Marak is now retired, having taught for nearly forty years at Humboldt State University in California. He grew up in a small town in Oklahoma, received a BFA in crafts from the University of Illinois at Champaign–Urbana in 1965, and an MFA degree in ceramics in 1967 from Alfred University in New York. Marak’s work has been exhibited nationally and abroad, and is represented in many collections. He has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the California Arts Council. He was a visiting artist at the American Academy in Rome (1995), and selected as a recipient of the 2019 National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts Excellence in Teaching Award.