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Latrobe Art Center director Nastuck abruptly leaves job

Mary Pickels
| Monday, Oct. 23, 2017, 4:06 p.m.
Latrobe Arts Center director Gabrielle Nastuck and board preisdent Lee Markosky sing during the center's 15th birthday celebration and open show reception and awards ceremony, held June 15, 2017.
Latrobe Arts Center director Gabrielle Nastuck and board preisdent Lee Markosky sing during the center's 15th birthday celebration and open show reception and awards ceremony, held June 15, 2017.

In a Facebook post Monday morning, Latrobe Art Center director Gabrielle Nastuck announced her sudden departure from the position, although her reasons for leaving remain unclear.

"I have thought long and hard about my position as director over the last few weeks. The events of the last four days have made it clear that, as of Monday, Oct. 23, my Latrobe Art Center journey has come to an end. I will no longer be employed or affiliated with the center," she wrote.

According to a center staff member who declined to elaborate, Nastuck no longer works at the center.

Messages left for Nastuck, 39, of Latrobe, and center board president Lee Markosky, regarding the center's future direction, were not immediately returned on Monday.

"I have absolutely not one negative comment to say about the Latrobe Art Center, the artists, the members and dedicated patrons and most importantly my amazing staff," Nastuck wrote.

In the lengthy posting, she cited "ongoing difficulties" and seeing things differently from "those surrounding me."

"And sadly, due to that, I was unable to connect with certain individuals," she added.

A 2001 graduate of Saint Vincent College, Nastuck began teaching a children's drawing class at the art center in 2003, according to its website. After serving on the board and as webmaster/graphic designer, she was promoted to director in 2010.

The center has since grown from one room to double its size, increased its programming and added Ricolita's Cafe, a popular local breakfast and lunch spot.

Nastuck, who has osteognesis imperfecta — also known as brittle-bone disease — said she found a release in art.

Under her direction, the art center began offering programs for children with special needs, children's summer art camps and adult workshops.

Local recognition includes her "2012 Recent Alumni Distinction Award" from Saint Vincent College and Laurel Highlands Visitors Bureau's 2014 award of "Trailblazer of the Year."

She holds additional awards from South Western Pennsylvania Council for the Arts Annual Regional Juried Art Exhibition, 2010 and 2012, Mr. Fred Rogers Regional Juried Exhibition 2011, and the Westmoreland Biennial in 2010.

"For those of you that know me, know I am one strong-willed woman and will fight for what I truly believe in, and it is time to move on. I cannot become who I truly want to become by continuing on at the Latrobe Art Center. We no longer have the same vision and mission," Nastuck said in her Facebook post.

Mary Pickels is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 724-836-5401 or or via Twitter @MaryPickels.

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