Gary Knerr was born and raised in Amery, Wisconsin. At a young age his mother arranged for a private oil painting lesson where he learned how to mix oil paints. In the 8th grade Gary entered a contest for the “Polk County Health Seal” and won first place for his dairy design of milk and cheese. In 1967 he graduated from the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry where his father graduated in 1931. He was a member of the Delta Sigma Delta fraternity. After graduation he served his country as a Captain in the USAF practicing dentistry during the the Vietnam War.
In 1972 he began a dental practice in Bakersfield and continued his love for art and painting. He attended oil painting workshops with Beverly Carrick, Ray Roberts, Calvin Liang, Igat Ignatov, Ken Auster and Gary Jenkins. Gary has been awarded Best of Show two times in the Kern County Fair. He made a book; "My Life in Art”, which is a collection of oil paintings of his favorite scenes from his travels from Alaska to Switzerland.