Cooley’s work explores the urban landscape. Many of her paintings depict the steps of Pittsburgh, as well as bridges, rivers, streets, and railroad tracks. Another theme in her work is the passage of time, embodied by visions of the relics of a Mon Valley steel mill and hot metal bridge…an expanse of brownfields turning green or the once handsome buildings on Braddock’s Main Street…Cynthia F. Cooley is known for her paintings of steel mill interiors and Pittsburgh’s hillside neighborhoods and industrial valleys. She has had 47 exhibitions in 8 states, including the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, DC and the 1989 “Artist of the Year” at the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts. She is a graduate of Lawrence University, which honored her with the 1997 Distinguished Career Achievement Award. Ninety public and corporate collections including the Carnegie Museum of Art, Butler Institute of American Art, PA State Museum, University of Pittsburgh, the Duquesne Club, the Heinz History Center, Penn State Mineral Sciences Museum, Pittsburgh Public Schools, and the Westmoreland Museum of American Art have the paintings of Cynthia F. Cooley in their permanent collections.