“As the vision seen from the corner of my eye becomes clearer, I trust it to determine the necessary materials and medium. I always ask ‘What If?’”
Kate Cohen once had a ceramics teacher who at the end of each semester would have students select their best pieces and take them to a long hallway. Then they’d mow their creations down with a bowling ball. They’d smash into pieces! “The idea of art is to go beyond what’s precious. Otherwise you’ll only go so far,” she says. “That means no growth.”
The 62-year-old self-employed artist knows something about growth, and for that matter, what it means to be an artist, to live riveted to getting your best work out of yourself. Cohen, an artist who keeps engaging the ‘what if?’ allows the idea to determine what materials and medium will be next. It’s constant experimentation.
Cohen assembles diverse, often aged materials and arranges them into complex constructions. She seduces the viewer by revealing her creative process and thus taps into the collective unconscious where symbols are transformed from autobiographical details to universal truths.
Cohen has intuited so much along the way, but has also worked hard at learning. She has earned a double M.F.A., one in Painting and the other in Sculpture, at Washington State University. She began with a B.F.A. in Ceramics at the Cleveland Institute of Art.
A 20-year exhibitor, Cohen returns to The Festival of Arts for a 21st, after a hiatus to travel and spend time with family. Her paintings, etchings, and sculptures are included in Permanent Collection throughout the United States. A mixed media painting titled “The Passage” is part of The Festival of Arts Permanent Collection.