Nydia Blas is a visual artist living in Ithaca, New York with her husband and 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.

 

EDUCATION

2016     Master of Fine Arts, Art Photography, Syracuse University, Syracuse N.Y.  

2011     Bachelor of Science, Cinema and Photography, Ithaca College, Ithaca N.Y.

 

SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2018     “Whatever You Like”, Over The Influence, Los Angeles C.A.

2015      “The Girls That Spun Gold”, SALTQuarters, Syracuse N.Y.

 

SELECTED EXHIBITIONS

2018    ALTAR: Prayer, Ritual, Offerings, Photoville, Brooklyn Bridge Park, N.Y.

2018    Into the Light, Daniel Cooney Fine Art, New York, 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.

 

RESIDENCIES

2016     The Center for Photography at Woodstock, Woodstock, N.Y.

2015     Constance Saltonstall Foundation for the Arts, Ithaca N.Y.


PUBLIC LECTURES/PRESENTATIONS

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.

 

GRANTS/AWARDS

2018    Light Work Grant

2017     The 2017 Women In Photography (WIPNYC) Grant & Mentor Program Shortlist 

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.


ONLINE PUBLICATIONS/INTERVIEWS

2017    Vogue, Online

2017     New York Times, Online

2017     LENSCULT

2017     Yogurt Magazine

2017    Capricious

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

 

PRINT PUBLICATIONS

2018     New York Magazine

2018     The New York Times

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

 

TEACHING EXPERIENCE

2018

Instructor, ImageText MFA Program, Ithaca College, N.Y.

2014-2016

Adjunct Professor, Syracuse University, Syracuse N.Y.

2013-2015  

Instructional Assistant (TA), Syracuse University, Syracuse N.Y.

                                              

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT

2017-2018

Executive Director, Southside Community Center, Inc. Ithaca, N.Y.

2016-2017

Visual Media Arts Director, Southside Community Center, Inc. Ithaca, N.Y.

2015

Instructor, Photography and Literacy (PAL Project), Syracuse University/Syracuse City Schools, Syracuse N.Y.

2012-2018

Art Director, Community Unity Music Education Program, Ithaca N.Y.

2011-2013   

Director/Creator, Girl Empowerment Group, Southside Community Center, Ithaca N.Y.         


OTHER

2016

Cinematographer, William Kentridge “Triumphs and Laments”  for Tevereterno, Rome, Italy.