Zoë Cohen

Other/Public Art Projects

Public Participatory Projects


The Former Shul Project

Vayehi (And it Was)

Contact Information

Philadelphia, PA
e-mail: zoeart@gmail.com
Please contact artist for purchases, commissions, etc.

Artist Bio

Zoë Cohen is a visual artist who works conceptually in a wide range of materials and modalities, creating drawings, sculptures, installations, and socially engaged projects. She creates images and events that address contemporary concerns and issues, and that resonate with the thousands of years of cultural heritage that are available to us. Research into origins and beginnings drives her diverse practice. Her most recent work draws parallels between ancient symbol systems and biblical mythology, and today’s political struggles and belief systems. In addition to her studio practice, she creates socially engaged projects in which creative acts represent a normative model for humanity. Her public and participatory projects are The Listening Station (2006), Show Someone How You Feel About Something (2008), Sacred Origins (2009), Drawing Water ( 2011), and the upcoming West Philly Shul/Church Listening Project.

Zoë Cohen received her BA in Fine Arts from Haverford College and her MFA from Brooklyn College. Zoë was a leader of her class of Brooklyn College MFA students who successfully fought the censorship of their MFA Thesis Exhibition by the City of New York. Her residencies include The Vermont Studio Center, Philadelphia’s 40th Street AIR program, the Artist-in-Residence program at the Philadelphia Cathedral, and the National Havurah Committee Institute. Zoë is an art educator and curator, and is currently an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Tyler School of Art at Temple University, and a Lecturer at The University of the Arts. She has also taught at The Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Philadelphia Mural Arts Program, and the Main Line Art Center, as well as curating exhibitions at The Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education and currently at Ground Floor gallery. Her work has been exhibited in numerous group and solo exhibitions in Philadelphia, New York, and Berlin, and is in the permanent collection of The Philadelphia Museum of Jewish Art, The Museum of Art and Peace, The Philadelphia Cathedral, and Kol Tzedek Synagogue.

Selected Exhibitions

Solo and Two-Person
Abington Art Center, Jenkintown PA

Ocean Life, University of the Arts President’s Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

What Was Our Vision, The Museum of Art and Peace, Philadelphia, PA

Depth and Surface: Water Imagery by Zoë Cohen and Alexa de los Reyes, The University City
Arts League, Philadelphia PA

Drawing Water, Art in the Open, Philadelphia PA

Wind & Weather, InLiquid in the Hall, Crane Arts Building, Philadelphia, PA

What Was Our Vision, The Philadelphia Museum of Jewish Art, Philadelphia, PA

Sacred Origins: An Interfaith Art Project, The Philadelphia Cathedral, Philadelphia, PA
Permanent installation

What Was Our Vision: Sixteen Scenes from Wandering in the Desert, The Philadelphia Cathedral, Philadelphia, PA

Show Someone How You Feel About Something, The A-Space, Philadelphia, PA

Connective Tissue, Recent Ink Drawings, Metropolitan, Philadelphia, PA

Show Someone How You Feel About Something, Landmark Contemporary Projects, Powel House, Philadelphia PA

Show Someone How You Feel About Something, Rittenhouse Sq, Philadelphia, PA

The Listening Station, The International House, Philadelphia, PA

The Listening Station, Public Installations, West Philadelphia, PA

Accumulated Beings, Recent Ink Drawings, 278 Smith St, Brooklyn, NY

Drip Forms, Plays and Players, Philadelphia, PA

Zoë Cohen: Recent Paintings, 278 Smith St, Brooklyn, NY

Zoë Cohen: Recent Paintings, InFusion, Philadelphia, PA

Annual Juried Exhibition, Abington Art Center, Jenkintown, PA
Juror: Gerard Brown. Juror’s Award.

