Gary’s art career had a long gestation period, its academic inception going back to grade school where his preoccupation with drawing contributed to his earning a second try at first grade. He would not feel comfortable calling himself an artist until after his retirement from thirty years of teaching high school English and history, at which time he dedicated himself to to full time painter.
Gary minored in art and majored in English at San Jose State University. After his first year of teaching, he left secondary education to take a position with the Department of State Diplomatic Courier Service to be stationed in Frankfurt, Germany. He accompanied top secret materials to virtually every capital city in Europe, Africa and the Middle East.
After 2 ½ years of living the Cold War and witnessing Africa’s bloody emergence from colonialism, Gary headed off to Paris where he was accepted into the prestigious Beaux Arts to study drawing and painting. This period in Paris would become especially important to his life, as he would meet the Karoline who would become his wife, and mother of their two children.
Gary retired from teaching in San Jose (and for two years in Brussels, Belgium) in 1998.
Since then, he has won more than 30 show ribbons, including best of show in the 2014 and again 2016 for the “All Abstracts” competition at the Pacific Art League of Palo Alto.
In 2001 he had his first one-man show, entitled “The Artist as Landscape” at the Pacific Art League in Palo Alto. Praised for both its use of humor and its artistic merit, the show was comprised of paintings depicting what the artist saw of his self without the use of reflective technology. Since then he has had numerous one person shows in Northern California.
Gary is currently represented by Gallery 24 in Los Gatos, CA.
To see a collection of Gary's work, go to: www.garycolemanartist.com