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Artist Profile: Anna Kocher

The Philadelphia painter finds 'gritty physicality' in motherhood and in faith.

Anna Kocher is an artist in the greater Philadelphia area whose work has been displayed at her alma mater, Gordon College in Wenham, Massachusetts, the Center Art Gallery at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and Church of the Good Samaritan, where she and her family attend.

In this interview with Elrena Evans, Anna talks about what it means to be a Christian and an artist, and how motherhood has impacted her work.

Where do your faith and your art intersect?

My faith and my art have both been a part of who I am as far back as I can remember. I always believed; I always drew. Both have changed and matured and gone through times of drought and times of abundance.

In high school and early college, I had this feeling that I should do something practical …. But when I decided to pursue art in college, I had this rare moment of clarity and knew that it was the right thing for me to do. I've been grateful for that moment of insight and find myself clinging to the memory when I start to feel like maybe I should have been an accountant or something. (For anyone who knows me, the idea of me as an accountant is laughable.)

You write on your website, "We live in a society obsessed with the material and ideal but terrified of true, gritty physicality." It strikes me that motherhood - pregnancy, childbirth, nursing, and just the day-to-day experience of raising small children - is steeped in "gritty physicality."

[M]otherhood … strips away the facade in so many different areas. ...

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