Pittsburgh Artist Registry

Oreen Cohen

Oreen Cohen

Artistic Category Artist

Alison Zapata - OOA Designs LLC


Career Level Professional
Experienced With Public art, Collaboration, Commissions, For-hire services, Leading workshops, Lectures, Performances, Speaking engagements, Teaching engagements

Texture, movement, material and process are key elements of my artwork. I attempt to bring viewers closer to the visceral or essential qualities of objects. I labor using my body and its presence as a tool to unlock the potential of material and self. I extend myself in the mediums of large-scale sculpture, painting, drawing, site specific installation, public art, intervention, video and performance. Often the public is invited to join in the process magnify the theatres of action, engrossing participants in a spectacle of a mythic, often post-industrial narratives.

Examples of projects include: baking 5,000 bread bricks to reconstructing buildings on the to be demolished list, directing parades with golden caskets filled with 200 lbs. of sunflower seeds in the middle of winter, and creating a quilt of aluminum rubbings taken from 400 buildings around Pittsburgh only to be destroyed in a one night dance performance.  For me, the process of making is more important than final object. My approach thrives on resourcefulness and the discovery of intention while building that initiates the creative exchange between myself and the context. In the studio, classroom or with communities I advocate there are no mistakes in art, only opportunity in the moment.

Oreen Cohen currently lives and works in Pittsburgh, PA. She received a BFA in Painting from SUNY University at Buffalo and an MFA in Sculpture from Carnegie Mellon University in 2014. She attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 2013 and graduated from Chatham University Women's Center for Entrepreneurship IncubateHER Program, 2019. She has been the recipient of Investing in Professional Artists grant from The Pittsburgh Foundation and the Heinz Endowments and a New York Foundation for the Arts Grant. Cohen has had solo exhibitions at 707 Gallery, Pittsburgh, PA, Bunker Projects, and  Transformer Gallery Washington, DC. She has had large public installations at the Brooklyn Army Terminal, Alloy residency at The Carrie Furnace, Pittsburgh,PA, FIGMENT Sculpture Project on Governors Island NYC,  Playground at Flint Public Art Project (Flint, MI), CerCCa Casamarles Residency in Catalonia. Upcoming exhibitions include a Solo Exhibition of drawings coming up at Buffalo Arts Studios in 2021, and a group exhibition titled “This Sacred Thing” at Space Gallery, Pittsburgh, January 2021. Oreen is also a recent recipient of a 2020 Joan Mitchell Center Artist Residency which was recently postponed until 2021. Cohen holds a national board of directors for the Public Arts Commission (http://publicartscommission.org/), as well as Co-founded Hemispheric Conversations Urban Arts Project sponsored by the University of Pittsburgh (www.hcuap.com). She is currently fabricating permanent public artwork in Wightman Park in Squirrel Hill Pittsburgh to be installed September 2020, with her business partnership, OOA Designs llc. Oreen amplifies community voice through navigating public contexts in community arts education, cultural programming and design.


Glenshaw, Pennsylvania 15116
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  • Set design
  • Printmaking
  • Painting
  • Other
  • Functional
  • Film
  • Drawing
  • Video
  • Social Practice / Civic Engagement
  • Sculpture
  • Public Art
  • Photography
  • Performance
  • Mixed-media
  • Light
  • Installation
  • Found object
  • Cut paper


  • Collage
  • Experimental
  • Land/earth
  • Landscape
  • Light
  • Metal
  • Narrative
  • Site specific
  • Conceptual
  • Time-based
  • Abstract
  • Assemblage
  • Black & white
  • Chalk pastel
  • Charcoal
  • Feminist
  • Figurative
  • Glass