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Nydia Blas

Atlanta, Georgia

Nydia Blas is a visual artist who grew up in Ithaca, New York and currently resides in Atlanta, Georgia.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 an Assistant Professor in the Department of Art and Visual Culture at Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia. Nydia uses photography, collage, video, and books to address matters of sexuality, intimacy, and her lived experience as a girl, woman, and mother. She 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 has taught courses for the High Museum of Art, Anderson Ranch, Image Text MFA program at Ithaca College and 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 has been commissioned by The New York Times, New York Magazine, The New Yorker, Airbnb, Harper’s Bazaar, and more. Nydia is recognized for her body of work entitled, The Girls Who Spun Gold, which is a collection of images that resulted from Girl Empowerment Group that Blas founded after observing a lack of space and community for teen girls of African descent in Ithaca, N.Y. Her goal was to create a space where an amazing group of girls she had developed 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.

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