A native Californian, Cassidy displayed her innate ability at age four by drawing a piano in perspective. Unable to keep a pencil out of her hand, she soon began sketching faces on every conceivable surface, including the margins of her schoolwork. Encouraged by her artist neighbor and show business parents (her father was a sound effects engineer at NBC radio and her mother sang on the radio with Bing Crosby), she studied at the Art Center College of Design and in private lessons with Uni Martchenko, Sergei Bongart and Hal Reed.
Even as a student, she developed a following and made thousands of successful portraits. She further refined her skills by study with internationally-known master portrait artists Everett Raymond Kinstler, Daniel Greene and John Howard Sanden.
For over thirty years Cassidy Alexander has been making a living painting portraits, popular not only for their realistic skin tones and lifelike expressiveness, but for her unerring ability to capture the subject’s exact expression and personality. She has been represented by several galleries and won numerous awards. Her commissions include sports luminaries Arnold Palmer, Reggie Jackson and Martina Navratilova; Star Trek’s Gene Roddenberry, Betty Davis and many others in public and private life. Her portraits hang in such diverse venues as the Primate Center at Duke University and the Hallmark Corporation, as well as government, corporate and private collections in all fifty states and several foreign countries.
For over twenty years Cassidy has donated portraits of law-enforcement officers who were killed in the line of duty. Her husband, David, was a private investigator when they met. David’s brother was a deputy sheriff with the county of Los Angeles for many years. David thus had a unique perspective, but understood that the hardest work was being on the force. When David’s brother died, Cassidy made a portrait for his funeral. She maintains that this was the most difficult portrait she ever did, but the response was very positive. Several years later, a police officer was killed in the suburb where she and David lived. Together they decided to donate a portrait for the department. Slowly the idea continued, and Cassidy gave portraits of fallen officers, including police dogs, to numerous police departments in California, as well as sheriff’s departments, the California Highway Patrol and airport police. She has also been commissioned to create memorial portrait walls in oil or pastel for several police stations around California.
A little over three years ago, David received a unique job offer and they made the move to the Chicago area. Together they decided to continue the tradition. To date, Cassidy has created and given seven framed portraits of fallen officers from the Chicago Police Department. Last December, Cassidy lost her husband of nearly 36 years very suddenly, and now understands loss only too well. They were a team, and David cannot be replaced. But she will continue to offer her services for as long as she can hold a brush.