they can do because they are amazing. Students all develop their own style and how they use color. I’m so proud of how they developed a love for art that they now need in their lives.

Clelian’s program director, Alicia Harter, said Signposts, “Gabi empowers people.”

Nastuck praises the staff and apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the Catholic order of sisters who run the school, workshops, programs and residences on campus.

“The staff and the sisters are amazing, and it’s a beautiful partnership,” she said.

“They let you know you matter and what you do matters. I’m very lucky to be able to work there and be around that all the time.

The free Saturday morning and Thursday evening sessions are sponsored by East Suburban Citizens Advocacy, a Murrysville-based non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of and advocating for people with developmental disabilities.

“In the beginning, advocacy was bringing people right into my studio, people who needed a little creativity and a boost of happiness in their lives,” Nastuck said.

Now these people can join the free Saturday morning classes which are open to everyone of all ages and abilities. Many people in Clelian Heights enjoy their weekday sessions so much that they attend on Saturdays as well.

Sometimes parents sit with their children. A mother from New Kensington joins her son, who is in kindergarten, then brings him to the studio for private in-person lessons.

Nastuck has taught children as young as 3 and adults as old as 93. She visited them in a nursing home before the pandemic.

“He was the nicest man and we had so much fun,” she said. “He was a retired engineer and he was so precise when we created 3D wooden trees together. It’s great to go through all these different ages and adapt to them. And that’s a beautiful thing. about online teaching, which I can teach to all ages and abilities in just an hour. We develop friendships and enjoy each other and laugh together. It’s a positive thing that emerges from the exploration of the virtual end of education.

Anyone can tune in to watch the Saturday morning virtual sessions and they don’t have to join.

“You can sit and observe and see if it’s for you,” she said. “So you can join us if you want. In January and February, we will carry out different projects focusing on winter and on the holidays of Valentine’s Day and Saint Patrick’s Day. You don’t need anything special, just your basic drawing pad and whatever you need to draw with, like crayons, markers and crayons.

Thursday night coloring sessions are a way to socialize and relax together.

“All you have to do is grab your coloring book and crayons and connect with me,” Nastuck said. “We are all going to color and enjoy each other’s company and have a great time. Coloring has always been my way of relaxing at night. I will highlight each person throughout the hour and they will show what they are working on and so we will see what each is doing.

Nastuck holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from St. Vincent College, with a minor in Art History and Graphic Design. She also studied digital design at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh. She started working as a webmaster at the Latrobe Art Center, then served as gallery director until her departure in October 2017. She opened her studio in April 2018.

“I loved every minute of my time at the art center and did my job with my heart and soul,” she said. “But I wanted to interact and change people’s lives. I took this risk to fulfill the dream of what I am doing now.

Nastuck summed up his vocation in the Signposts Photo documentary. “God guided me on my path, allowing art to enrich my life,” she said. “I also want to give others a chance to feel his power.”

For schedules and links to free online classes and information about other programs, visit missgabisartstudio.com.

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