Lydia Rae Black was born in Neshoba County, Mississippi, and moved to the Bay Area with her family at a young age, growing up in Morgan Hill. She graduated from San Jose State University in 2009 with a BFA in painting. With family still in the south, she has documented various features of their locale as part of her work, which has been focused on the consequences of materialism and time, as well as associations of possessions and identity. She has been active as an artist since 1999, and now works in the Art Department of SJSU, facilitating the use of the labs and graduate spaces. Lydia has also maintained a home studio, and has had a small space at The Alameda Artworks in San Jose for more than a decade.