Karey Kessler was born in South Dakota and raised in New Jersey. She received her BA in Anthropology and Fine Arts from the University of Pennsylvania and her MFA from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. After graduate school, she spent four years in Washington DC, creating art and working as the gallery manager of DCAC (the District of Columbia Arts Center). She has lived in Seattle for the past 10 years except for 2014, when she spent a year in Taiwan painting and exploring with her family.
Her work is in the flat files of the Pierogi Gallery (New York City) and is included in two books: The Map as Art (Princeton Architectural Press, 2009), by Kitty Harmon and From Here to There: A Curious Collection From the Hand Drawn Map Association (Princeton Architectural Press, 2010). Her art was also published in the academic journal Imaginary Cartographies, English Language Notes (Issue 52.1, 2014).
Kessler currently has a temporary public art piece, A Path of Wonderment and Connection, along the new Rainier Valley Greenway in Seattle. Her vinyl street graphics are part of Art Interruptions 2018 which is funded by the Seattle Department of Transportation 1% for the arts and is administered by the Seattle Office of Arts and Culture.
She is part of an ongoing project, CoDraw Seattle where drawings are passed among a group of artists who meet on a regular basis. The process is open and experimental as marks are covered up, scraped away, collaged over, and enhanced by new hands.