He could do that

Artist Adam Cohn brought a lifetime’s worth of diverse artistic experience when he moved to town a decade ago.

Cohn’s initial artistic interest was sparked by his mother’s hobby as a skilled sketch artist during his childhood. A Pennsylvania native, Cohn earned a bachelor’s degree in graphic design at Penn State. Not too long after graduating, he founded his own graphic-design company in the Washington D.C. area. Those years of entrepreneurial experience later helped him acquire design positions at
high-profile companies like Nike and Converse. He recapped all the different mediums of art he has gained experience in throughout his career.

“Storytelling and narrative is a creative thing that I do. Also, actual graphic design, which is logos, publications, and websites. Also, poster design, logo design, packaging design, all that stuff. Any medium of design, I’ve done it,” Cohn said.

During his time working for the two national footwear and apparel companies, Cohn designed things such as footwear boxes, logos, and even retail stores. He even played a part in launching the sneaker-customization software NikeID nearly 25 years ago. He also had a hand in designing Nike’s headquarters for the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia, and the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah. Through those experiences, Cohn learned what one of his favorite parts of being an artist is.

“Creativity meets communication,” Cohn said. “It’s about making humans feel something. Which is what you do with art also, but when it comes to graphic design and marketing, you are also trying to make them do something like make a purchase.”

Cohn had those same goals in mind when he shared his work with fellow residents for the first time in September with his “I Could Do That” linear seascape display at MacRae’s Sustainable Goods. Marbleheaders in attendance were able to see the impact the town has had on his art and vice versa.

His hand-drawn linear seascapes might be a departure from his resume of digital and corporate design, but his mission of influencing others stays the same.

“It’s not about the work,” Cohn said. “I’m satisfying something with myself in this, but there’s something about it for me… I like finding out that someone else liked it, and it’s making an impact on somebody else’s life.”

His stencil works vary in different ways. However, one theme is consistent throughout them all.

“I’ve always been interested in water, the frequencies of water, patterns in water, and just being near the water,” Cohn said.

He added that Marblehead played an significant role in influencing his artistic interest in seascapes. Some of his works are based on real Marblehead locations, including Marblehead Light and Peach’s Point. Cohn identified the latter as his favorite piece.

“It’s one of those ones that from a distance it appears one way, but then you get up close to it, and you see all the different little things that are going on in it,” Cohn said. “There’s something about this one that allows you to have an experience from 20 feet away and then a different experience from two feet away.”