Leslie Bellavance was born in Hartford, Connecticut and grew up in Providence, Rhode Island. As an undergraduate she traveled abroad in Europe and lived in Rome, Italy. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree Summa Cum Laude from Tyler School of Art at Temple University in Philadelphia and a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Chicago. Leslie Bellavance has exhibited her artwork in the United States, Europe and Asia. She has received numerous grants and awards including a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship and a Wisconsin Arts Board Fellowship. She was awarded a residency for her book, analemmic, which was published by Nexus Press in Atlanta, Georgia. Bellavance has written and lectured extensively on contemporary art. From 1981 until 2005 she served on the faculty of the Department of Visual Art in the Peck School of the Arts at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where she also served as head of the Photography Program, director of Graduate Studies in Art, and interim associate dean. From 2005 until 2010 she served as professor of art and the director of the School of Art and Art History at James Madison University. She is currently the dean of the School of Art and Design at Alfred University. She lives in Alfred, New York.