Pam Cardwell was born in Bluefield, WV. She received her BFA from Virginia Commonwealth and MFA from the University of Pennsylvania. In 2007 she received a Fulbright grant to research color in the arts and architecture of the Republic of Georgia and taught drawing and design at the University of Film and Theatre and the Academy of Arts in Tbilisi. While in the Caucasus countries she also travelled to Armenia and Azerbaijan to study the manuscripts and frescos. Between 1998-2002 she taught drawing at Bilkent University in Ankara, Turkey. During this time she traveled extensively throughout Turkey, Greece and Jordan. In 1998 and 2005 she received grants through the Joan Mitchell Foundation. In 1998 an MFA grant and in 2005 a Career Opportunity grant to attend an artist residency at Altos de Chavon through Parsons School of Design in La Romano, Dominican Republic. She has attended artist residencies at Garikula in the Republic of Georgia, Yaddo, the Albers Foundation, the Millay Colony and the Edward Albee Foundation.