Marvin Smith painted his first work at the age of seven, an India Ink wash drawing of a plaster elephant hat he still possesses. He studied painting with James Valone, Bill Bristow, Virgil Beavers, and Donald Weismann, sculpture with Philip English, and Theatrical Design with Leonard Feldman, Virgil Beavers, Paul Rogers and Bjorn Weinblodt.
He graduated from Trinity University with an undergraduate degree in Theatrical Design and The University of Texas at Austin with a graduate degree in Film. His work has been shown in venues ranging from the National Institutes of Health to the Palace of Art Culture in Mexico City and is collected internationally.
He has taught at Our Lady of the Lake College in San Antonio, The University of Texas at Austin, the University of Arizona and Eastern Washington University where he held the rank of Professor of Theatre and Film and, for 22 years, chaired the Department of Theatre and Film.
He lives in eastern Washington State with television writer/producer Beth Ann and their Labradoddle Ebony.