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Flying Solo with Glass Artist Sarah Cohen

Sarah Cohen, a Pittsburgh-based glass artist and PGC instructor, had the amazing opportunity to bring mosaic to Pittsburgh International Airport through their Art in the Airport programThe finished piece is on display in Concourse C. If you’re traveling, stop by and check it out.

Airport employees and travelers worked together to complete the artwork while learning about mosaic techniques and historic glass production in the region. “Community mosaics can be really social and therapeutic. I thought it would be perfect for delayed flights or people on breaks,” Sarah said.

We asked Sarah to tell us more about the project.

How did this opportunity come about?

I was fortunate that the airport was receptive to the idea of community mosaic. Glass mosaics have been a passion of mine ever since I apprenticed for a mosaic artist when I was 18. After working at Pittsburgh Glass Center, I learned community mosaics and teaching. I wanted to share that knowledge. I’m not happy if I’m not evolving, growing, and moving forward. Plus, this project fits into my philosophy that art is for everyone. I also wanted to pitch a project that would engage airport travelers and employees in making artwork while waiting for their planes, delayed flights, or employee breaks. After an image was decided upon, I sketched it out onto a board for everyone to work on who passed by me in the gates. The image is of a plane taking off over sunset, with a compass. Just like it takes a team to get travelers on an airplane in the air, it takes a team to make mosaics.

What feedback have you received about the project?

Sometimes the process means more than the finished piece. Many people said the mosaic process was therapeutic. An artist who worked at the airport told me he had the opportunity to try a new medium of glass. Employees who work across the hallway from each other got a chance to meet and socialize while making the mosaic. Children who participated were impressed with their own work! People came together and learned a new skill, and that means more to me than the finished piece.

Also, anyone who worked on it learned about Pittsburgh’s rich history in glass. People told me about their family members who used to work at Pittsburgh-Corning, and I met an airplane technician who told me what kind of plane was in the mosaic. The whole experience was very wholesome! Since I have a museum background, I made the display educational with an explanation of tools and sheet glass. Participating in art takes courage and people are way more capable than they think they are! They just need encouragement.

What projects are you working on now?

Right now is pretty exciting! I have a few mosaic commissions lined up and like other artists, I am always looking for more opportunities. I’m currently doing a residency at Pittsburgh Glass Center. I’m focusing on my conceptual artwork that deals with American consumerism, like glass credit cards, glass books, and Venmo/TikTok mosaics.

Plus, you can always find my PetalVision Jewelry in stores around town, like Pittsburgh Glass Center. I completed my second public art piece last year so I’m also reorganizing my studio. I feel very fortunate and having a glass community means everything to me.

See more photos from the project from the airport.

Learn more about Sarah Cohen and her work at and Follow her on Instagram at @scohenstudio and