Don West was born in Murray, Kentucky in 1946 but grew up in Detroit, Michigan. He graduated with a B.A. from Michigan State University in 1969, where he excelled in Theater and took minors in Art History and American Literature, studying with Northrop Frye. He went on to complete an M.F.A. in Theater Direction with a minor in Poetry at The Ohio University in 1973, working with Seabury Quinn and Stanley Plumly. He also studied with Richard Shelton’s graduate seminar in poetry at The University of Arizona in 74-75.
Drawing and painting since childhood, he studied painting as a post-graduate at the University of Arizona with Bruce McGrew, Charles Hall, and Philip Melton and at the Tucson Museum of Art School with Monica Jost and James Christopher Larsen. He also studied Scientific Illustration with Don Saynor at the U of A. He has shown work in galleries and museums across the country including Detroit, Chicago, and San Diego.