Stephen Snoddy was born in Belfast. He trained at Belfast College of Art where he graduated in 1983 with an M.A. in Fine Art. His first job was to run a small community arts centre in Lisburn.
He graduated with a Postgraduate Diploma in Art Gallery & Museum Studies from Manchester University and then moved in 1987 to become Exhibitions Organiser at Arnolfini Gallery. He worked from 1987-91 on an exhibitions programme that included Richard Long, Giuseppe Penone, Rachel Whiteread, Jack B. Yeats and Juan Munoz. In 1991 he became Exhibitions Director of Cornerhouse, Manchester, where he was responsible for bringing The British Art Show 4 to Manchester, as well as such shows as the John Baldessari Retrospective and a Bruce McLean film.
In 1996 he became Director of Southampton City Art Gallery, where he organised the Chris Ofili solo exhibition which won him the 1998 Turner Prize, and an exchange of collections with the Museum of Fine Art, Bilbao, to coincide with the opening of the new Bilbao Guggenheim.
In the spring of 1998 he moved to Milton Keynes to direct the construction of a brand new gallery - MK G opened on 8 October 1999 with ‘The Rudimentary Pictures’, an exhibition by Gilbert & George.
In 2003 he was appointed Director, BALTIC Gateshead made organisational and structural changes, refreshed the programme and engaged with artists of the region. In 2005 he began to work on freelance projects, lectured at MMU and continued to be on the VAGA Executive Board. He was also Director of the inaugural Contemporary Art Norwich (CAN05). In May 2005 he was appointed as Director of The NAG, Walsall where he has reviewed policies, restructured the organisation and enabled an acquisitions budget.
In 2013 he started painting again and has had successful solo exhibitions ‘Looking Out’ in Brussels, ‘Looking At’ at Southampton City Art Gallery and ‘Homage’ at Hampstead School of Art.
His work is currently in the following collections:
Art Care, Northern Ireland, Craig Gardner & Co. Dublin, Department of the Environment, Northern Ireland, Frank Cohen Collection, Hertfordshire Education Authority, Lisburn Borough Council, Open University, Milton Keynes, Public Arts Trust, Milton Keynes, Museo Roberto Polo, Toledo, Southampton City Art Gallery, Southampton Solent University, The Priseman – Seabrook Collection of 20th Century Contemporary British painters, Ulster Television, Belfast, Yantai Art Museum and Yantai Art and Craft Museum, China.