Megan Maguire Cohen has found a way to combine her two loves, animals and art.
Those in the area have a chance to see exactly how the Saltsburg native has done that at a one-woman show dedicated to her work.
The exhibit runs now through the end of January at the Penn State New Kensington branch campus in Upper Burrell Township, Westmoreland County.
At her business, Draws for Paws, Cohen, who currently lives in Huntsville, Ala., creates watercolor pet portraits.
“I love the feeling of taking a blank sheet of watercolor paper and turning it into a beautiful dog or cat and I enjoy seeing people’s reactions to my work,” she said.
Cohen, a graduate of Saltsburg High School and Indiana University of Pennsylvania, also enjoys giving back. She donates 10 percent of her commission sales to the animal shelter of her client’s choice.
The award-winning artist donates art to animal fundraisers and has participated the past two years in the Paws for Charity art book project. In addition, she’s created works to be auctioned off to support breast cancer causes.
Among her pet lover clients are David Conrad, of “Ghost Whisperer” fame, and Shawn Pyfrom from the show “Desperate Housewives.” She’s also done a portrait of the weather-forecasting groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil.
Though her portfolio already sounds impressive, Cohen is particularly proud of the exhibit at the Penn State New Kensington campus, which includes watercolors and photography and jewelry.
“This is my first time exhibiting and I can’t tell you how exciting it was to watch all my work go up on the walls and realize that I had actually done all those paintings,” she said.
“It was a moment that I won’t forget … actually feeling like an artist and knowing that all those works have helped raise money for animal rescues.”
Ten percent of the exhibit sales will be donated to the Animal Protectors of Allegheny Valley in New Kensington.
Cohen and her husband, Randy, have six rescued pets themselves — three cats and three dogs, which she calls her “furry inspirations.”
For more information about Cohen’s exhibit, call (724) 334-6004.
For more on Cohen’s work visit www.drawsforpaws.com, www.facebook.com/DrawsForPaws or www.meganmariejewelry.com.