Gabbie Hirsch Painting


It can take a lifetime of practice, experimentation, success, and of course failure to achieve any level of expertise in a field of study. It takes an incredibly special person to turn around and take those years of hard work and offer them up to the next generation. Gae (Gabbie) Hirsch is one of those passionate individuals with her twenty plus years of teaching at UNLV Continuing Education.

Gabbie started her formal studies at the prestigious School of Visual Arts in New York City. From there, she went onto receive her bachelor of fine arts from Cornell University. Finally, Gabbie rounded out her education with a certification in Antiques, Collectibles, and Appraising from Asheford Institute of Antiques. Prior to instructing at UNLV, she worked for Harper Row Publishing, Madison Avenue Art Gallery, and was an assistant professor at a university in upstate New York. Not one to become complacent, she also developed skills in dance and martial arts. Needless to say, Gabby has a lifetime of unique experiences which she utilizes in the classroom. “In my teaching, I believe you can tie all of a person’s experiences to be useful in developing your creativity and not just focus on art related topics.”

Gabbie takes the theory of teaching others to expand her expertise to a new level. She strives to bring in beginners, those who believe they are not artists, and even individuals who fear attempting art so that she can open up a new world to them, which in turn offers her new perspective on her lifelong passion. She has found that UNLV Continuing Education’s central location, name recognition, and facilities offer the best opportunity to reach as many students as possible. Perhaps her biggest reward comes from the positive emotions she sees from her students when they realize they can accomplish success in the art world simply by expressing themselves on a canvas, in a drawing, using watercolors or whatever medium they are utilizing.

When asked why Gabbie preferred teaching for continuing education versus remaining in the the degree oriented world of academia, she provided an interesting perspective. “Continuing Education was both easier to break into and made more sense with what I wanted to accomplish. UNLV was the perfect venue.” In other words, Gabbie has been able to reach a wider audience of future artists in order to pass on her vast knowledge and after 24 years continues to enjoy teaching, while also learning new things about her art through their eyes.

Gabbie teaches a wide variety of classes at UNLV Continuing Education, including acrylics, watercolors, portraits, drawing, and even art appraisal to name a few. To see all the current art classes available at UNLV Continuing Education, visit:

Watch Gabbie's video interview below: