PHOTO:  Margery Cohen various heads stoneware oxide 2in each; photo by artist

RED BANK, NJ - Margery Cohen says she is led by her hands when she makes her sculptures, not from her mind as other artists might be.  In her words, “I rarely have a plan when I begin working; I start squeezing the clay and see what it turns into."  Cohen came to sculpting in clay after first exploring abstract and figurative painting.  Again, in her words, “when the images I was painting began to look like sculpture, I decided to work in clay”.  Clay is where she has remained. 

Cohen’s works largely in white clay, adding dark oxide to color only outlines or highlights.  Her subjects are animals and humans, or even just parts – i.e. human’s heads.  A bowl full of Cohen’s heads lets the viewer take in the wonderful variation she achieves in these repeated units.  There are nuances in size, shape, texture, facial features, hair, and on.  Each head has its own, very original, personality, and they make you smile!

PHOTO: Cat with Bell Collar stoneware oxide 5x8in; photo by artist

Born and raised in Eastern Monmouth County, Cohen earned her BFA at Windham College, Putney, Vermont.  She spent almost two decades living in Berkeley, California, followed by a third in NYC.  Now she is back in Monmouth County and calls Red Bank her home.  Cohen has traveled widely to countries throughout Europe and North America, and also to Japan.

Today Cohen exhibits on both coasts - in the San Francisco Bay Area and in New York City and New Jersey.  Some past venues include the San Francisco Art Institute, Oakland Museum, Avery Fisher Gallery at Lincoln Center, Monmouth Museum, Parlor Gallery in Asbury Park, Emerge Gallery in Saugerties, NY, and Art Alliance.  Cohen will have work in an upcoming group show at Andrew Edlin Gallery, New York, NY.

100 Square Inches will be on exhibition during December in the main gallery space at The Art Alliance of Monmouth County.   This is the members’ annual show, where all art must measure 100 square inches or less – a fun challenge to make and a cool exhibition to see!  Margery Cohen’s ceramic sculptures will be featured in the windows.

An Artists’ Reception will be held Saturday, December 2, from 6-8 PM. Refreshments will be served, and the public is invited to attend. The exhibition is on view December 1 - 30, Tuesday – Saturday, 12-4 PM.  Free of charge. Art Alliance of Monmouth County, 33 Monmouth Street, Red Bank, NJ.

For more information, visit the website at www.artallianceofmonmouth.org, or visit or call the gallery during operating hours, (732) 842-9403.

Founded in 1978, the Art Alliance of Monmouth County is dedicated to promoting the advancement of the visual arts and providing exhibition, studio, and classroom space to local artists. New members are always welcome.

Membership in the Art Alliance is open to visual artists at any skill level and to art lovers. Membership fee is $40 per year, $25 for students with id. Benefits of membership include reduced entry fee for all exhibits ($5 per piece for up to 3 pieces for members; $10 per piece for non-members); affordable studio space; diverse classes and workshops; networking opportunities; the possibility of mounting an independent exhibit during the summer. In addition, the Art Alliance maintains a website, a bi-monthly newsletter, and a Facebook page.

Programming at the Art Alliance is made possible in part by Monmouth Arts through funding from the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders, and the New Jersey State Council on the arts.