Kathleen Carlo Kendall was born in Tanana, Alaska, and spent her early years living on the Yukon River. Her parents, Bill and Poldine Carlo, moved the family from the villages to Fairbanks to keep Kathleen and her eight siblings together rather than sending the older ones away to boarding school. The family mined for gold and fished in the summers.
In the late 1970s, Kathleen joined the Native Art Center at the University of Alaska Fairbanks and studied under revered Alaska Native carver Ron Senungetuk. Her first show featured carved masks made during her BFA program. After graduating from UAF she focused on panels and larger sculptures which provided greater opportunities for her to explore abstract forms in wood in combination with metal, paint, and found objects. Kathleen has supported herself through commissions, major museum purchases, and from teaching traditional mask-making in Alaska villages.
Since 1990, Kathleen has worked as a Native Arts carving instructor for the University of Alaska Summer Fine Arts Camp. Her works can be seen in the collections of the UAF Museum, the Alaska State Council on the Arts, the U.S. Department of the Interior, Anchorage Museum of History and Art, Doyon Limited, Doyon Utilities, the Morris Thompson Cultural Center, the Fairbanks Cancer Center, and numerous private collections in and outside Alaska.
Kathleen was one of 36 artists awarded a 2015 U.S. Artist Fellowship and traveled to Mexico and Cuba as a Rasmuson Fellow in Traditional Arts.