Alaia Aquino


Alaia Aquino, Away, 2023

photo of a large tree

Alaia Aquino, Home, 2023

Artist Statement

I was born and raised in the small town of Derby, Connecticut, but I go to school in New Haven. My commute is thirty minutes, which has made my social life quite slim. I constantly feel as though I've missed out on the ideal high school experience. I've never been able to ride bikes around town or attend a local football game with a group of friends due to the distance. This upbringing has caused a sense of isolation.

Photography has given me the opportunity to connect with the world when I'm unable to connect with anyone else. I'm able to escape the loneliness I feel by taking photos that help me realize that even when I have no one, I have myself. I am grateful to have an outlet that doesn't expose me to judgment or disapproval. I can simply capture moments that last forever.

My camera allows me to notice that there will always be something for me to take interest in. Especially in the city of New Haven, there is constantly something to capture, whether it’s a car that looks like it's from a different generation or a random umbrella in a passageway. My photos depict the feeling of seclusion that I observe in objects, lighting, and places. 

—Alaia Aquino, Cooperative Arts and Humanities High School ’25

girl looking at her own reflection

Alaia Aquino, Self-Portrait, 2023

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