Dennis Smith was born in Logan, Utah. He grew up in Ventura,
California, where he attended Ventura College for three semesters,
as an art major, before joining the Marine Corps in February
As a Marine, he served one tour in Vietnam between October
1967 and November 1968, all 13 months with Bravo Company,
1st Battalion, 26th Marine Regiment (B1/26).
Six months into his tour, he was promoted to Sergeant, where
he served during the Battle of Khe Sanh. After Khe Sanh, he
became 3rd Platoon Guide, then Weapons Platoon Commander before
returning to the United States. For details, click below:
Smith's Service & Combat Records
Give Me Tomorrow (One Tour In Vietnam)
A year after his discharge, he entered the Brooks Institute
of Fine Art in Santa Barbara, where he studied between 1969
and 1971. Thereafter, he opened a studio in Ventura for a
couple of years, where he met a neighbor and silversmith,
In the 1970s, he married, divorced and remarried, eventually
relocating to Hurricane and later Mount Carmel, in southwest
In 1986, his work was exhibited in St. George Utah, where
he also painted a large mural on the side of a building. While
painting the building mural, he met people passing through
southwest Utah on The Great Peace March for nuclear disarmament.
In early 1988, Ric Delugo contacted him about the LMSG concept.
Dennis had been contemplating a similar vision, and decided
to join Delugo on the LMSG project. Soon thereafter, he arrived
in Siskiyou County with $6 in his pocket, and began to work
with DeLuga and the Forest Service.
For Dennis Smith, the Living Memorial Sculpture Garden is
about "War & The Effects of War". However, everyone
comes with their own personal story, that blends and inteacts
with the LMSG.
The original LMSG plan called for the creation of nine sculptures
for the Garden. By consensus, the Board arrived at a theme
or concept, which was passed on to Dennis Smith, who then
created and presented a proto-type to the Board for approval.
All of the sculptures in the Living Memorial Sculpture Garden
are executed in 14 gauge steel, using 3/16" welding rod.