Gary Cialdella was born in Chicago and raised in nearby Blue Island, Illinois. He earned his MFA in photography from the University of Notre Dame and holds an MA in history from Western Michigan University. Cialdella is a photographer working in the social landscape tradition, a professional architectural photographer, and an experienced art educator.

Cialdella chaired the photography program at the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts from 1977 to 1984 and has taught photography and photographic history at various universities, including the University of Notre Dame, Academy of Arts University, Kendall College of Art & Design, Kalamazoo College, and Western Michigan University.

His work has been represented in the Museum of Contemporary Photography’s Midwest Photographers Archive and is included in many corporate and private collections, such including Bank of America, the Pfizer Corporation, the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, and the Brauer Museum of Art.