Isa Leshko is an artist and writer whose work examines themes relating to animal rights, aging, and mortality. Her images have been published in The Atlantic, The Boston Globe, Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung, The Guardian, Harper’s Magazine, The New York Times, and Süddeutsche Zeitung. In May 2019, the University of Chicago Press published her first monograph, Allowed to Grow Old: Portraits of Elderly Rescued Farm Animals, which included essays by activist Gene Baur, NY Times bestselling author Sy Montgomery, and curator Anne Wilkes Tucker.
Isa has received fellowships from the Bogliasco Foundation, the Culture & Animals Foundation, the Houston Center for Photography, the Millay Colony for the Arts, and the Silver Eye Center for Photography. She has exhibited her work widely in the United States and her 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.
Isa—whose full name is Isabell Carmella—grew up in Carteret, New Jersey, in an Italian-American working class family. She received her BA from Haverford College, where she studied cognitive psychology, neurobiology, and gender studies. She spent a decade working for dot.com startups before she discovered her passion for photography. She currently lives in Salem, Massachusetts, with her domestic partner, Matt Kleiderman, and their cats Alfred and Higgins. Isa has also lived in Houston, Texas; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and Providence, Rhode Island.