Proprietor of Primrose Press, Tia Blassingame is a book artist and printmaker exploring the intersection of race, history, and perception. Utilizing printmaking and book arts techniques, she renders racially-charged images and histories for a nuanced discussion on issues of race and racism. She has been a teaching artist at the National Building Museum, Smithsonian Institution, Glen Echo, Pyramid Atlantic, and University of Maryland at College Park. Blassingame was a curatorial intern at Smithsonian Museum of American History, and served as the Image Coordinator for the Race & Ethnicity in Advertising--America: 1890-Today, an Advertising Education Foundation-Smithsonian Institution project. She has been an artist-in-residence at Yaddo, Santa Fe Art Institute (SFAI), the Andy Warhol Preserve, the International Print Center New York (IPCNY), and MacDowell Colony. Her artist's books and prints can be found in library and museum collections around the world including Library of Congress, Yale University, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Tate Britain, and State Library of Queensland.
- MFA in Printmaking, Rhode Island School of Design
- MA in Book Arts, Corcoran College of Art & Design
- BA in Architecture, Princeton University
Artists' Books, Papermaking, Printmaking, African American History, American History, Poetry
- Typography & Book Arts
- Letterpress & Book Arts
- Race & Identity in Book Arts
- Social Justice/Social Practice in Book Arts
- Core I: Histories of the Present: Truth
- Letterpress Printing
- The Artist's Book
- Zines, Artists' Books, and Experimental Printmaking
- The Artist's Book: Representing Blackness
- Experimental Relief Printing
Selected Solo Exhibitions
- Paging Through: Artist’s Books by Tia Blassingame, Wilson College, Chambersburg, Pennsylvania (Interrupted by Covid-19)
- I AM/YOU ARE Tia Blassingame, Berea College, Berea, Kentucky (Interrupted by Covid-19)
- I Am Mourning/Warning: Tia Blassingame, Morey Family Gallery at Art Reach of Mid-Michigan, Mt. Pleasant, Michigan
- Mourning/Warning: Tia Blassingame, Atkinson Gallery, Santa Barbara City College, Santa Barbara, California
- The Exact Measure of Cruelty: Slavery and Racism in Artists’ Books by Tia Blassingame, Milner Library, Illinois State University, Normal, Illinois
Selected Group Exhibitions
- A Peculiar Proximity to Spiritual Mysteries, Zuckerman Museum of Art, Keneesaw State University, Marietta, Georgia
- The Book Arts of Transformative Racial Justice, Olin Library, Washington University, St Louis, Missouri
- Your Day & Your World, Alfred R. Goldstein Library, Ringling College of Art & Design, Sarasota, Florida
- Black Excellence in the Book Arts, Swarthmore College Swarthmore, Pennsylvania.
- New Prints in Focus: Tia Blassingame, Allison Conley, and Inês Martins, International Print Center New York, New York
- Page by Page: Contemporary Artist’s Books, Hudgens Center for Arts and Learning, Duluth, Georgia
- Drawing Connections: Illustration and the Written Word, Old College Gallery, University of Delaware
- The Politics of Place, Center for Book Arts, New York, New York
- Rewriting the Master Narrative, Arts + Literature Gallery, Madison, Wisconsin
- Text & Textile, Art and Architecture Library, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut
- Contemporary Black Artists exhibit, Decker Library, Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), Baltimore, Maryland
- Un/Settled, Rhode Island School of Design Art Museum, Providence, Rhode Island
- Issues and Debates in African American Literature, Morris Library, University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware
- Wake the Form: Artists’ Books in Context, Hirshland Exhibition Gallery, Carl A. Kroch Library, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York
- High Performance Printmaking: Artist Books from the Booklyn Gallery, Stephen F. Austin University, Nacogdoches, Texas
- Formative & Persisting: How the Thesis Lives On, Sol Koffler Gallery, RISD, Providence, Rhode Island
- 20/20 Vision: Emerging Book Artists, San Francisco Center for the Book, San Francisco, California
- Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here, Fenwick Library, George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia
Amherst College, Bavarian State Library, Bainbridge Island Museum of Art, Brown University, Harvard University, Iraq National Library, Library of Congress, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Metropolitan Museum of Art, National Museum of Women in the Arts, Princeton University, Rhode Island School of Design Art Museum, Smith College, Stanford University, State Library of Queensland, Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library, University of California, Berkeley, University of California at Irvine, University of Delaware, University of Puget Sound, Yale University, private collections.
