David Avalos was born in San Diego, California on September 12, 1947 and raised in National City somewhere between Tijuana and Disneyland.
He came of age as an artist working at the Centro Cultural de la Raza in San Diego, where he learned to work collaboratively and across disciplines. Avalos received his first Visual Artist Fellowship Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts for a number of assemblage sculptures. In 1988 he entered the graduate program in Visual Arts at UCSD. He was involved in a number of public art and collaborative projects that received a certain amount of national attention. He co-founded the Border Art Workshop/Taller de Arte Fronterizo (BAW/TAF), an interdisciplinary, bi-national group devoted to socially and politically engaged art.
The MFA he received at UCSD led to work at California State University San Marcos where he continues to learn about the art making process from his students and colleagues.
David Avalos has received individual artistís fellowships for his studio work from the National Endowment for the Arts twice, and from the California Arts Council in 1998. He is currently a Professor in the Visual and Performing Arts Department at CSU San Marcos where he has taught since 1991. He lives in National City.