Mark McAlister A&M1

Born in Memphis, TN and moving to Williamsburg, VA at the age of 5, I was always considered a creative child. Always in my room drawing, building, writing stories, singing my own songs, but somewhere along the way I received the message from people around me. That my future didn’t lie in art and I should make other plans. So I spent my adolescence slowly drifting away from my creative nature, eventually graduating from Christopher Newport University with a Bachelors degree in Philosophy, and sought out a “normal” career path like any college graduate should have.

After bouncing around from job to job, I found myself into the construction world as an estimator, sales representative, project manager, and eventually, a general manager. Along the way I would draw and doodle while at the office, occasionally drafting the odd architectural illustration here or there, but I otherwise still disconnected from my artistic nature. That was until 2019.

The quarantines that accompanied COVID-19 served as a type of crucible that forced me to find outlets to express my feelings of worry, uncertainty, and sadness borne from isolation. It was while at home that I decided to start experimenting with painting, drawing, collage, etc – any other medium that excited my long dormant creative spirit.

My paintings developed into mixed media work, using spray paint, acrylic and oil paint, paint markers, duct tape, cut out scraps from magazines and books, as well as anything that I could find at the local hardware store to use in an unexpected way in my work. Finding initial success in the summer of 2022 with having (2) two original works selected to be displayed inside FedEx Field – home of the Washington Commanders – I began to believe that contrary to the childhood message I wrongly held onto for nearly 40 years, my future could actually lie in the arts.

In 2022, through some quite unexpected circumstances, I lost my job at the construction company I was General Manager of and after much discussion with my wife, Wendy McAlister, decided to form “McAlister Creative” and see just how far my creative and artistic talents could take me. Since then, I have done everything from handyman work, bar-tend, and assemble IKEA furniture for money – anything to keep the dream alive. However, more importantly, I’ve steadily grown my portfolio to include several murals, commissioned art pieces for private homes and office, customized shoes, customized guitars, graphic design for clothing company, and even labels for a local brewery.

I currently live in Kensington, MD with my wife of 18 years, Wendy McAlister and my three amazing boys Malachi (16), Silas (14), and Canaan (11).

Instagram: @mark_mcalister and @mcalister_creative

Phone: 202-309-3245



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