Nydia Blas is a visual artist, originally from New York, who now resides in Georgia. Her work primarily focuses on the body and the reclamation of the self.
Nydia received a B.S. in cinema and photography, with a minor in African diaspora studies, from Ithaca College before earning an M.F.A. from Syracuse University in the College of Visual and Performing Arts.
Using a variety of media including photography, collage, video, and books to explore her life as a girl, woman, and mother, her photographs create a physical and allegorical space presented through a Black feminine lens.
She is particularly recognised for her portraiture series The Girls Who Spun Gold. Working with teenage girls she met after founding a Girl Empowerment Group in Ithaca, Nydia took photographs of the group as a way to empower them and to emphasise the value of their individual differences.
‘I wanted the girls to see themselves reflected in my work. To see these photographs as a space for them to reside, in the same way that the Girl Empowerment Group was created and functioned as a space that we made together where their lives, concerns, and feelings were being addressed and explored.’ – Nydia Blas
Nydia’s photographs have been commissioned by The New York Times, The Atlantic, The New Yorker, and The Washington Post, to name a few. Besides her professional art practice, Nydia is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Art and Visual Culture at Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia.