Paula McCarty began her painting studies at Parkland College. In 1999, she received her BFA from the University of Illinois in Painting & Drawing. She eventually relocated to California to pursue her graduate degree at California State University, Long Beach, where she received her MFA. She has been teaching painting through Parkland Community Education and the Champaign Park District since 2012. She has also taught in Parkland's Art and Design Program and part time for Parkland's Hospitality Program. In addition to teaching, Ms. McCarty is the art exhibitions curator and designer for the Springer Cultural Center in Champaign. She has exhibited her art locally and nationally and maintains a painting practice out of her home studio.