Tessa Shackelford was born and raised in the mountains of West Virginia. Beginning in the southernmost regions of the hills, she eventually made her way to the more northern parts of the state where she made the unfortunate discovery of printmaking in her high school art classes. Fancying herself a future high school art teacher, Tessa first attended Fairmont State University in the pursuit of a teaching degree. Studying under Dr. Stephen Smigocki, and seeing teaching wasn't for her, she then transferred to West Virginia University and began working with Joseph Lupo. In 2009 she received a BFA in studio art with an emphasis in printmaking along with a BA in art history. That Fall Tessa began her MFA at Northern Illinois University in the pursuit to hone the rough edges of her printmaking skills. She completed her MFA in 2012 and now baking loads of printed Shrinky-Dinks or embroidering the heck out of a relief print, Tessa can be found making Jell-o desserts to unload upon her unsuspecting students and colleagues.