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 College of Visual and Performing Arts.

She is one of twelve participants for The World Press Photo Foundation’s 26th edition of the 2019 Joop Swart Masterclass. She is one of six selected talents of World Press’ 2018 6x6 Global Talent Program for North and Central America. She is a recipient of the 2018 Light Work grant. She taught a course entitled “Photography as a Tool” for the Image Text MFA program at Ithaca College in the summer of 2018, and previously taught photography courses at Syracuse University in the Department of Transmedia. She has completed artist residencies at Constance Saltonstall Foundation for the Arts and The Center for Photography at Woodstock. Her work is featured in the book Mfon: A Journal of Women Photographers of the African Diaspora. She has been featured in The New York Times, New York Magazine, The Huffington Post, Dazed and Confused Magazine, Strange Fire Collective, Lenscult, Yogurt Magazine, PDN, Fotografia Magazine, and more.

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. In this space, props function as extensions of the body, costumes as markers of identity, and gestures/actions reveal the performance, celebration, discovery and confrontation involved in reclaiming one's body for their own exploration, discovery and understanding.

She is recognized for her body of work entitled, The Girls Who Spun Gold, which is a collection of images that are the result of a Girl Empowerment Group that Blas founded after observing a lack of space and community for adolescent girls of color in Ithaca, N.Y. Her goal was to create a space where an amazing group of girls she had developed interpersonal relationships with felt valued, supported, and that filled in the blanks where their formal education did not serve them. Eventually their bonds were reproduced visually in the photographs that they worked to make together.

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    “ Black Magic”, Corners Gallery, Ithaca, N.Y.

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

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

SELECTED EXHIBITIONS

2019 “Radial Survey”, The Silver Eye Center for Photography, Pittsburgh, P.A.

2018    “VIGILANCE,STRUGGLE, PRIDE: THROUGH HER EYES”, Museum of Contemporary Art, Zagreb, Croatia

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, SU Art Galleries, Syracuse N.Y.

2016      “Physical Experience”, Spark, Syracuse N.Y.

2014      “Adjunct Appendix”, Light Work, Syracuse 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

2019 Workshop, Teen Curators Program, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, New York, N.Y.

2019 Artist Talk, MFON Photo Salon, Magnum Foundation, New York, N.Y.

2018  “Women’s Perspectives” Organ Vida International Photography Festival, Zagreb Croatia

2018   “We the Girls Who Spun Gold” Cornell University, 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.

GRANTS/AWARDS

2019 One to Watch, British Journal of Photography

2019 Selected Participant, The World Press Photo Foundation 26th edition of the Joop Swart Masterclass

2018    Selected Talent, 6X6 Global Talent Program: North and Central America, World Press Photo

2018    Light Work Grant, Light Work, Syracuse N.Y.

2018    Specific Opportunity Stipend, Community Arts Partnership, Ithaca N.Y.

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.


PRINT PUBLICATIONS

2018     New York Magazine

2018     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

ONLINE PUBLICATIONS/INTERVIEWS

2019 Hyperallergic Magazine

2018    The Candid Frame #422

2017     Vogue, Online

2017     New York Times

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


TEACHING EXPERIENCE

2018

Instructor, Image Text MFA Program Ithaca College, Ithaca N.Y.

2014-2016

Adjunct Professor, Syracuse University, Syracuse N.Y.


2013-2015  

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

                                              

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT

2017-2019

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.