Born in Albuquerque, New Mexico and raised in southern California, he called Los Angeles home. Donald received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from UC Irvine in 1976 and his Master of Fine Arts degree from the California Institute of the Arts in 1978. He began an eclectic career in art with seminal performance pieces known for their originality, innovative use of media and anthropological subject matter. “The Story of Aviation”, “All Electric”, “The Tesla Project” and “Boy’s Life”, to name a few, established Donald as an important voice in the Los Angeles performance art community. Also recognized for his installation pieces, paintings and drawings in his later career, Donald created a one-man show based on the work of Thomas Edison at the Santa Monica Museum of Art in 1995. He continued to explore science and nature in his art and writings.
Donald taught graphic design at Otis College of Art and Design until 2002. He was greatly loved by his students for his compassion and intellectual curiosity. He continued his graphic design career and at the time of his death was establishing himself as an arts curator.
His thoughtful and insightful conversations will be missed by all, along with his laughter, gardening expertise and tireless spirit of intellectual pursuit. He will be forever in the hearts and minds of his loving life partner of 22 years Carl Smith, sister Janis McCarthy and husband Tim, niece Susanna McCarthy and her husband Alec Knight, and the many that were privileged to call him friend.
There will be a celebration of Donald’s life at the Center for the Arts, Eagle Rock, California on Saturday, June 19 at 6:00 p.m.