JoAnne Carson was born in New York City and currently splits her time between Brooklyn, New York and Shoreham, Vermont. She received her MFA degree from the University of Chicago and attended the University of Illinois for undergraduate school.

Her work can be found in various public collections including the Brooklyn Museum of Art, the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Joslyn Art Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, David and Alfred Smart Museum of Art, Frederick Weisman Art  Museum in Minneapolis and Sheldon Museum of Art in Lincoln, NE.

She has received many awards including a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Rome Prize from the American Academy in Rome, an Award in the Visual Arts, a Purchase Prize from The American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Louise Bourgeois Residency from Yaddo, and individual artist grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Illinois Arts Council.

Her sculptures, paintings and drawings have been shown in numerous solo and two-person exhibitions including The Fort Worth Art Museum, The Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago and University of Maine Art Museum, Orono, and galleries in New York City including Black and White Gallery, Claire Oliver Gallery, Joan Washburn Gallery, Ruth Siegel Gallery, and Plus Ultra Gallery.

Notable group exhibitions in public institutions include the American Academy of Arts and Letters Ceremonial Exhibition, The Whitney Biennial Exhibition, The New Orleans Museum Frederick Weisman Collection, the Albright Knox Gallery in Buffalo, Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia, The Sheldon Art Museum in Lincoln, Nebraska and the Fleming Museum in Burlington, Vermont. Selected group exhibitions in commercial galleries include, Moti Hasson, D.C. Moore, Allan Frumkin, Ruth Siegel, and Joan Washburn, all located in New York City.