Allison B. Cooke was born in Midwest City, Oklahoma. She spent most of her childhood living on the east coast before moving to Wisconsin in 1970. Allison holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Art Education from the University of Wisconsin – Madison and a Master of Fine Arts Degree in Drawing and Painting from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee.
Allison has taught drawing and painting studio courses at the Milwaukee Art Museum, the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design and, since 2000, full time in the Department of Art and Design housed in the Peck School of the Arts at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She is also the Director/Faculty for a summer study abroad program at Santa Reparata International School of Art in Florence, Italy, where she teaches an intensive four-week summer course in Renaissance Painting techniques, focusing on egg tempera and gilding found in both traditional and contemporary studio practice.