Cavanaugh works by hand with cloth, cord, dye, paint and occasionally wood and wire. She does this by hand and without assistants. Her work has been seen in national and international exhibits at the Columbus Museum of Art, Oceanside Museum of Art, Springfield Museum of Art (Ohio), Ross Museum of Art, Johnson-Humrickhouse Museum of Art, Ohio Craft Museum and Zanesville Museum of Art. Awards include Best of Show, Shibori Cut Loose exhibit, Textile Center, Minneapolis; Ruth Lantz Fiber Award; Janet Long Memorial Award for Excellence in Fiber; Ohio Arts Council Professional Award; and the Lynn Goodwin Borgman Award for Surface Design.
In 2012 she was selected by the Greater Columbus Arts Council and the Free State of Saxony for an artist residency in Dresden, Germany. She worked in a studio at Geh8 Kunstraum und Ateliers for 80 days culminating in a two-person exhibit with Rotterdam painter Marielle Buitendijk.
Cavanaugh's work is in collections of the Hilton Columbus Downtown and the Ohio Arts Council and private collections in Ohio, New Mexico, California, New York, Chattanooga, and West Seattle. She is represented by Muse Gallery, Columbus, Ohio, and gráficas gallery, Nantucket, Massachusetts. She lives in downtown Columbus, Ohio, and has a studio in the 400 West Rich artist community.