Russo earned a BA in developmental biology and psychology from Princeton University, 1985. Formerly a world-class athlete, she suffered a career-ending injury in 1984 while vying for a spot on the U.S. Olympic Field Hockey Team. After her recovery from surgery, attracted to the physical nature of sculpture, Russo studied studio arts in Florence, Italy, and continued studying ceramics at Princeton University. In 1995 she earned her MFA at the University of Colorado, Boulder. In addition to her studio practice, Martha is a professor in the Fine Arts Department at Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design, Lakewood, Colorado. Martha is represented by Claudia Stone Gallery, New York. She lives in Ward, Colorado with her husband and two children.