Mariana Smith received a full scholarship from Moscow College of Applied and Industrial Arts, where she studied fine art painting, miniature painting and folk art. Her interests lay in the transition from the fine art miniature to the Russian lacquer box miniature and the related socio-political developments in Russian culture. Smith immigrated to the United States in 1992. With the help of a presidential scholarship, she continued her education at Columbus College of Art and Design, where she majored in printmaking. In 2004, Smith completed her MFA in printmaking on a full scholarship from Cornell University. At Cornell she experimented with video and installation work with Buzz Spector, Carl Ostendarp, and Tamarind master printer Gregory Page. Currently she is an art instructor at CCAD, the Ohio State University, and Columbus State University. Last summer Smith had a residency at the Vermont Studio Center; this winter she will have a month-long printmaking residency, funded by partial grants from the Greater Columbus Arts Council, at the Venice Printmaking Studio in Venice, Italy.
Smith has exhibited throughout the United States and Russia. The focal point of her work brings together printmaking, drawing and video installation, and engages the viewer in a dialogue about space, time and memory in order to examine the phenomenology of remembrance and patterns of storytelling.