Gary Kolter was born in Indiana and moved to Phoenix, Arizona at an early age. He attended Arizona State University, where he earned a Bachelor's degree in art education.
He also studied at the Famous Artist's School is Westport, Connecticut. His paintings have been shown in nearly every state west of the Mississippi River. Kolter was a member of the Arizona Artists Guild as well as the American Artists Professional League.
Kolter was well known for his trompe l'oeil style of painting, along with his scenes and still life depictions of ranch life.