When Mark and Amanda Clemente opened Brushes & Beans in Murrysville, they wanted to have a business that was part of the community.
Organizing art classes and exhibiting local art was a big part of that. In April and May, the Clementes will host one of their largest exhibitions to date, in partnership with Gabi Nastuck, of Miss Gabi’s Art is Good Studio in Latrobe, in a gallery of more than 250 pieces representing nearly 90 students in art.
“It’s what we said we wanted to do from the start,” said Mark Clemente. “We met Miss Gabi through East Suburban Citizen Advocacy. She taught classes here, and when she came to us with the idea, we thought it sounded good.
Nastuck, 44, of Latrobe, said she started thinking about an exhibit as soon as she walked through the door of Brushes & Beans.
“As soon as I saw the space, I thought, ‘We should have a show here,'” she said.
Nastuck was introduced to the Clementes by Heather Speeney, executive director of East Suburban Citizens’ Advocacy.
ESCA has formed a partnership with Nastuck that has seen it run free online art classes twice a week for the past few years. Classes include students of all ages and abilities, including from Clelian Heights, a vocational, educational and residential facility for children and adults with developmental disabilities.
“We wanted more for his students than just being able to create,” Speeney said. “It allows them to make themselves known, even to earn money by selling their art.”
Nastuck said selling their art has been, well, a tough sell for some students.
“A lot of them didn’t want to part with their own,” she said. “And what I said was: if you want to be an artist, you have to be able to separate yourself from your work. It was a good lesson. »
Speeney said the exhibit — and giving students the choice to sell their art — is good preparation for the future.
“It’s a way to prepare them for next year,” she says. “We can talk, ‘What are you going to do for the show?’ versus ‘What are you going to do for yourself?’”
Nastuck said the exhibit is a great way to fill his studio with art and share it with a wider audience.
“All my students are so proud of their work,” she said. “But to see it in a space like this, hung professionally? It makes you feel different.
Nastuck will host an Artists’ Reception on Sunday from 1-4 p.m. at Brushes & Beans, 4550 William Penn Highway in Murrysville.
To learn more, check out MissGabisArtStudio.com.