Arts Profile of Alana Perino ’11
If you’ve walked by College Row at all this week, you may have noticed a series of photographs displayed on the glass walls of the Zelnick Pavilion. These photos are a part of Alana Perino’s senior thesis. The Argus talked with Perino to find out more about her project and her career in the arts at Wesleyan.
Argus: What exactly do you do in the arts on campus?
Alana Perino: For the past eight months I have been working on my senior thesis. It’s essentially a photography thesis. Most of the photography I do is done off campus, and while I’m here I work on editing, printing, and getting the photos published in various on-campus magazines. I also work in the Wesleyan darkroom as a lab assistant.
A: Tell us about your thesis project.
AP: The project is about a small town on the east end of Long Island. There are many small hamlets there, but they are all under the common township of Southold. The town is technically only 70 miles from Manhattan, but it is extremely isolated geographically and culturally. The photos concentrate on specific observations about the landscape of Southold and its inhabitants.
A: What gave you the idea for your project?
AP: I have lived in Southold on and off since I was very young. I spent most of my childhood weekends there, and I moved out there on a whim to go to high school. Maybe it’s because I also grew up in Manhattan, but I always found the place so fascinatingly strange. Not just because it’s small, but because the local mindset is just so unusual. I wanted to photograph something unusual – something that I knew well but was not too attached to. So I chose Southold.
A: What’s your major?
AP: I’m actually a College of Letters (COL) major. I sort of finagled my way into the Studio Art Department to do the thesis.
A: What did you plan on majoring in when you came to Wesleyan?
AP: I was actually planning on majoring in film. But after taking some film classes, I became a bit disenchanted with the department and realized that I wanted an education that explored more of the basic humanities. I wanted to read films like I would read a book. So I just went back to reading books.
A: Why did you decide to major in College of Letters?
AP: I suppose I was more interested than anything in studying the human condition – how people have reacted to being alive in the world that we live in. When I learned more about COL, I thought that I could really delve into that kind of thinking with more of an academic freedom.
A: What do you plan to do in the future?
AP: As irresponsible as it may sound, I just want to see the world. I caught a traveling bug when I went abroad and I would like nothing more than to pack a backpack, go somewhere new, find a job, and then do it again and again. Maybe I’ll go to grad school. Maybe I’ll join a monastery. I suppose I don’t really see the point in making too many plans. Things just happen.