GLSD Art Conservation Trust » Art Catalog: A Unique Vision of Art

Art Catalog: A Unique Vision of Art

A Unique Vision of Art

by Barbara H. Nakles 

A catalog of the GLSD: Special Art Collection

Greater  Latrobe School District’s art collection is another of the unusual treasures of Western Pennsylvania.  It began more than 75 years ago through the efforts of two visionary educators: art teacher Mary Martha Himler and social studies teacher James R. Beatty.  From the initial two paintings purchased in 1936 the collection has grown to nearly 200 pieces of art that line the corridors of the high school and are accessible to every student every day.

This is truly a unique project for the works are chosen each year by vote of the entire student body of the high school.  In addition, most of the works are purchased with funds raised by the Student Council.  This creates a sense of ownership that never ends, as demonstrated by the number of reunion classes who ask for art tours.

The school board created the GLSD Art Conservation Trust in 1991 to oversee the collection and raise funds for its care.  The group is composed of school and community members in a partnership that has accomplished far more than its original mandate.  The Trust has spearheaded and raised funds for projects such as catalogs of the collection and the building of the Center for Student Creativity at the senior high school.  The Trust holds a fund-raiser Art Gala each year at the high school while the works under consideration are on exhibit.  The Art Gala is always the first Thursday in November.

In 2008, the Art Conservation Trust published a second edition of A UNIQUE VISION OF ART by Barbara H. Nakles.  This book, which includes color reproduction of 195 art works along with information about each, is priced at $30.  All proceeds of sales of the book will be used to conserve the collection in order to make certain that the vision continues.  It can be purchased at the Center for Student Creativity at the high school.  It can also be ordered to be sent at an additional $5 cost for shipping. 

For information about the catalog, the Gala or other Art Conservation Trust projects, please call Jessica Golden, Center for Student Creativity director, at 724-539-4200 x23406 or e-mail