Meet The Artist

29 year old Worcester native, Coca Shahed is the owner and artist running The Codega. Self taught in acrylic, watercolor, oil, gouache, resin, custom leather work and digital art. Her inspiration comes from her city, friends, family and spiritual journey. Her art is based on her neighborhood's bodega that had everything in it from toys, handmade sandwiches wrapped in Saran Wrap,candy, chips, big gushers, lotions, soaps, knock off perfumes and everything in between. As she got older she began to notice the art in her bodega- the neon signs in the windows, cigarillos in colorful wrappers and the aesthetic of the seven day candles. In her teens the bodega doubled as a hangout for all the neighborhood kids, her school’s bus stop and the only thing to look at from her living room window. With no idea of how fast life would hit, Coca watched the bodega slowly transition to a part-time vigil. The sidewalk surrounding it was now covered in lit candles and pictures of childhood friends. It’s brick exterior spray painted with the names of people she had just hugged days prior. Most murdered due to senseless gang violence, a few being in the wrong place at the wrong time and some succumbing to their environment and untreated mental illnesses. She learned to cope with the heartache by creating and transferring her pain and love into art. All of her pieces are one of one and never duplicate just like the friends and family she names each piece after, making everything a collectors item and a way to honor her loved ones while they are still here with us and not just when they are gone.