Lisa Blair (b. 1974) was born in Boston and raised in New Hampshire. She discovered her love of art and photography at a young age, owning her first camera by nine years old. Her first teacher was her father who taught her the foundations of black and white film photography. She continued her artistic and photographic education through high school learning painting, drawing, ceramics, and wet darkroom techniques. In 1997, she graduated from Middlebury College, earning a B.A. in Sociology-Anthropology and minored in Studio Art studying film photography, video, printmaking, sculpture, painting, and drawing. A year after college, Blair followed her craving to “go west” moving to Portland, Oregon. While there, her artistic pursuits were largely put on hold as she worked to establish her other career interest, depth psychology, eventually earning an M.A. from the Process Work Institute.
At the end of 2009, Blair and her partner, David, moved to Santa Fe to begin a new chapter resulting in a major resurgence in her artistic life. She began utilizing digital imagery and the digital darkroom for the first time and now incorporates both film and digital processes in her photographic work. Under the tutelage of Santa Fe photographer Brian Edwards she learned the Platinum / Palladium process (an early 19th century method of printing) which she offers for her series Personal Artifacts. She also regularly makes images with her two vintage Polaroid cameras and her Holga 120N.
From 2010-2011, Blair embarked on a year-long project of shooting a self-portrait a day, titled "One Year of Lisa Blair." She posted these self-portraits on a website of the same title (no longer visible) with daily musings. The project culminated in a public gallery show in Santa Fe in October 2011. A selection of the 365 photographs are included on this site.
In 2010, Blair also began painting with acrylics and drawing with graphite exploring both abstract expressionist and minimalist styles. She now incorporates both acrylic and enamel paint, graphite, and charcoal in many of her paintings and uses both ink and graphite in her drawings. From 2012-2013, three of Blair's paintings from the series titled Genesis were displayed in the lobby of the Hotel Eldorado as part of Beals & Abbate Gallery's satellite representation.
Over the years of 2008-2016, Blair collected samples from nature for her project Collectings as well as sound recordings for her project Soundings. She recorded over 100 sounds over the years 2014-2016. In 2014, she also purchased a vintage Remington typewriter from the 1950s and began creating typewriter art (Typings) using symbols and words.
Blair's fine art photography has been shown in numerous galleries and exhibitions including the Dina Mitrani Gallery in Miami, The Center for Fine Art Photography in Fort Collins, Colorado, the Soho Photo Gallery in New York City, the Newspace Center for Photography in Portland, Oregon, the Muñoz Waxman Gallery in Santa Fe, Edition One Gallery in Santa Fe, the Center for Contemporary Art in Santa Fe, and the Detroit Center for Contemporary Photography. In 2013, Blair was nominated for the prestigious Julia Margaret Cameron Award in the fine art portfolio category. Her images have been featured in YourDailyPhotograph.com by Duncan Miller Gallery and has been published in Fraction Magazine, Le Journal de la Photographie, The Sun, and New Mexico Magazine. Blair's photographs are held in Yale University's permanent collection and are privately collected.
Lisa Blair is a Santa Fe-based artist working in a variety of disciplines including digital and film photography, acrylic and enamel painting, ink and pencil drawing, typewriter art, collections of objects from nature, and collections of recorded sounds. Her photographs range from the realistic to the dreamlike while her wider artistic style straddles both abstract expressionism and minimalism, and at times enters the realm of conceptual art.
Photo by Dianne Duenzl, 2014