Donna Day Westerman grew up in Ontario and Michigan, where she attended the Detroit Institute of Arts and Crafts (now the Center for Creative Studies) and the University of Michigan. She began her professional career at the age of 14 when she produced greeting cards for National Artcrafts. In 1960 she moved with her family to Boston, where she attended the Boston Museum School. After a year in Spain and England, where she attended London Polytechnic, she returned to the family home in Tustin, California, and enrolled in the masters program at Otis Art Institute. She majored in painting and printmaking and graduated summa cum laude in 1966. She is now a professor emeritus, retired after 32 years at Orange Coast College, where she served as department chair for 20 years and taught printmaking, painting, experimental painting, illustration, life drawing, color and design, computer graphics, set design and humanities.
In 1979 she started the first computer graphics department in the nation to be housed within a fine arts division. She developed its curriculum and served as its director for 11 years. During this time she was considered one of the early pioneers in the field and served as a consultant and appeared as a speaker at numerous conferences and events. She won many honors and awards for her efforts, including the “Innovator of the Year” award for both the college and the district. She has been the subject of a number of videos and articles of artists in Southern California and has appeared on CBS TV as the subject of a 15 minute interview. Donna is past president of the Los Angeles Printmaking Society (LAPS), has served as editor of Newsprint, the journal of LAPS, and as Chair of the 18th National Printmaking Exhibition held in Pasadena in the fall of 2006. In 2009 she curated a major exhibition of large scale prints held at the Frank M. Doyle Arts Pavilion at Orange Coast College.
Recently she has moved to the Bay area where she is an artist-in-residence at Kala Art Institute in Berkeley and also works out of her studio in the warehouse district of Oakland, near Jack London Square. She is currently developing a new body of work based on natural elements.