Donald Beal was born in 1959 in Syracuse, NY, and grew up in Westford, MA. He studied painting at the Swain School of Design in New Bedford, MA, and received an MFA from Parsons School of Design.
He moved to Provincetown, MA in 1985 and continues to live there with his wife Khristine. Beal is a Professor of Fine Arts at the University of Massachusetts in North Dartmouth where he has taught since 1999. He is a 2013 recipient of The Lillian Orlowsky and William Freed Foundation Grant.