Habitat for Artists, Philadelphia Flower Show, Philadelphia PA

West Philly Invitational, 40th St AIR Space, Philadelphia, PA

Because, Old City Jewish Art Center, Philadelphia, PA

Art in the Open, The Painted Bride Art Center, Philadelphia PA

Zoë Cohen, Gregg Dunn, and Saliha Moore, Studio 34, Philadelphia, PA

Grand Small Works, Fuel Collection, Philadelphia, PA

Everything Must Go, The Flux Factory, Queens, NY

Panoply, The Philadelphia Foundation, Philadelphia, PA
Curator: Edward Epstein

Artifact-Metafact, Repetti Gallery, Queens, NY

Milky Images/Hexenmilch, Arttransponder, Berlin, Germany
Curator: Lisa Glauer

ART at LAVA, The Navel Project, Permanent Installation, Philadelphia, PA

The Pressed Image, Art in City Hall, Philadelphia, PA

Plan B Prevails, 70 Washington St Gallery, Brooklyn NY

Plan B, Brooklyn College Gallery, Brooklyn, NY

Repeat After Me, Flux Factory, Queens, NY

Night of 1,000 Drawings, Artists Space, New York, NY

In the Game, South Shore Art Center, Cohasset, MA
Juror: William Stover

Winter Fruit, 278 Smith St, Brooklyn, NY

Martha and Me, Gallery Onetwentyeight, New York, NY

Drawing from Perception V, Wright State University Gallery, OH
Juror: Charles Cajori

Dear Fleisher, Fleisher Art Memorial, Philadelphia, PA

Divine Women, Divine Work, Painted Bride Art Center, Philadelphia, PA

Philadelphia Open Studio Tours-Selected Artists, JMS Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

140th Annual Exhibition of Small Oil Paintings, Philadelphia Sketch Club, Philadelphia, PA

Abstraction 2003, Juror Phyllis Braff, The Stage Gallery, Merrick, NY

Ten Painters, 278 Smith St, Brooklyn, NY


Brooklyn College, Brooklyn, NY
MFA, Painting & Drawing

Haverford College, Haverford, PA
BA, Fine Arts, Education Concentration

Professional Experience

2015 – present
Gallery Coordinator, Ground Floor at 1241 Carpenter St, Philadelphia, PA

Art:Work, an ongoing series of artist interviews for Title Magazine

2014 – present
Adjunct Assistant Professor, Tyler School of Art at Temple University, Philadelphia, PA

2012 – present
Adjunct Lecturer, University of the Arts, Philadelphia, PA

Artist Mentor, MFA Studio Art Program, Moore College of Art, Philadelphia, PA

2008 – 10
Art Program Manager & Assistant Curator, The Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education, Philadelphia, PA

Juror, Manayunk Arts Festival, Philadelphia, PA

2007 – 2008
Admission Counselor, University of the Arts, Philadelphia PA,

Artist in Education, Pennsylvania Council for the Arts

2006 – 2007
Studio Instructor, Sculpture & Drawing, University of the Arts Continuing Education and Pre-College, Philadelphia, PA

Co-Organizer, LAVA Community Space Art Installation Project

2005 – 2006
President, Graduate Art Student Union, Brooklyn College, Brooklyn, NY
Led MFA students in successful lawsuit against censorship of MFA Thesis Exhibition

Art Editor, The Brooklyn Review, Brooklyn, NY

2004 – 2006
Curator, Art at 278 Smith St, Brooklyn, NY

2001 – 2006
Art Educator, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA

Awards and Honors

(partial list)
Teaching Artist-in-Residence, The National Havurah Institute

2008 – 2009
Artist-in-Residence, The Philadelphia Cathedral, Philadelphia, PA

Semi-Finalist, Challenge Exhibition, Fleisher Art Memorial, Philadelphia, PA

40th St Artist-in-Residence Studio Program, Philadelphia, PA

Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance 5-County Arts Grant

Cerf Award, Brooklyn College Graduate Art Department, Brooklyn, NY

Research Award, Brooklyn College Graduate Investment Program, Brooklyn, NY

Charles Shaw Award in Painting, Brooklyn College Graduate Art Department, Brooklyn, NY

