Isa Leshko (b. 1971) is an artist whose work focuses on themes relating to animal rights, aging, and mortality. Her first book based on her acclaimed Elderly Animals project will be published by the University of Chicago Press in 2018.
Isa has exhibited her work widely in the United States, including shows at 516 Arts (Albuquerque, NM), the Griffin Museum of Photography (Boston, MA), the Houston Arts Alliance (Houston, TX), the Houston Center for Photography (Houston, TX), the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (Houston, TX), the Photographic Resource Center (Boston, MA), and the Silver Eye Center for Photography (Pittsburgh, PA). Her work has also been featured at prominent art fairs, including Art on Paper (NYC), PULSE New York, Art Miami, Miami Project, and Art Market San Francisco.
Isa’s prints are in numerous private and public collections including the Boston Public Library, Fidelity Investments, the Harry Ransom Center, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. She has received fellowships for her work from both the Houston Center for Photography and the Silver Eye Center for Photography. Her images have been published in The Atlantic, The Boston Globe, Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung, The Guardian, Harper’s Magazine, and The New York Times. Her work is represented by the Corden|Potts Gallery in San Francisco, CA and the Richard Levy Gallery in Albuquerque, NM.
Isa grew up in Carteret, NJ in an Italian-American working class family. (Her full name is Isabell Carmella.) She received her BA from Haverford College, where she studied cognitive psychology, neurobiology, and gender studies. After graduation, she worked as a research assistant for neuropsychologist Robert Stern and co-authored research on the validity of the Boston Qualitative Scoring System for the Rey-Osterrieth Complex Figure Test as a diagnostic tool for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). She also wrote regularly for the now defunct Sojourner Magazine, a feminist monthly magazine. Isa then spent a decade working for dot.com startups as a project manager and software engineer before she discovered her passion for photography.
Isa lives in Salem, MA with her domestic partner, Matt Kleiderman, and their cat Alfred. She has also lived in Houston, TX, Philadelphia, PA, and Providence, RI.
Elderly Animals, Richard Levy Gallery, Albuquerque, NM.
Elderly Animals, Houston Center for Photography, Houston, TX.
Elderly Animals, Silver Eye Center for Photography, Pittsburgh, PA.
Thrills & Chills, Corden|Potts Gallery, San Francisco, CA.
Elderly Animals, Galveston Arts Center, Galveston, TX.
Thrills & Chills, Richard Levy Gallery, Albuquerque, NM.
Thrills & Chills, Griffin Gallery, Griffin Museum of Photography, Winchester, MA.
Thrills & Chills, Alliance Gallery, Houston Arts Alliance, Houston, TX.
Animal Dignity and the Ethics of Sight: Images by Isa Leshko & Frank Noelker, Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT.
Selected Group Shows
Exposure 2015, Photographic Resource Center, Boston, MA. Juror: Kristen Gresh, Estrellita and Yousuf Karsh Assistant Curator of Photographs, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
Fraction of a Second, 516 Arts, Albuquerque, NM.
Richard Levy Gallery Booth, Art on Paper Fair, NYC, NY.
The Female Gaze: A Survey of Photographs by Women from the 19th to the 21st Centuries, Haverford College, Atrium Gallery, Haverford, PA.
Richard Levy Gallery Booth, Miami Project Art Fair, Miami, FL.
Richard Levy Gallery Booth, Texas Contemporary Art Fair, Houston, TX.
Portfolio: Gallery Artists, Corden|Potts Gallery, San Francisco, CA.
Snail Mail, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Houston, TX.
Richard Levy Gallery Booth, PULSE New York, New York, NY.
Richard Levy Gallery Booth, Miami Project, Miami, FL.
Candela Unbound, Candela Books + Gallery, Richmond, VA. Juror: Gordon Settinius.
Richard Levy Gallery Booth, Art Miami, Miami, FL.
Portfolio I: Gallery Artists, Corden|Potts Gallery, San Francisco, CA.
Photo Forum Exhibition, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Houston, TX.
In Review, Gallery 339, Philadelphia, PA.
Found, John Cleary Gallery, Houston, TX.
Carnival, Newspace Center for Photography, Portland, Oregon.
International Plastic Camera Show, RayKo Photo Center, San Francisco, CA.
Prix de la Photographie 2009 Exhibition, Espace Dupon, Paris, France.
Boston Drawing Project: 10 Years On & Still Going Strong, Carroll and Sons Art Gallery, Boston, MA.
New England Photography Biennial, Danforth Museum of Art, Framingham, MA.
Spectra ’07, Silvermine Guild Arts Center, New Canaan, CT.
New England Photography Biennial, Danforth Museum of Art, Framingham, MA.
Fidelity Investments Works on Paper Juried Exhibition, Providence Art Club, Providence, RI.
National Prize Show, Cambridge Art Association, Cambridge, MA.
Boston Public Library
Candela Books + Gallery Collection
Haverford College Special Collections
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
University of Texas Comer Collection of Photography
Honors and Awards
Houston Center for Photography Fellowship.
Silver Eye Center for Photography Keystone Award.
Santa Fe Prize for Photography Nominee.
Clarence John Laughlin Award Finalist.
