The exhibition of paintings created by the late Yvonne Davidson Cassidy now featured at City Hall in Grove City is small in number -- the council chambers only provides room to display about 14 paintings.

But Cassidy used her brushes to create so many other pieces in watercolors and oils.

"She made literally thousands of paintings during her lifetime," Cassidy's son, Christopher, said.

"What strikes me about our mom's painting is the diversity of subjects she painted," daughter Cait Cassidy said. "She found subject matter all around her."

That diversity is reflected in the Grove City Council Art Concern exhibition of Cassidy's work, "A Celebration of Life."

The works on display depict everything from portraits of the artist and her family to Cassidy's reflection on the U.S. tragedy of 9/11 and a pier at Wood's Hole, Massachusetts, where Cassidy and her family would access passage to their beloved Martha's Vineyard for vacations.

The exhibition is on view through Sept. 7 at City Hall, 4035 Broadway in Grove City's Town Center.

Cassidy, who died in 2017 at age 89, lived in Commercial Point at the time of her death.

Cassidy's four children and Art Concern curator Ray Kline selected the paintings for this exhibition.

Cassidy's children attended a reception for the exhibition Aug. 25.

"Each of us, her children, picked two paintings that had a special resonance for us," daughter Bridget Cassidy said. "The rest were selected by Ray."

"It was a little difficult to just pick two, because all of us are surrounded by her artwork," son Nicholas said.

"I'm a huge fan of Yvonne's work," Kline said. "Her enthusiasm for painting and for the subjects she chose to paint jump off the canvas. I really love her use of color. It's so vibrant."

Their mother painted every chance she could, Bridget Cassidy said, often working late into the night after putting her children to bed.

Family members got used to Yvonne Cassidy being suddenly inspired by something and wanting to stop to look at it, Cait Cassidy said.

"We'd be driving around and she would spot a farm house with a big silo next to it, and she'd stop," she said. "She'd want to sketch it or take a picture to refer to it later and we'd tell her to make sure she asked the property owner first.

Her mother was always a keen observer of nature, Bridget Cassidy said.

"She grew up in the Midwest and when she married our dad (Joseph), he got her interested in traveling," Christopher Cassidy said. "She fell in love particularly with the sea and the beaches."

Their father was from Boston, and the family would vacation each year in Cape Cod.

"Cape Cod got too crowded and commercial, so then we started visiting Martha's Vineyard, which she treasured," Christopher Cassidy said.

One of the paintings on display in City Hall, "Harbor View," comes from one of those family vacations, Nicholas Cassidy said.

"The medium she used with watercolors presented some hard edges," he said. "A lot of watercolor works are more flowing, but this one had hard edges. I like the way there is a zoom in on the pier we normally see from a distance. The accents of the background and the accents of the wood grain make it very special."

Another featured painting was created in response to the 9/11 attack on New York City and Washington, D.C.

The painting won an award from Watercolor Artist Magazine.

"Some of her other paintings won awards, but this piece was particularly meaningful to her because 9/11 made such an impact on her," Bridget Cassidy said.

The painting is a collage, with the artist applying grains of salt to the watercolor paint.

"She was so affected by the Sept. 11 attacks and she wanted to make a statement about the horror and chaos of that day," Cait Cassidy said.

Just as the subjects of her paintings were varied, so were the mediums Yvonne Cassidy used.

"She started out working in oils and she tried her hand at everything over the years -- pencil, fabric, spiral woodworking," Christopher Cassidy said.

"Then she found watercolors, and that's what she concentrated on most over the last 20 years or so of her life," Cait Cassidy said. "I think she loved the freedom of watercolors. Oils were more rigid on the canvas."

There was more freedom with watercolors, but also less predictability of what might happen after applying the paint, Christopher Cassidy said.

"She would always say an artist should challenge themselves and use their mistakes to create something beautiful," he said.

The family is honored and grateful to have her work on display in Grove City, Bridget Cassidy said.

"Painting was such an important part of her life," she said. "Our mother remains alive for us through her paintings. We hope others will enjoy them, too."

The exhibition can be viewed from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays or by appointment by calling Kline at 614-875-2423 or 614-400-7297.

The Grove City Council Art Concern is sponsored by Grove City Council and offers exhibitions of works by artists from Grove City and central Ohio.

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