Susan Castriota, a Pittsburgh native, has always been interested in art. As a high school student, she was Upper St. Clair's first female to enroll in a program for aspiring architects. Susan went on to earn a degree in Fashion Illustration and Commercial Art from the Art Institute of Pittsburgh after studying fine arts in Florence, Italy.
Early in her professional career, Susan worked as an illustrator for the Joseph Horne's Department Store. In 1984, her pen and ink illustrations of Pittsburgh skylines and historical sites were first marketed as greeting cards and an award winning Pittsburgh calendar. They continue to be produced on an annual basis with new selections from time to time. She later added Chicago, Washington, D.C. and New York to her portfolio. Her portrayals of the U.S. Capitol attracted purchases by U.S. Senators and Congressmen, including Bill Cohen and John Mc Cain and local Congressmen Bill Coyne and Tim Murphy. Susan's renditions of the White House captured the attention of First Lady Barbara Bush and were sold in the White House Historical Society gift shop.
The National Cathedral granted Susan permission to illustrate its image, a rare privilege. The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation allowed her to illustrate its historical landmark, Falling Waters. Susan's work is also held in the permanent collection of the Carnegie Museum of Pittsburgh.
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