Selected Talks, Publications, Workshops
- Poetry & Collaboration: Letterpress at Scripps College Press, [virtual] MakeReady 2020 conference.
- Feminist Bibliographies panel, University of California, Los Angeles, CA
- Too Black/Ain’t Black Enough, or Stereotype and Truth: Typography in African American periodicals, popular culture, and artists’ books talk, Letterform Archive, San Francisco, California. (postponed due to Covid-19)
- “My Weird Book: Race, Printmaking, and Artist’s Books,” Weird Books panel, Modern Language Association (MLA) conference, Seattle, Washington.
- Black in Design Faculty-Graduate Seminar, African American Studies Department, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey.
- “Work-in-Progress” talk, International Print Center New York, New York.
- “I AM/YOU ARE: Printing Race” talk, Rare Book School, Charlottesville, Virginia.
- Keynote Speaker, Black Bibliographia: Print/Culture/Art conference, University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware.
- Printing Race in Artist’s Books by Tia Blassingame talk, National YoungArts Week, National YoungArts Foundation, New York, New York.
- Printing Race talk, Kenyon College, Gambier, Ohio.
- Mourning/Warning talk, Santa Barbara City College, Santa Barbara, California.
- Architecture and Nature Scenes Pressure Printing workshop, Santa Barbara City College, Santa Barbara, California.
- “Dear Book Arts: African American artists and the book form,” Freedom of the Presses: Artists’ Books in the 21st Century, Brooklyn, New York: Booklyn Publications.
- “Book Arts & Social Justice” talk, Shakespeare Club, Upland, California.
- Book Arts in Los Angeles (Past, Present, Future) panel, College Art Association (CAA) conference, Los Angeles, California.
- Freedom of the Presses panel, College Book Arts Association (CBAA) Conference, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
- “Introductory Book Arts and Digital Publishing” workshop, Hybrid Poetics & Narratives session, SummerArts, California State University, Fresno, California.
- “Race & Love in Artists’ Books,” California State University Sacramento, Sacramento, California.
- “A New, Bookish Life for Old Prints,” workshop The College of New Jersey, Ewing, New Jersey.
- “Words into Image: Editing and Concrete Poetry in Artists’ Books,” Publishing as a Form of Writing panel, Open Press, Los Angeles, California.
- “Printing Race,”RISD representative, Design Indaba Conference, Johannesburg, South Africa.
- “Printing Race in the Book Form,” Musashino Art University, Kodaira, Japan.
- “Despite Hostile Terrain: Artists' Books as Witness to Racism,” Artists’ Books and Social Justice panel, Pyramid Atlantic Book Fair, Silver Spring, Maryland.
Awards and Honors
- Visiting Artist, Berea College, Berea, Kentucky (postponed due to Covid-19)
- Artist Residency, Wilson College, Chambersburg, Pennsylvania (postponed due to Covid-19)
- Artist-in-Residence, International Print Center New York (IPCNY), New York, New York
- Visiting Artist, Rare Book School, Charlottesville, Virginia
- Visiting Artist, Kenyon College, Gambier, Ohio
- Visiting Artist, Santa Barbara City College, Santa Barbara, California
- Visiting Artist, Nature Conservancy’s Andy Warhol Preserve, Montauk, New York
- Visiting Artist, Wilson College, Chambersburg, Pennsylvania
- Artist-in-Residence, Yaddo, Saratoga Springs, New York
- Artist-in-Residence, MacDowell Colony, Peterborough, New Hampshire
- Artist-in-Residence, Santa Fe Art Institute, Santa Fe, New Mexico