Sunday, May 19, 2024

Cardinal Watch: Passion for art drives Barretto

Arnold Barretto sits across a small wooden desk and reminisces about the memories and triumphs he made here at Plattsburgh State. There is a warm smile across his face as he prepares to retell the story of his college career thus far.

Born in India but raised in Dubai, Barretto transferred to PSUC after two years at The American College of Dubai upon realizing that he was passionate about graphic design and photography as opposed to business. Barretto was determined to get into PSUC after talking with the Global Education Office and some friends he knew at the college already.

“The Global Education office was very welcoming and accommodating, Barretto said. “They were good at interacting with international students and felt like a second family.”

Since his arrival on campus in 2016, Barretto has been a part of various extracurricular activities. He has previously been involved in the theater department’s “Rocky Horror Picture Show” and improv events. Barretto was the art director for DoNorth in fall 2017 and is currently involved in the Plattsburgh Association of Visual Artists.

“Arnold was extremely helpful and he was always there when we needed him. He is a very creative person, and he sees beauty in a lot of stuff. I think that’s really amazing” Gina Agnano, DoNorth Editor-in-Chief, said. “He is very passionate about everything he does which makes you feel more enthusiastic about the project. He is just a great person to have on a team.”

Aside from clubs and organizations, Barretto has spent time working for the PSUC Art Museum as a front-desk greeter and receptionist. He currently works for the Art department and is the vice president of the Student Association’s art department.

“Arnold is someone that I can always count on whether that be as a friend or a colleague,” president of PSUC student association, Jessica Falace, said. “He strives to do his best in all that he does, and I can’t thank him enough for his continuous efforts for the students.”

Barretto expressed gratitude for the learning experience he received and what the faculty has been able to provide for him.

“PSUC has given me the foundation that I need,” Barretto said. “Now that I am fully engrained in it, the support I get from my professors is pretty amazing as they are able to give you a different way to look at art outside of the classroom.”

When Barretto graduates in spring 2019, his main goal is to move to New York City and get a job there doing something he loves.
“Because I am in the BFA but have two concentrations,” Barretto said, “I basically have two different career paths which I can go down as either a graphic designer or photographer—overall just being an artist.”

Although he is unsure about his future job, Barretto said, “I feel like I have done enough on campus to confidently put myself out there in the real world and be noticed.”

While discussing his photography, Barretto is a more portrait based artist and enjoys focusing on people. His photography has been submitted into various contests and is more recognizable outside of the campus.

“If I were to tell myself back as a freshman where I am today; being in five or six different plays, being a photographer and an artist right now, I wouldn’t have believed it but it is what I love doing right now.” he said.

For incoming freshman, new international students or even students just looking to expand their horizons, Barretto said, “You need to trust yourself and try different things because you never know what you are fully capable of.”


Email Keely Cohen-Breen at

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