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Mark Prieto

American, b. 1949


10.75 x 10.5 x 10.5 in.
Gift of Nora Eccles Harrison

Mark Prieto’s 1981 white spherical bisque lidded jar was a part of a series of forty-plus jars made for an interior decorator, Agnes Bourne, from the San Francisco Bay Area. She commissioned Prieto to make bisque fired jars and matching tile to fill a wall of a guest house in Piedmont, California that was being remodeled. Jar was acquired just shortly after this commission. In this series, some were salt glazed and some were altered from the inside in the final stages of throwing.

Mark is the son of Antonio “Tony” and Eunice Prieto—well-known and respected mid-century Bay Area ceramists who taught at Mills College, Oakland, California (see 1950s and 1960s Tony and Eunice’s work). Mark was raised with his three brothers in Faculty Village housing on Mills campus. He is a life-long clay artist who sat on his mother’s lap at her wheel and watched his father throw for endless hours. As a teen, he helped his dad load kilns, recycle clay and maintain a small Oakland house his dad used as a studio. In 1968, Mark began his formal training at California College of Arts and Crafts with Viola Frey, making sure his wheel was next to hers. (See Frey’s 1950s Cookie Jar, and Bowl; 1966 Planter, and the large Doris figure.) Prieto’s parents were best friends and colleagues with Nora Eccles. With her financial assistance, Mark attended the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) in 1970 where he studied ceramics with Wayne Higby (see his 1970s Untitled Bowl), receiving his Bachelor of Fine Arts in ceramics in 1972. He has also studied at the Greenwich House Pottery and the Art Students League in New York City. Prieto has taught at locations in Oakland and Portland, Oregon. He continues to work as a studio potter making both sculptural and functional pieces.

Billlie Sessions, PhD.

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