Lydia Rae Black was born in Neshoba County, Mississippi. She graduated from San Jose State University in 2009 with a BFA in pictorial arts. Though she is now a resident of the San Francisco Bay Area, living and working in San Jose, her roots in Mississippi have deeply influenced her paintings. With an often intimate knowledge of a locale's history, she attempts to imbue her imagery with patterns of light, shadow and color which weave personal narratives of life and change that comes with moving on, yet still present subtle hints of our society's materialistic notions of poverty and ownership.

Her career as an art instructor began in 1999, and continues to this day in her employment at the Marvegos Fine Art School, a private after-school program in the bay area.

She maintains a studio at The Alameda Art Works, near downtown San Jose, and teaches oil painting.

Lydia resides in San Jose with her husband, son, and cat.