After high school in Savannah, Georgia, Hartsfield earned undergraduate and graduate degrees in Art at Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama. In 1966 she completed a year of postgraduate study in Art History and Humanities at Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida.
Hartsfield taught Art at Auburn University for 35 years, serving her final 4 years as Interim Head of the Art Department. During her years at Auburn she participated in numerous regional and national juried shows, winning many awards. With colleague John Morgan she was able to secure from Apple Computer the University's first computer laboratory. She currently serves as vice-chairman of the Board of Directors of DesignAlabama, Inc., as well as art director for the DesignAlabama journal. Professor Hartsfield was also a long and active advocate for a fine arts museum at Auburn University, and served as co-chair of the Building Committee for what is now Auburn's Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Arts, which opened in October, 2003. Presently she serves on the Museum Advisory Board's Executive Committee. Her work is represented in numerous public, corporate and private collections throughout the region, and she continues to enter competitions and show her work.