Mary was born in New Bern, but moved to Virginia as a young child. For most of her career, she was the system analyst responsible for all commercial payments for both the U.S. Coast Guard and the Transportation Security Agency. After retiring from government, she returned to her hometown.
She began her artistic career as a decorative painter, then quickly moved to oil and watercolor painting through workshops and local classes. Mary was introduced to the Community Artists Gallery & Studios during her first ArtWalk, and says that its welcoming atmosphere gave her “the confidence to display her art in a gallery for the first time” as she continues to develop her skills.