Gary Cooley was born and raised in rural southeastern Michigan, and studied illustration and painting at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit, MI.
Gary has had a long career in illustration, which began in New York where his work appeared in most major magazines, on many book covers, (murder mystery was a specialty), Broadway posters, and in several children’s books. It also appeared in the Society of Illustrators “200 Hundred Years of American Illustration,” as well as in many of their annual exhibitions. His illustrations and paintings have been in many juried exhibitions, taking a few medals along the way .
Following New York, Gary then moved on to Detroit and finished his illustration career in Atlanta. While in Atlanta, he began frequenting the Asheville, NC area, where he exhibited his paintings at the Skyuka Gallery.
Gary and his wife fell in love with the mountains of North Carolina, and he found that the landscape and people of western NC offer endless inspiration.