Born in Los Angeles in 1954. Small received a M.F.A. in 1975 and a M.F.A. in 1977 from California Institute of the Arts. She lived in New York City from 1978-1985. Small returned home to Los Angeles to teach and work since then. Small's work has been featured in one-person exhibitions at the George Eastman House in Self-Polaroids, Rochester, New York. University of Alabama Art Gallery in SX-70 Polaroid Photographs in Huntsville, Popular Photography Gallery in SX-70 Polaroid Self-Portraits and Daniel Wolf Gallery in American Slang: Sets & Photographs in New York City, Creatis/Ufficio dell arte in 20 x 24 inch Polaroid Performances - Rena Small in Paris. Small was chosen as an Emerging Artist of Southern California by the Fellows of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles in 1987 and exhibited Flag Series: A Piece For Peace and Artists' Hands: Also, her lifelong series, Artists' Hands was featured in one-person shows at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, West Beach Café in Venice, Platt Gallery in Beverly Hills and the Craig Krull Gallery in Santa Monica, CA.