Contemporary Art Academy

Contemporary Art Academy is an online art educational initiative offering courses to practicing artists, co-founded by Zavier Ellis & Mathew Gibson.  

14 December 2023 | 19:00 GMT

Stephen Snoddy  

Stephen Snoddy is Director of The New Art Gallery, Walsall; Honorary Member of the Royal Ulster Academy; and was Visiting Professor at Manchester School of Art 2019–22. He’s also a practicing artist.

Stephen was born in Belfast and trained at Belfast College of Art, where he graduated in 1983 with an MA in Fine Art. His first job was to run a small community arts centre in Lisburn.
Stephen went on to graduate with a Postgraduate Diploma in Art Gallery & Museum Studies from Manchester University and became Exhibitions Organiser at Arnolfini Gallery, Bristol in 1987. He worked from 1987-91 on an exhibition programme that included Richard Long, Giuseppe Penone, Rachel Whiteread, Jack B. Yeats and Juan Munoz.

In 1991 Stephen became Exhibitions Director of Cornerhouse, where he was responsible for bringing The British Art Show 4 to Manchester, as well as exhibitions such 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 Stephen moved to Milton Keynes to direct the construction of a brand-new gallery: MK G. It opened on 8 October 1999 with ‘The Rudimentary Pictures’, an exhibition by Gilbert & George.

In 2003 he was appointed Director of BALTIC Gateshead, where he made organisational and structural changes, refreshed the programme and engaged with artists of the region. In 2005 Stephen 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 Stephen was appointed Director of The New Art Gallery, Walsall where he has reviewed policies, restructured the organisation and enabled an acquisitions budget.

In 2013 he started painting again and has had solo shows in Brussels, Southampton and London. His work is in public art collections including Art Care, Northern Ireland; CORPO, Toledo / Cuenca, Spain; Department of the Environment, Northern Ireland; Limerick City Art Gallery; National Collection of Contemporary Drawing (NCCD); Open University, Milton Keynes; Southampton City Art Gallery; Southampton Solent University; Ulster Television, Belfast; and Yantai Art Museum, China. Stephen is also in private collections in UK, Ireland, Belgium, Morocco, Norway, Portugal, Singapore, Spain and USA.

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