Paul Chelstad was born in Sioux City in 1948. He studied art at Wayne State College in 1966, then transferred to the University of Southwestern Louisiana in 1967. He lived in New Orleans from 1968 until 1975, then settled in New York in 1980. Alex Vallauri, who worked to promote stencil art among New York’s artists, introduced him to stenciling on public walls in spring of 1982. In 1994, Chelstad returned to Sioux City, and began doing the large-scale commissioned murals he is best known for locally.