Born in Stockton, California
She grew up in Atlanta where her father was an artist. She studied fine arts at the Atlanta College of Arts and received her MFA in painting and printmaking from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1994. She has been awarded the United States Artists Eileen Harris Norton Fellowship 2008, The Lucelia Artist Award, The Smithsonian American Art Museum 2004 and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Fellowship 1997. Currently, Walker resides in New York City and teaches at Columbia University.
Walker is known for her room-sized installations of silhouette cut-out figures and scenes focusing on race, gender, identity, sexuality and violence. Typically depicting themes from the Antebellum South and current race relations in the United States, Walker’s work brings a contemporary point of view to nostalgic imagery.
Walker's work can be found in collections across the world, such as The Brooklyn Museum of Art, Brooklyn, NY; Centro Nazionale per le Arti Contemporanee, Rome, Italy; DESTE Foundation, Athens, Greece; Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA; Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; The Tate Gallery, London, U.K.; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY.