April 1, 2021
7 PM EST
Nydia Blas will discuss her intuitive photo-making process and the roots of her influences and inspiration.
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.
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. She also works as a freelance photographer for clients such at The New York Times, The Atlantic, The Washington Post, and The New Yorker.
She has completed artist residencies at Constance Saltonstall Foundation for the Arts and The Center for Photography at Woodstock. Her work has been featured in the book Mfon: A Journal of Women Photographers of the African Diaspora, The Huffington Post, Dazed and Confused Magazine, Strange Fire Collective, Refinery29, Hyperallergic, PDN, Fotografia Magazine, 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 a Girl Empowerment Group that Blas founded after observing a lack of space and community for teen girls of African descent in Ithaca, New York. In 2019, she was named “One to Watch” by the British Journal of Photography. She was also one of twelve participants for The World Press Photo Foundation’s 26th edition of the 2019 Joop Swart Masterclass.
Support for Thursday Night Photo Talks is provided by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Artist fees for the Thursday Night Photo Talks have been underwritten by The Lillian F. and Jerome L. Sindler Fund for Visual Media.