Archival Projects: Bringing the Past to Life

with Alayna N. Pernell

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Course Description

What is an archive? How can archival content be given a new form of material existence? What is at stake for us as artists when we set out to recreate or represent archives?

Alayna N. Pernell addresses these questions (and many others!) in a workshop centered on community, marginalized histories, and stories found via research. Over three weeks, participants re-contextualize and reimagine personal, familial, and social narratives through art and archival collections, with an emphasis on photographic archives. 

By engaging with an archive of your choosing, you become comfortable performing various types of research while strengthening your artistic practice and developing new interests. Reading about and viewing a range of artists’ work allows us to discuss materials and presentation, and everyone is given the chance to share pieces of their own over the course of the workshop. 

Whether you want to learn more about archival projects in general, are starting a new archive-based project, or simply want feedback on a project already in progress, Alayna offers knowledge, guidance, and support. Participants from all backgrounds and levels of practice are welcome.

As you bring an open mind to your archival exploration, you find yourself invigorated by curiosity and motivated to create work you care about.

Additional Information

All are welcome
What You Should Know:

Basic computer skills are necessary as well as the ability to edit and download images using an editing software.


View Withdrawal and Transfer Policies for online programs.

For the convenience of participants, recordings of each class session are posted privately for one month after the end of each session. Santa Fe Workshops takes the recordings down after one month to protect the intellectual property of our instructors.

Alayna N. Pernell

Alayna N. Pernell is a visual artist, writer, and educator who examines the experience of Black American women. She earned a BFA from University of Alabama and an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her work has been exhibited nationwide at venues including Refraction Gallery, in Milwaukee; Colorado Photographic Arts Center, in Denver; and Griffin Museum of Photography, in Winchester, Massachusetts. Alayna received the James Weinstein Memorial Award (2020-2021), the Snider Prize (2021), and the Mary L. Nohl Fellowship (2023). Her name appears on the Silver Eye Center of Photography Silver List (2022), Photolucida’s Critical Mass Top 50 (2021), and a Lenscratch Student Prize Honorable Mention (2021). 


Instagram: @alaynapernell

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