Ali Cavanaugh was born in St. Louis in 1973 and has worked as a professional artist for 17 years. Her compositions are strong and intuitive, thanks not only to being a wife and mother but also to the variations in her experience—such as hearing loss—that made her adapt to and recreate the world around her.
Cavanaugh developed a process best described as modern fresco, where she applies watercolor to plaster panels; her figures often are accentuated by stark white negative spaces. Fascinated by the dichotomy of the seen and unseen in the human condition…body and soul…Cavanaugh’s art brings to light the complexity within contemplation. Her signature poetic titles are part of this engaging discourse.
Cavanaugh was awarded the prestigious Presidential Scholarship from the David Wolcott Kendall Foundation, a four-year, full-tuition merit scholarship. This allowed her to study painting at Kendall College of Art and Design and in 1994 She was accepted into the New York Studio Residency Program in New York City (through Parsons School of Design). Cavanaugh earned a bfa with an emphasis in painting in 1995. In 1996, she co-founded the New School Academy of Fine Art in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Through the mid- to late 1990s, Cavanaugh established a vast following of students and collectors and became one of West Michigan’s most sought after private instructors. In 2000, upon relocating to Santa Fe, New Mexico to establish her work in the town’s world-renowned art scene, she also developed her watercolor technique.