Dean Snyder was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He received a B.FA. in photography and sculpture at the Kansas City Art Institute in 1974. In 1975-76 Snyder received a British Arts Council Fellowship for postgraduate work in sculpture at Lanchester Polytechnic, Coventry, UK. He completed his M.F.A. work in sculpture in 1978 at The School of The Art Institute of Chicago.
Snyder has received artists fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, The Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation, The Berkshire Taconic Arts Foundation, The National Endowment for the Arts, The New England Foundation for the Arts, The Rhode Island State Council for the Arts, The Hawaii State Foundation on Culture and the Arts, The Vermont State Council for the Arts and The Illinois Arts Council.
His work has been exhibited nationally in both group and solo shows, notably at The Tang Museum (book), The American Academy of Arts and Letters, and The DeCordova Museum. Internationally Snyder’s work has been presented at The Beijing Olympic Park for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, Sculpture By the Sea: Sydney Australia, Berlin Fashion Week, and The Instituto Cultural Peruano,Lima.
Snyder’s work has been collected privately and may also be found in the public collections of Fidelity investments, The Tang Museum, The Museum of Art at The Rhode Island School of Design, the Smart Museum of Art at the University of Chicago, Albany International Airport, The City of Beijing, Freedom Park Ordos City, Mongolia.
Snyder’s sculpture has been characterized as uncanny “graphical” organicism experienced through seamless assemblies of highly considered forming, molding and lamination. Drawing plays a large role in Snyder’s studio and for many years he has been workshopping a sort of bioconvergence of his graphic images into objects and sculpture.
He has been a professor in the sculpture department at the Rhode Island School of Design since 2001.