Ann Tanksley was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She graduated from the Carnegie Institute of Technology (now the Carnegie Mellon University) in Pittsburgh, PA. She also studied at the Art Students League, Parsons School of Design, the Printmaking Workshop and the New School for Social Research, all in New York, NY. Tanksley studied with notable masters such as, Sam Rosenberg, Robert Blackburn and Paulette Singer, among others. She produced and published a portfolio of monoprints based on the writings of Zora Neale Hurston, entitled “Images of Zora”. The prints were unveiled at two New York exhibitions and went on a national tour.
The artist and her work have been featured in “Gumbo Ya Ya: Anthology of Contemporary African American Women Artists”, “Time Capsule: A Concise Encyclopedia of Women Artists” by Robin Kahn, “The Art of Black American Women: Works of Twenty-Four Artists of the Twentieth Century” by Robert Henkes and “Forever Free: Art by African-American Women 1862-1980”, edited by Anna Alexander Bontemps.