Garold C. Barton Jr. graduated from Brigham Young University in 1989 with a bachelor's degree in printmaking. He received his Master of Fine Arts degree from Ohio State University in art in 1994. He later returned to BYU as a faculty member in the Visual Arts Department, and later in the Art Department when the department split. In 2007, BYU awarded him with the Joseph E. White Teaching and Learning Fellowship.
As a professor and artist Barton works primarily in two-dimensional media including painting, printmaking, and mixed media. He has shown his work extensively in national and international exhibitions and has received numerous grants and awards for his work, including the Award for Excellence in Creative Works from BYU's College of Fine Arts and Communications and the Utah Arts Council Visual Arts Fellowship.
From January of 2012 to January of 2013, Barton served as a mentor to Nicholas Bontorn as part of a print exchange, a collaborative printmaking project between BYU and the University of Hawaii. An exhibit of the final works was displayed at the Harris Fine Arts Center on BYU campus and at the Honolulu Print Makers Guild.
Barton became the chair of BYU's new Art Department in 2015 when the Department of Visual Arts split to become the Department of Art and the Department of Design.