Brooklyn College Foundation Scholarship, Brooklyn, NY

Residency, Artist Grant and Work-Study Grant, Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, VT


Rabbi Jill Hammer and Zoe Cohen The Garden of Time, Skinner House Books, September 2014


Stein, Anne E., “Artist Profile,” Haverford Magazine, Winter 2014

Schanbacher, Ruth, “Artist Interview“, Manufactured Dissent, February 2013

Witmer, Douglas, “In Conversation: Zoë Cohen,” The Museum of Art and Peace, January 2012

“Sacred Origins”, Philadelphia Weekly, May 5, 2009

Hammer, Andrew, “ Embracing Nature”, The Philadelphia Bulletin, Feb 2, 2009

Brady, Shaun. “You Can’t Take It With You”, The Philadelphia City Paper, Jan. 20, 2009

Metz, Dustin. Audio Interview for FunnelPages.com, June 2008

Brady, Shaun. “Postal Service”, The Philadelphia City Paper lead arts article, May 27, 2008

Kessler, David. “Studioscopic with Zoe CohenUwishunu, April 2008

Spotlight on Zoë Cohen,” Uwishunu, May 15, 2007

“Featured Artist,” ArtWorld Digest Magazine, The Seed Issue, April 2007.

Wallen, Doug. “Editor’s Picks: ‘Art at Lava’,” The Philadelphia Weekly, October 31, 2006

Dean, Will. “Arts Agenda Picks: ‘Art at Lava’ , The Philadelphia City Paper, November 1, 2006

Monnier, A. . “The A-List: Zoë Cohen’s Listening Station”, The Philadelphia Weekly, August 16, 2006

Van Gelder, Lawrence. “Arts Briefly : Art Students File Suit” The New York Times, June 16, 2006

Rymar, Yukari. “ Just a Thesis Show”, The Brooklyn Rail, June 2006

Ramirez, Anthony. “ Art Show is Reopening in Brooklyn”, The New York Times, May 24, 2006

Kennedy, Randy. “ Students Relocate a Shuttered Art Show” The New York Times, May 12, 2006

Kennedy, Randy and Janon Fisher. “Brooklyn Art Exhibition Comes Down Amid Protest” The New York Times, May 9, 2006

Confessore, Nicholas. “Art Students Rally” The New York Times, May 7, 2006

Kennedy, Randy, “Park Officials Shut College Show” The New York Times, May 6, 2006

Lau, Charlotte. “In Flux”, Queens Times Ledger, January 26, 2006

Manley, Jennifer, “Ruminations on Replication”, Queens Chronicle, January 12, 2006

Yalkut, Jud. “Visuals, The Reality of Drawing from Perception”, Dayton City Paper, April 7, 2004

Harrison, Helen A. “Abstraction 2003” Review, The New York Times, February 2, 2003


The Museum of Art and Peace, Philadelphia PA
The Philadelphia Museum of Jewish Art
The Philadelphia Cathedral
Kol Tzedek Synagogue, Philadelphia PA
Private Collections

Lectures and Talks

Visiting Critic, MFA Program, Moore College of Art, Philadelphia, PA

2009 – 2011
Visiting Critic, BFA Programs, The University of the Arts, Philadelphia, PA

Artist Presenter, Limmud Philly

Visiting Artist Lecture, The Barnes Foundation, Merion, PA

ASAP speaker series, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA

Studio Series, curated by Nicole Bindler, Studio 34, Philadelphia, PA

VAST Classroom Teacher Program, Artists’ Panel Discussion, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA

“Sound Studies: Things that talk”, Prof. Mara Mills, Department of English, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA

Urban Edge Discussion Series, “Activist Art”, Kol Tzedek Synagogue, Philadelphia, PA

Images copyright © Zoë Cohen

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