Prix de la Photographie, Paris, Second Prize, Photojournalism (Environmental/Nature) – Professional Category.
Prix de la Photographie, Paris, Third Prize, Book (Nature) – Professional Category.
Selected to participate in the Center Review Santa Fe.
Houston Center for Photography Fellowship Honorable Mention.
David Bram (editor), Fraction of a Second, Radius Books, Albuquerque, NM, June 2015.
Lori Gruen (editor), The Ethics of Captivity, Oxford University Press, New York, NY, May 2014, page 238.
Isa Leshko, “Readings” — Harper’s Magazine, May. 2012, page 25.
Isa Leshko, “”Elderly Animals in pictures”, The Guardian, April 24. 2011.
Hamidah Glasgow (editor), “Isa Leshko”, “Portfolio Showcase Volume 4, Center for Fine Art Photography, Fort Collins, CO, May 2010, pages 88-95.
Isa Leshko, Thrills & Chills (Exhibition Catalog), Exit 12 Press, Houston, TX, April 2010 (ISBN: 978-0-615-35421-7).
David Bram (editor), “Isa Leshko’s Thrills & Chills”, Fraction Magazine, Issue 12, March 2010.
Artist Talks & Panel Discussions
“Sustaining a Long-Term Project”, panel discussion moderated by Stella Kramer with Manjari Sharma and Douglas Ljungkvist, Fotofusion, West Palm Beach, FL, January 2014.
“Portfolio Reviews: Should I Go? What Should I Know?”, panel discussion moderated by Stella Kramer with Charles Guice and Rania Matar, Flash Forward Festival, Boston, MA, May 2013.
“Elderly Animals”, Considering Animals Seminar, Associated Colleges of the Midwest Seminars in Advanced Interdiscipinary Learning, Washington, DC, July 2012
“Elderly Animals”, Silver Eye Center for Photography, Pittsburgh, PA, May 2012
“Elderly Animals”, Houston Center for Photography, Houston, TX, May 2012
“Elderly Animals”, Galveston Arts Center, Galveston, TX, July 2011.
“Thrills & Chills”, Griffin Museum of Photography, Winchester, MA, April 2010.
Guest Juror, “Somerville Toy Camera Festival”, Nave Gallery and Nave Gallery Annex, Somerville, MA, September, 2013.
“Heartbreaking, Beautiful Images Of Elderly Animals” — Beautiful Decay, January 30, 2014.
“A Beautiful and Stark Photo Series Featuring Elderly Animals by Isa Leshko” — Laughing Squid, January 17, 2014.
“Incredible Black-And-White Photos Of Elderly Animals Will Break Your Heart” — Huff Post Arts & Culture, January 15, 2014.
“Photographer Captures the Beauty and Dignity of Elderly Animals” — Smithsonian Magazine, November 7, 2013.
“Interview with Photographer Isa Leshko” — Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University Porch, January 1, 2013
“Altern ist nichts für Feiglinge” — Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung, Jan. 15, 2012
“What We Can Learn From Old Animals” — The New York Times, Dec. 29, 2011
“Isa Leshko’s Extraordinary Photographs of Elderly Animals” — The Atlantic, Dec. 2, 2011
“To Cope With Mother’s Illness, Photographer Focuses on Aging Animals” — NPR, Nov. 30, 2011
“Ciao, du Sau” — Süddeutsche Zeitung Magazin (SZ-Magazin), June 10, 2011
“Beautiful Elderly Animals” — My Modern Metropolis, June 6, 2011
“Elderly Animal Photos” — The Washington Post, May, 9, 2011
“Isa Leshko’s Elderly Animals: there’s life in the old dog yet” — The Observer, April 24. 2011
“Gorgeous Photographs of Elderly Animals” — Flavorwire, April 16. 2011
“Isa Leshko: Elderly Animals” — PDN Photo of the Day, April 8, 2011
“Isa Leshko”, “Zoom Magazine, Issue #229, Winter 2011, pages 104-105
“Best of the Best Emerging Fine Art Photographers of 2010” — BWGallerist, Dec. 31, 2010
“Best Books of 2010 Extended” — Larissa Leclair, Dec. 29, 2010
“Isa Leshko” — Flak Photo, Oct. 14, 2010
“In Review” — Philadelphia Weekly, Aug., 10, 2010
“Emerging Artist: Isa Leshko” — BWGallerist, July 7, 2010
“Flashes of Brilliance” — The Boston Globe, April 30, 2010
“When Busby Met Fritz” — Boston.com, April 29, 2010
“A Phographer, a Holga, and Roller Coasters” — NPR, April 21, 2010
“A Conversation with Isa Leshko” — Nymphoto, Dec. 31, 2009
Harvard University Extension School, Cambridge, MA
Post-baccalaureate studies in Computer Science
Haverford College, Haverford, PA
B.A. with Departmental Honors in Experimental Psychology and a minor in Gender Studies
Isa Leshko Photography, Fine Art Photographer and Arts Marketing Consultant.
Panopticon Gallery of Photography, Marketing Director.
Zona Photographic Laboratories, Customer Service Associate.
Worked in the Internet industry as a project manager, software engineer, and management consultant.