Meet Mark Carey
or the past ten years, Mark Carey has been documenting the history of the city of Chesapeake, Virginia,
through his weekly drawings for The Virginian-Pilot's Clipper section. His columns depict the physical history of then and now along with interesting and often little-known facts that entertain as well as inform.
Mark was born and raised in Chesapeake, Virginia. He has been drawing since the first
grade, when he used his crayons to render a picture of Benjamin Franklin flying a big, orange kite. By the time he was in the sixth grade he knew he was destined for a career in art.
His talent developed under art teachers at Truitt Junior High School and Oscar F. Smith High School. He took a job as an apprentice sign painter, practicing his craft in the
evenings on scraps of Masonite board he brought home from the sign shop.
During his senior year, he fell in love with Sharon Marie Wheelbarger, a varsity cheerleader. They were married in 1980.
Now a man with responsibilities, Mark went through the apprenticeship program at Norfolk Naval Shipyard, where he worked in the sign shop until taking a position in the Illustration Department, a job he still has.
In 1988, after the birth of a son, Michael Brandon Carey, Sharon was diagnosed with acute leukemia. On Jan. 12, 1993, she died.
Much of Mark's art is now dedicated to fund-raising efforts for the Sharon Carey Genetic Research Fund, which he established in cooperation with Eastern Virginia Medical School to provide young doctors with the
training they will need to find a cure for leukemia and other diseases.
Meanwhile, Mark and Brandon continue to live in the city they love, Chesapeake.