Cassandra Petruchyk


The song bird series

This collection of images is strictly focused on birds falling under the grouping of songbird. According to Wikipedia this group contains some 4,000 species found all over the world, in which the vocal organ typically is developed in such a way as to produce a diverse and elaborate bird song.

In my work I stress the personality of my subject. The drawings are portraits of birds and stress the importance of each creature and aim to give a voice for their existence and bring them respect.

My love is the line. I add colored pencil and oil pastel to pencil and pen always on paper. My work is defined by line not mass.

I have had the opportunity to work with songbirds native to the area as I volunteer at the Schuylkill Wildlife Rehabilitation Clinic. I can say I have witnessed tremendous personality in Blue Jays, Robins, Cedar Waxwings, Sparrows, Swallows, and Finches I have helped care for. I was particularly fond of a Barn Swallow that came in with a broken wing. The bird was so sweet that I wanted to do a portrait to show my feelings for it. Unfortunately the bird could never have the life it needed without the wing and had to be put down. Now my portrait has made this Barn Swallow immortal. Spending time I am able to see how truly remarkable these creatures are and with my work I hope to share this vision with others


My work consists of animal portraits. My focus is on the wildlife of the area in which I live. Given the opportunity to work with wildlife as a volunteer at the Schuylkill Wildlife Rehabilitation Clinic, I truly get to know these beings. My goal as an artist is to pay homage to each with an image that captures a unique and wonderful personality. I hope I can shed some light on our understanding of the greatness of the local wildlife and create awareness in the general public allowing others to see the animals the way I do.

Pet Portraits

I started drawing dogs and cats when I volunteered at the Humane Society in Jacksonville Florida many years ago. Now I draw the beloved pets of people who want something to immortalize them. It seems to me that unlike wild animals, when it comes to images of domestic animals, particularly pets like dogs and cats that people want the subject to be their own personal animal. I find Pet Portraits to be very popular item.

The images I have selected for this submission are Portraits of two very much alive dogs, Buster and Riley. Initially I was commissioned to do a Portrait of each the owner. I continued to draw these dogs particularly Buster. Buster was rescued from his tough life at the pound and has certain intensity about him.

Contact Information

8431 Pickering Street
Philadelphia, PA 19150
tel: 215-242-0133
e-mail: Cassandra Petruchyk
Please contact artist for purchases, commissions, etc.

Artist Statement

My work is a series of animal portraits, the objective being to seek a voice for those who need to be heard.

I started my focus on this subject after volunteering as an adoptions hostess at the Jacksonville Humane Society in Florida.

Presently I volunteer at the Schuylkill Wildlife Rehabilitation Clinic. I have the unique opportunity to work with wildlife up close and in person.

Both experiences have given me awareness and a connection to the animals.

I feel the need to somehow capture these unconditional open honest beings living amongst us.

I aim to create an image for human viewers to share in my experience.

My work intends to communicate emotion from the inside as it captures the subject and gives it a voice.

Artist Biography

I have lived around art my whole life. My father was a painter, and my mother who raised me has a background in painting but is considered to be a sculptor. My childhood memories include those of my mother constantly working out in the garage she turned into a woodshop. The garage workshop was a dusty and noisy place but somehow the work that she produced in it was incredible. I grew up with the feeling that a life in the arts was hard, difficult without the luxuries money brings. Both parents taught art in various institutions from college to elementary grades, and my mother was always my art teacher she still is today.

I started drawing at a very young age and my family loved and encouraged it. I went on to study art in school. I received a BFA from the University of North Florida where I studied with Louise Freshman Brown. While I went on to earn a BFA I found I had a great interest in the Biological Sciences. By the time I finished my four-year degree I had a large amount of coursework in Biological Science as well as the credits for my BFA.

After graduating college I worked as an artist, producing work, showing regularly and selling.

Looking for a career that would provide healthcare and a steadier income I returned to school, topped off my science credits and entered a program that earned me a job teaching science and eventually earning a Professional Teaching certificate in Biology grades 6-12. Finding teaching to be all about classroom discipline, I had to leave the profession.

I found a program that would train me in Biotechnology with work in a laboratory setting. I graduated from the program and worked in the laboratory of my Professor, a scientist in the field. Unable to fit into a corporate setting life led me back to art. This time my heart is truly in it. I find purpose in giving a voice to animals both wild and domestic.

Selected Exhibitions

Triennial Exhibition, William Penn Charter, Philadelphia, PA

Songbird Series, The Satillite Gallery, The Settlement Music School, Philadelphia, PA

Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education, Philadelphia, PA

Chestnut Hill Fall for the Arts Festival, Philadelphia, PA
First Place Drawing and Illustration


University of North Florida, Jacksonville, Florida

Florida Community College at Jacksonville

2010 – 2015
Professional Certificate in Biology (Grades 6-12)

2007 – 2008
Florida Community College at Jacksonville Biotechnology Laboratory Technician (A.S. Degree)

2006 – 2007
Internship at the Mayo Clinic Neurology Research Department with Dr. Jada Lewis

2005 – 2010
Professional Certificate in Biology (Grades 6-12)

2004 – 2006
Temporary Educator’s Certificate in General Science (Grades 5-9)

Participated in Transition in to Teaching, a grant funded program put on by FCCJ and The Duval County Public Schools

Professional Experience

2010 – present
Volunteer, the Schuylkill Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, Philadelphia, PA

Volunteer, the Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education, Philadelphia, PA

2007 – 2009
Biotechnology Technician Nucleic Assays Corporation

2007 – 2008
Student Lab Assistant, Florida Community College at Jacksonville

2005 – 2006
Science Teacher (Grades 6-12), The Broach School, Westside Campus, Jacksonville, FL

2003 – 2005
Science Teacher (Grades 7-8), Highlands Middle School, Jacksonville, FL

Maintains Artist Studio in Jacksonville, FL

Assistant to Liz Burns, The Canvas Program, The Cultural Council, Jacksonville, FL

Gallery Assistant, Pedestrian Gallery, Jacksonville, FL

1994 – 1995
Volunteer Teacher Assistant, University of North Florida Child Development Center

1993 – 1996
Volunteer Adoptions Hostess, Jacksonville Humane Society, Jacksonville, FL


Images copyright © Cassandra Petruchyk

Copyright © 2000–