Artist Spotlight: Cheryl Cohen

J.D. O’Gara
Issue Date: 
November, 2018
Article Body: 

Although she has her own studio on Woodland Street in Holliston, mosaic artist Cheryl Cohen will be exhibiting as a guest artist at the Holliston Mills Open Studios event.
“I’ve always done crafts my entire life,” she says. “I always thought sometday I’m going to find one kind of art that ties together everything I love.” Those things, she says, included beads and glass and rocks and shells, she says.
Fifteen years ago, after her sister accidentally smashed some “magnificent plates” she’d gotten from Morocco, she invited Cheryl to take a mosaics class with her.
“It was love at first class. It really did unify all the things I love,” says Cohen. Finally, she had an outlet for all the supplies she’d been gathering for years.
Cohen, who used to be an occupational therapist in Holliston Public Schools, says she has found her dream job.
“This has always been a dream retirement job, and I’ve never worked more hours in my life, but I love it!” she says.
Despite needing to earn a living with her studio, Cohen says she makes time to create a few pieces each week.
“The majority of the time, I push myself to make time for the art aspect,” she says. “When I don’t, I find I’m not having as much fun, and that’s important.”
Making her mosaics gives Cohen “a sense of freedom, because I look at it that I can make anything I want. What I love about mosaics specifically is you can change your mind 20 times while you’re making a piece.”
Cohen tells the story of a piece she began that was inspired by an aerial view of a river.
“It decided it wanted to be a tree,” she says. “It became a blue tree, one of my favorite pieces. I love it when it tells me what it wants to be. I start with an idea, but it never ends there. It goes on many different trails, and following those trails is a huge part of the fun.”
Cohen says her work is evolving, and she gets feedback from craft shows about how much she has grown. She’s recently moved onto making a new kind of jewelry with sterling silver bases.
“The longer I do this, the more depth I have in terms of the materials I supply in the studio,” says Cohen. “I have so many choices of color and texture and bling. The richness of the possibilities is even more endless than it was before. In terms of how my own art has grown,
I’m always taking classes, and I’m always learning more. What I’ve learned is how you can’t do it wrong. Art is art. That’s what makes it so great.”
Come by and see Cheryl at the open studios event, or find out more at