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Artist Profile: Alayna Pernell

Alayna Pernell (b. 1996, Alabama) is an interdisciplinary artist whose work centers wellbeing within the Black experience. She is a recent graduate from the Art Institute of Chicago, where she received her MFA in Photography. In addition to her artistic practice, she is an Associate Lecturer in the Art & Design Department at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Peck School of the Arts and hosts F/2.0, a video podcast featuring conversations between Pernell and various artists. She has exhibited in group and solo exhibitions nationally and was recently included on the Silver Eye Center for Photography’s 2022 Silver List.


A photograph of a young woman with dark skin and long, curly, black hair who is looking straight at the camera. She is wearing a white tank top, gold earrings, layered gold necklaces, and a cowrie shell bracelet. She grins as her hand grips an iron fence, which she rests her head against.Alayna Pernell, photo courtesy of Nicole DiGiovanni

An artwork in which a pair of dark hands gently covers an antique photographic print of a dark-skinned woman and baby. The hands, with their fingers interlaced, cover all but the woman’s head on the top and the baby’s feet at the bottom. A class ring adorns one of the fingers with the only visible text reading “county.”
With Care to You #1 (2020), from the Our Mothers’ Gardens, series.

An artwork in which a pair of dark hands gently holds a vintage photographic print. The photograph shows three young children with dark skin posing in front of a vintage car and grasping Easter baskets.
No Longer Peter Cohen’s Property #28 (2020), from the Our Mothers’ Gardens series.
RUCKUS, 2018-2023
Louisville, KY