This native New Yorker was born in Brooklyn at the height of the Depression. He grew up attending the New York Philharmonic's Saturday morning Children's Concerts at Carnegie Hall ($.25 a ticket) and childrens art classes at MoMA. He started work as an apprentice scene painter, actor (and apprentice everything else) to the Cleveland Playhouse at their summer home, in the '40s, at Chautauqua, New York. He moved, on to being the assistant scenic artist to Ed Gallager for the Chautaqua Opera Association.
Before his teens he studied painting and in High School designed school productions while drawing from life in the afternoons at the Art Student's League. Also, during the school year, in the evenings, he was one of Rudolf Bings' first acting, dance student-supers at the Metropolitan Opera (1951 - 1954).
Wexler went on to study painting, photography and design at the University of Michigan’s School of Architecture and Design, followed by some time at the Yale Drama School. He continued onto an intense life as a scene, costume, lighting designer and producer in theatre, opera, music, television and film.
Moving away from continuing to work on collaborative art, he is now concentrating on painting, large scale public sculpture and photography.
He has designed Broadway musicals, operas for The Metropolitan Opera, hundreds of concerts for The New York Philharmonic, The Boston Symphony, The L.A. Symphony, The Dallas Symphony Orchestra, The National Symphony Orchestra and The Denver Symphony Orchestra.
He has designed scores of plays on and off Broadway and around the country; helped found regional theatres and consulted on TV design from The Merv Griffen Show to The ABC World News Tonight with Peter Jennings.
He has also produced large outdoor music festivals featuring artists ranging from the young Dixie Chicks and Willie Nelson to Van Cliburn and Mstislav Rostropovich; large museum exhibitions for The Smithsonian Institution and many others; and has consulted on the design of theatres and concert performance spaces.
He is currently represented by the Big Apple Circus, tent graphics, a book of his photography, captured in Venice called "Reflections / Riflessioni" and has two large-scale public sculpture projects in work.
He has received many awards and has had 18 one-man shows. His sketches, paintings, models and photographs are widely held in public and private collections, including those of The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center – Billy Rose and Jerome Robbins Collections, the Tobin Collection at the McNay Art Museum and the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum of the Smithsonian Institution.
The Duke Library at Furman University in Greenville, SC is currently digitizing all of his projects for online archival educational availability as THE PETER WEXLER DIGITAL MUSEUM AT FURMAN UNIVERSITY.
He has been married to Emmy Award winning costume designer Constance Ross since 1962.