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In the Eye of the Beholder

February 06, 2015

by Vincent Wong-Crocitto

Purchase College is not considered one of the more beautiful campuses in the country. Some find its architecture to be a little drab and dreary. Personally, I don’t have much of an architectural eye, but I must admit there are quite a lot of brown bricks around. But if the only way you can see Purchase is by the exterior from a few buildings, you’re probably not looking in the right places. There are tons of student and commissioned artwork scattered around campus, inside and outside of buildings. One hobby that I enjoy a lot is taking pictures and since I live on campus most of the year, that’s where I photograph the most. At first I thought I had seen it all, but the campus has a lot to offer if you keep your eyes open.

The dance building is the best place to do indoor portraits, in my opinion. On a sunny day, the sunlight floods in through its many glass windows, offering soft, even lighting. The dance studios are also a great location; you can have a lot of fun with the mirrors and a little bit of Photoshop. The natural sciences building holds some nice views of campus from above as well. One of the staircases goes up to a 5th floor (although the door there doesn’t open) and you can get a scenic look at the houses facing east of campus. Through some of the classrooms is a normally unseen aerial view of the main mall. One early evening as I was walking through the natural sciences building, I came across an open chemistry lab. It was full of dated chemicals, supplies, and materials which made for some really nifty shots up close.

The woods around campus are what I think offer the most to see. There are paths and openings so it’s not hard to navigate and it would probably be impossible to get lost. Behind the visual arts building lies a bunch of artwork and trinkets scattered around along a path. There are sculptures, furniture, small structures, and who knows what else there is to see. It’s kind of reminiscent of an off-the-grid society. Elsewhere, there are rocks that have been continually painted by students as sort of a tradition (although I have yet to come across them.) The woods along the loop near the Commons and Alumni Village apartments have a nice path to walk along a running stream. I’ve heard from some at certain times of the year, you can even harvest leeks around the woods on campus. Don’t let the bricks fool you: Purchase College is a beautiful place.

Here’s a link to my Flickr account, where a majority of the photos have been taken on campus: