Paula McCarthy Panczenko joined the University of Wisconsin–Madison’s Tandem Press in 1989 and became Director in 1994. Tandem Press is recognized as one of the leading fine art presses in the United States and exhibits its prints in New York, Chicago, and Miami annually. Tandem has attracted major American artists to Madison including Judy Pfaff, David Lynch, Suzanne Caporael, Jim Dine, Sam Gilliam and Alison Saar. Tandem Press prints are in the collections of major museums throughout the United States and abroad including the Museum of Modern Art, and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City, the Chicago Art Institute, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, and the British Museum. One of Tandem’s proudest achievements is that it employs graduate and undergraduate students in every aspect of its operation making it a true art laboratory, which is unparalleled at any other University in the United States. Panczenko is also the current president of the International Fine Print Dealers Association, which is based in New York.
Panczenko was born in Ireland where she received a BA degree in Art History and Archaeology. She then spent a year at the Universita degli Studi di Firenze, Italy. Following her return to Ireland she was appointed visual arts officer at the Arts Council of Ireland where she spent five years before moving to the United States in 1980. In that year, she founded Ireland America Arts Exchange, which was designed to promote exchange between visual artists in the United States and Ireland. She established a studio program for two Irish artists at PSI, The Institute for Contemporary Art in New York annually, and organized an exhibit of contemporary Irish art, which was toured to museums in the United States and Canada. From 1985–1989 Panczenko was the grants coordinator and deputy director at the Wisconsin Arts Board. She has lectured and written frequently on contemporary art in the United States and abroad. Since 2006, Panczenko has served as the curator of exhibitions at the Dane County Regional Airport in association with the staff of Tandem Press.