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Award-winning artist, Pam McGinnis primarily works in charcoal, graphite and pastel. She is self-taught and is widely known for her charcoal portraits and historic buildings.

Pam's artwork has reached the majority of the 50 states and several foreign countries. Her art has raised thousands of dollars for various charitable organizations. She has won numerous awards, organized multiple art shows and is currently represented by several art galleries and gift shops, including the Octagon Center for the Arts in Ames, Iowa, and the Gortz Haus Gallery in Grimes, Iowa. Her work is collected extensively in both public and private sectors. She is a member of the American Society of Portrait Artists.

Pam's distinctive artistic style and devotion to realistic representation has made her work widely appreciated and avidly collected.

Read what the Carroll Paper Wrote

Carroll native's school pride launches art project


Carroll native Jim Waters appreciates that the education he received at Iowa State University set him on the road to career success.

That road has taken him hundreds of miles from the Ames campus. Waters, son of the late Jim and Lois Waters, longtime owners of a clothing store in Carroll, today is a vice president with Caterpillar Inc., with his office in Peoria, Ill.

But thanks to a connection Waters and his wife, Karleen, daughter of Don and Kay Nieland of Carroll, made with Carroll's Pam McGinnis, Click to read more...

Jim Waters, Vice President of Catepillar, Inc.; Iowa State University President Greg Geoffroy; Pam McGinnis,Artist; and ISU Foundation President Dan Saftig

Carroll High School Interview with Pam McGinnis

For as long as she can remember, Pam (Long) McGinnis, a 1974 graduate of Carroll High, has loved to draw. Unfortunately, as a “starving artist”, she realized how difficult it was to make a living as an artist, and she put away her pencils. When she moved back to Carroll, after being gone 20 years, it was a pleasant surprise to often be greeted by individuals who would say, “I still have your drawing hanging on my wall.”

Over the years, Pam has worked in several positions, including a cashier for a brokerage firm in California and as a paralegal with a law firm in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. But after making the decision to return to Carroll twelve years ago to raise her three children in a safer, hometown environment, she was encouraged by several local artists to pick up her pencils. Working with charcoal and graphite, Pam has built a solid reputation as a professional artist. At one point, Audubon artist, Clint Hansen, encouraged her to try her hand at pastels, and as a result, her first attempt won Best of Show at the Iowa State Fair. Her artwork has raised thousands of dollars for various charitable organizations and is collected worldwide. She has organized multiple art shows and is currently represented by several art galleries.

Of local interest, Pam has drawn many historic Carroll area buildings including the Carroll Train Depot, the old Carroll County Courthouse, Carnegie Library, Burke’s Hotel, St. Anthony Hospital, St. Anthony Nursing School, St. Angela Academy, St. Joseph Catholic Church, SS. Peter and Paul Catholic Church and a street scene from Templeton dating back to 1910. Many of her historic scenes are inspired by old postcards showing the buildings as they were when they were originally built.

Last year, Jim Waters, a Carroll native, Vice President of Caterpillar, Inc. and graduate of Iowa State University, commissioned Pam to draw several historic buildings located on the Iowa State campus. Jim recently invited Pam to meet ISU President Gregory Geoffroy and ISU Foundation President Dan Saftig when he presented President Geoffroy with a set of prints made from the drawings. She has also completed projects for the University of Northern Iowa and Morningside College in Sioux City. The President of Morningside College used one of her images for his 2007 Christmas card. Pam is currently working on an image for the University of Iowa and upcoming projects are scheduled for Drake, Wartburg, Luther and Central College. Prints of her artwork are available on her website at

“Throughout the years, the one thing that always stayed with me was the support and encouragement I received from my former Carroll High School art teacher, Mary Lewman Stork. Artistically, she was the single-most influential individual in my life as a teenager, and I will always be grateful to her.”

Pam continually says that moving back to Carroll was one of the best decisions she has ever made. “It meant a lot to me to watch my children play on the same playgrounds, attend the same schools and worship in the same church that I did growing up. My children, Chris, 19, Katie, 18, and Sarah, 16, have grown up watching me draw, so it is pretty difficult to get a “wow” out of them anymore, but one thing they have learned is that life can be very fulfilling when you follow your passion.”


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