Alumni Spotlight | Nancy Cohen (Visual Arts '84)

Nancy Cohen (work)Was there a specific faculty member or peer who especially inspired you while at the School of the Arts? If so, who and how?
Reeva Potoff - an always clear and insightful critic of work - she was never satisfied but did leave me (and my fellow sculpture students) believing she expected we could get there. It was inspiring in the best kind of way.
How did attending the School of the Arts impact your work and career as an artist?

When I attended (1982-84) there was virtually no discussion of career and it was sorely missing. Making work in New York City was important for me - and the constant discussion of the work all around me made a significant impact. Art school can be a vacuum and this was not.
What was your favorite or most memorable class while at the School of the Arts?
A Cultural History of the 20th Century with Dore Ashton.

About Nancy Cohen

Nancy Cohen’s work has been widely exhibited throughout the United States and is represented in important collections, such as The Montclair Museum, The Newark Public Library, The Weatherspoon Art Gallery, Yale University Art Gallery and The Zimmerli Museum. She has completed numerous large-scale, site-specific projects including for Thomas Paine Park in lower Manhattan, The Staten Island Botanical Garden at Snug Harbor, The Ross Woodward School in New Haven, CT, The Noyes Museum of Art in Oceanville, NJ, The Katonah Museum of Art in Katonah, NY, Park HaGalil in Karmiel, Israel, and most recently for Howard University in Washington DC. She has collaborated with scientists and poets including Shirley Tilghman and Jim Sturm of Princeton University, JeanMarie Harman and Holly Grace Nelson of Rutgers University and performance poet Edwin Torres of New York City. Her most recent collaboration, Between Seeing and Knowing, with glass artist Anna Boothe was begun during a residency at the Corning Museum of Glass. Cohen’s work has been reviewed in books and periodicals, including The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Village Voice, ArtNews, American Craft, Glass Quarterly and Sculpture Magazine. Her many awards include four fellowships from the NJ State Council on the Arts, two from the Brodsky Center, a Pollock Krasner Foundation Grant and a workspace residency from Dieu Donné. She has been awarded residencies at the MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, The Millay Colony, The Archie Bray Foundation, The Pilchuck Glass School and The Studio at Corning. Nancy Cohen was born in 1959 in Queens, NY and raised in Queens and New Rochelle, NY. Cohen received her MFA in Sculpture from Columbia University in 1984 and her BFA in ceramics from Rochester Institute of Technology in 1981. In 1984 she attended the Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture in Skowhegan, ME. She currently teaches at Queens College and Pratt Institute.
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Columbia University School of the Arts offers MFA degrees in Film, Theatre, Visual Arts, and Writing, an MA degree in Film Studies, a joint JD/MFA degree in Theatre Management & Producing, a PhD degree in Theatre History, Literature, and Theory, and an interdisciplinary program in Sound Arts.