Born in 1918, in Thorndale, Texas, Smith moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico at the age of 7 years, and was associated with the University of New Mexico Art Department from 1956 until his retirement as a professor of art in 1984.
He dropped out of High School at age 13 and proceeded to study art with Randall Davey, Jack Levine, Ben Turner and Carl Von Hassler.
During World War II, he documented combat scenes while on duty in West Africa and in the China-Burma-India Theater. Smith was one of the most accomplished Albuquerque artists during the mid-20th century. He was a friend of Wilson Hurley, who has praised his artistic accomplishments. He went on to become a well-known and accomplished artist, advanci
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