Kimo Nelson was born in 1980 in Honolulu, Hawaii. He grew up moving between the US, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East. Kimo studied painting and drawing at the Oregon College of Art and Craft and environmental studies at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon. He went on to study at the Rhode Island School of Design where he received his MFA in painting with honors in 2012. He is the recipient of two graduate fellowships from RISD. He has been an organizer and participant for the Signal Fire artist residency program based in Portland. Kimo has exhibited nationally at galleries and nonprofit spaces including Danese/Corey Gallery and Gallery 532 Thomas Jaeckel in New York, Projekt 722 in Brooklyn, WAS Gallery in Washington DC, Disjecta in Portland, and Chase Young in Boston. Kimo currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.