A painter whose art has been featured in coastal galleries from Duck, NC, to Hilton Head, SC, and who in 2020 was celebrated for 25 years of solo exhibitions at Craven Allen Gallery in Durham, Sue’s work encompasses the serene and the tumultuous, longing, dawning, and surrender as interpreted in her unique vision of the natural world. Her artistic subtleties of color and light, shape and motion, have given those who experience her art new ways of seeing.
Sue’s art is “about the light and the shapes; the water and the land are just the means by which she finds their essence and abstracts them into something much more,“ wrote Triangle art critic Blue Greenberg.
“How I see the world has changed because of Sue Sneddon,” says John Craven Bloedorn of Craven Allen Gallery. The 2020 celebration included an exhibition of new work and a documentary film by the regional Emmy–winning team at Minnow Media of Carrboro, NC. The film’s short version, as well as a sampling of Sue’s work, may be viewed on this website (see REMEMBRANCES and SUE’S ART).
Born in Uniontown, PA, to Lil and Don Sneddon, Sue developed her subtle and discerning eye at a young age. She knew that her second-grade teacher was mistaken in her art-lesson admonishment that a sky could not be white and a cloud must be white. Her mother, also an artist, was a particular influence on Sue in her understanding of color. Sue also found mentors — and lifelong friends — in Donna Nicholas and Mary Jane Kidd, professors in her fine arts program at Edinboro University.
Sue also delighted listeners and dancers with her percussion accompaniments to a variety of bands over the years, hands flying over congas or a drum set or her beloved bongos. Her music performance spanned folk, new-wave punk with the Mutettes, rock with the Mobile City Band, and jazz with Alison Weiner of Mahalo Arts. She played her bongos for a relaxing musical interlude while she awaited surgery in December.
Sue is survived by her partner of 44 years, Donna Lee Giles, and by sisters Nance Sneddon of Hilton Head, SC, and Jo Sneddon of Santa Fe, NM. A Memorial Service was held on April 2, 2022 at the Eno River Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Durham, NC. In September there will be a retrospective of Sue’s artwork at Craven Allen Gallery in Durham and a celebratory event, dates to be announced.
— Laurel Ferejohn
We invite you to direct donations in Sue’s memory to one of these groups or to a nonprofit of your choice:
September 7, 1953 – January 10, 2022
When Sue and I met 44-plus years ago, I didn’t know then, but quickly began to realize, that I would be sharing her with many others over the years. A heart and spirit as big and welcoming as Sue’s drew many thoughtful, interesting, fun, and wonderful people into our world, and we were all fortunate that those bonds formed and have endured over years and even decades. All I want to say now is thank you for all you have shared with us over these years and especially during this recent painful time. You have been the rising tide that raises all boats.
— Donna Giles
SUE SNEDDON’S 45-year career as artist of the coastal environs has brought beauty and joy to hundreds of admirers, collectors, friends, and family across her chosen home state of North Carolina and beyond. All are saddened by her death from cancer at the age of 68.