Mark Rossi's continued interest in nature and art emerged at an early age. His love of the Southwest was deeply affected by his mother's Apache, Pueblo, and Spanish New Mexican heritage and the traditions she instilled. When Mark Rossi was ten, he began observing his father, prominent Western artist and former Gilcrease Museum of Art director, Paul Rossi, as he worked in his studio and foundry. The artists, conservators, and historians who frequented the museum inspired his artistic pursuit. Mark Rossi went on to study at the University of Tulsa and at the University of Arizona in Tucson.