Story by: Amber Turner
Cassy Coha crouches close to her paper, adding details with every brushstroke. The picture slowly comes to life. She leans back, and her creation comes into view. After hours of painstaking work, a stunning, stylistic painting of armpit hair faces the viewer.
“Right now my art focuses on people and bodies. It pushes people’s boundaries, at first it may even make people uncomfortable because of the fact that they’re not used to seeing these things but it draws attention to what our society has to say about people’s bodies,” Coha said.
Coha, 18, is a senior currently taking AP Studio Art 2D Design Portfolio with Art Teacher Amy Lapka.
“The concentration is 12 pieces with a theme. You can choose your subject and your style, and that’s what you turn in to the college board,” Coha explains.
Each AP Art student works on their concentration pieces throughout the year, and Coha’s theme is the hidden human body. She describes it as natural functions of the human body that are often considered taboo or undesirable.
“I feel like it surprises people, and I think it’s important to talk about in a society where it’s so common to display people but we don’t really talk about it,” Coha said.
Shocking art is a common theme for Coha, who has taken art classes throughout high school.
“I’ve been making art since I could hold a pencil,” Coha said.
As an artist, Coha enjoys exploring different subject matter and mediums. Her art can range from intricately drawn still lifes, shockingly bold statement pieces, and minimalistic observational drawings.
“Sometimes your own art can make you nervous; I used to have big fear of drawing people, but I really don’t anymore. I think that’s why it’s really important to push yourself to draw new things, Coha said.
Making art has always been a hobby for Coha, one that she plans to continue doing throughout her life.
“I don’t know why someone who likes art and feels like they are good at art would stop making art,” Coha said.
Coha’s art, as it continues to grow and change, will always be a conversation starter.
“I think that ultimately there is stuff that’s difficult for people to talk about, that we experience with our bodies but everyone experiences them, and it doesn’t have to be such an awkward conversation.”