Leslie Powell was a painter and the only child of a local pharmacist in Lawton, Oklahoma. The elder Mr. Powell was an original stockholder in the Security Bank and trust. When he died, Leslie Powell inherited this bank interest which was the nucleus of the Leslie Powell Trust.

Upon his death, Leslie Powell's will established a trust with three trustees appointed by the bank. The trust was to take the corpus of the estate and hold same for the benefit of the Leslie Powell Foundation.

The Foundation Board consists of five people: two nominated by the Trust, one nominated by Cameron University, one by the City of Lawton, and one by the Lawton-Fort Sill Arts Council. The current members of the Leslie Powell Foundation are David Carter, Paul Fisher, John Kennedy, Edna McMillan, and Kerry Sweeney. Matthew D. Hughes is currently the Executive Director and curator of the Gallery.