Mary Jane Jessen was born in Moncton, NB and moved to Victoria, BC with her family in 1969. She was always drawing and painting as a child and began taking private art lessons in the early 1970s. Over the years, she has studied in several art institutions including Victoria College of Art, North Island College Campbell River and Vancouver Island University. In addition to this, she studied painting with Victor Arcega for three years. In 2002, she graduated from Emily Carr University with a Bachelor of Fine Art in the Visual Arts.

In 2008, Mary Jane’s work entered into the international art market, which has taken her message of climate change to Italy and France. She is a signature member of the Artists for Conservation Foundation, and she supports young artists through the Gabriola Elementary School Art Club program, as well as conducting school tours for the Nanaimo Art Gallery.