- Mitchell Hall B78
- She / Her
- Lecturer, Photography & Imaging
MFA, Photography, School of the Art Institute of Chicago
BA, Studio Art (Photography) & African American Studies, The University of Alabama
Alayna N. Pernell (b. 1996) is a Black American artist, activist, and educator born and raised in rural Alabama, USA. In May 2019, she graduated from The University of Alabama where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art with a concentration in Photography and a minor in African American Studies. She received her MFA in Photography from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in May 2021. Pernell’s practice considers the gravity of the mental wellbeing of Black people concerning the physical and metaphorical spaces they inhabit.
Pernell has had her work published in the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 School of the Art Institute of Chicago MFA Catalogues; the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 School of the Art Institute of Chicago Department of Photography Catalogues. Her work has been exhibited in various cities across the United States, including the Griffin Museum of Photography (Winchester, MA); The Chrysler Museum of Art (Norfolk, VA); Ground Floor Contemporary (Birmingham, AL), the Colorado Photographic Arts Center (Denver, CO), and more. Her work has been featured in multiple online platforms including Lenscratch, Humble Arts Foundation, The Curated Fridge, Too Tired Project, and more.
Pernell was named the 2020-2021 recipient of the James Weinstein Memorial Award by the School of the Art Institute of Chicago Department of Photography. She was selected as a finalist for the 2021 Lenscratch Student Prize and was recognized as one of the 2021 Lenscratch 26 to Watch. Recently, she was named the 2021 Snider Prize award recipient by the Museum of Contemporary Photography.