Mark Prieto grew up immersed in the world of ceramics with his parents, the artists Antonio and Eunice Prieto, and the many California and international artists who visited their Mills College home. As a teenager Mark assisted his father Antonio in his studio and traveled with him on a trip to Spain to document the work of village potters. His own formal studies began at the California College of the Arts with Viola Frey and then continued at the Rhode Island School of Design where he worked in Dale Chihuly's glass studio in addition to his focus on ceramics. After graduating from RISD, Mark joined his brothers Esteban, Peter, and Paco in developing Prieto Studios in Oakland, California where he also taught ceramics.

Since relocating to Portland, Oregon, Mark has divided his time between teaching and his own studio. During these years, Mark returned to the East Coast several times as the co-leader of the Lewis & Clark College fall semester study program in New York City with his wife Stephanie Arnold Prieto, a professor of theatre. Those trips allowed him to attend classes at the Greenwich House Pottery and at the Art Students League where he studied sculpture with Jonathan Shahn. Mark is currently a full-time studio potter working in Portland, Oregon. He continues to share the management of Prieto Studios in Oakland, California.