Raised in Long Island, New York, Perlak received a BFA from Pratt Institute and an MFA from Tufts University in conjunction with the Boston Museum School. She has had a full career as Art Director and designer of books for Harvard University Press. Within the world of book design, Perlak has received multiple awards from The New England Book Show, AAUP (Association of American University Presses) and AIGA (American Institute of Graphic Artists) as well as serving as president of Bookbuilders of Boston. She is the 2005 recipient of the W. A. Dwiggins Award given for outstanding achievement in design and dedication to the publishing community.
Working out of home studios in Watertown and on the coast of Maine, she turned her full attention to mixed media sculpture, collage and altered books. Perlak’s work has been shown in galleries and exhibits in both Massachusetts and Maine.