Ruth Tesmar was born in 1951 in Potsdam (Brandenburg). From 1969 to 1973 she studied art education at the Humboldt University in East Berlin and gained a doctorate. She studied painting and graphic art at the Weissensee University of the Arts in East Berlin from 1983 to 1986 under Dieter Goltzsche. From 1993 to 2016 she was a professor and head of the Seminar for Artistic and Aesthetic Practice at the Humboldt University in Berlin. In the 1990s she designed stage sets. Tesmar lives and works in Schwerin (Mecklenburg-Vorpommern).