Nydia Blas is a visual artist living in Ithaca, New York with her two children. She holds a B.S. from Ithaca College, and received her M.F.A. from Syracuse University in the school of Visual and Performing Arts. She currently serves as the Executive Director of Southside Community Center, a historically Black community center in downtown Ithaca. She uses photography, collage, video, and books to address matters of sexuality, intimacy, and her lived experience as a girl, woman, and mother. Blas delicately weaves stories concerning circumstance, value, and power and uses her work to create a physical and allegorical space presented through a Black feminine lens. The result is an environment that is dependent upon the belief that in order to maintain resiliency, a magical outlook is necessary.
She is a recipient of the 2018 Light Work Grant, and her new series Whatever You Like is currently on exhibition at Over The Influence gallery in Los Angeles. Her work is featured in the book Mfon: A Journal of Women Photographers of the African Diaspora. In the Summer of 2018 she will teach a course entitled Photography as a Tool for the Image Text MFA program at Ithaca College. She has completed artist residencies at Constance Saltonstall Foundation for the Arts and The Center for Photography at Woodstock. She has been featured in The New York Times, The Huffington Post, Dazed and Confused Magazine, Strange Fire Collective, Lenscult, Yogurt Magazine, PDN, Fotografia Magazine, and Vogue.
2016 Master of Fine Arts, Art Photography, Syracuse University, Syracuse N.Y.
2011 Bachelor of Science, Cinema and Photography, Ithaca College, Ithaca N.Y.
2018 “Whatever You Like”, Over The Influence, Los Angeles C.A.
2015 “The Girls That Spun Gold”, SALTQuarters, Syracuse N.Y.
2018 The Wing, Brooklyn, N.Y. & Washington D.C.
2018 “VIGILANCE, STRUGGLE, PRIDE: THROUGH HER EYES”, Umetnostna galerija Maribor, Maribor, Slovenija
2017 "Albert Weisman Award Exhibition", Columbia College, Chicago I.L.
2017 "The Feeling is Mutual" Rangefinder Gallery, Chicago I.L.
2016 “The Trouble With Flesh” Light Work, Syracuse N.Y.
2016 “I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings” The George Washington Carver Museum Austin, TX
2016 “The Girls Who Spun Gold” Handwerker Gallery, Ithaca N.Y.
2016 Syracuse University MFA Show
2016 Syracuse University MFA Show, SU Art Galleries, Syracuse N.Y.
2016 “Physical Experience”, Spark, Syracuse N.Y.
2014 “Adjunct Appendix”, Light Work, Syracuse N.Y.
2014 “DEMOISELLES”, School of Visual and Performing Arts, Syracuse University, Syracuse N.Y.
2012 “The Veil”, Southside Community Center, Ithaca N.Y.
2016 The Center for Photography at Woodstock, Woodstock, N.Y.
2015 Constance Saltonstall Foundation for the Arts, Ithaca N.Y.
2017 "Women Picturing Revolution" LightField Festival, Hudson N.Y.
2017 "Art is for Empathy" Winnipeg Underground Film Festival, Canada
2016 “The Girls Who Spun Gold” Center for the Study of Culture, Race, and Ethnicity Discussion Series, Ithaca College, Ithaca N.Y.
2016 “As Bad As I Wanna Be” Panel Discussion, Community Folk Art Center, Syracuse N.Y.
2014 Representations of Violence in Photography, Syracuse University, Syracuse N.Y.
2011 Artist Talk, Tompkins Cortland Community College, Dryden N.Y.
2011 Lynching Photography, Ithaca College, Ithaca N.Y.
2018 Light Work Grant
2016 PDN “The Look” Winner, Personal Work/Fine Art
2016 Best of Show, MFA Show, Department of Transmedia, Syracuse University, Syracuse, N.Y.
2016 Creative Opportunity Grant, Syracuse University, Syracuse N.Y.
2015 Leadership Award, Community Unity Music Education Program, Ithaca N.Y.
2012 Still Photography Senior Award, Ithaca College, Ithaca N.Y.
2012 Rere Sojourner Hassett Social Justice Award, Cornell Cooperative Extension, Ithaca N.Y.
2011 James B. Pendleton Student Research and Production Grant, Ithaca College, Ithaca N.Y.
2011 James B. Pendleton Photography Award, Ithaca College, Ithaca N.Y.
2017 Vogue, Online
2017 New York Times, Oline
2017 Yogurt Magazine
2016 Strange Fire Collective
2016 The Huffington Post
2016 Dazed and Confused Magazine
2016 Fotografia Magazine/ FotoFirst
2016 Streit House Space
2014 Oranbeg Net 06: Art as Theory
2017 MFON Women Photographers of the African Diaspora
2017 PDN, September
2016 Blue Library Vol 2: Conversations
2016 Editorial Magazine, Issue 16
2016 Oranbeg Press Interleave
2014 The New Portrait Zine
Instructor, ImageText MFA Program, Ithaca College, N.Y.
Adjunct Professor, Syracuse University, Syracuse N.Y.
Instructional Assistant (TA), Syracuse University, Syracuse N.Y.
Executive Director, Southside Community Center, Inc. Ithaca, N.Y.
Visual Media Arts Director, Southside Community Center, Inc. Ithaca, N.Y.
Instructor, Photography and Literacy (PAL Project), Syracuse University/Syracuse City Schools, Syracuse N.Y.
Art Director, Community Unity Music Education Program, Ithaca N.Y.
Director/Creator, Girl Empowerment Group, Southside Community Center, Ithaca N.Y.
Cinematographer, William Kentridge “Triumphs and Laments” for Tevereterno, Rome, Italy.