Our Bethlehem Steel

featuring the creative efforts of local artists dedicated to preserving the oral and visual history of life 'down the steel.'

Edward A. Leskin

photographer

Edward A. Leskin was born in Allentown Pennsylvania in 1965. A lifelong student of politics and fine arts, he acquired an intense interest in photography during his last year at Moravian College (a double major in Political Science and Fine Arts) and then was accepted to Pratt Institute where he received his MFA (Photography) in 1991.

Mr. Leskin’s work mostly addresses issues bigger than the individual. Subjects over the years include The Rise and Fall of Bethlehem Steel and its impact on the community (Project since 1989 – ongoing with plant photos, public events of national significance –“Steelbound” 1999, stories and portraits of Steelworkers), the impact and legacy of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Washington D.C. (work has been nationally published and recognized by the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, and is in their permanent collection), the Israeli Palestinian conflict, the politics and social conditions in Russia, as well as many other issues of human significance.

For Leskin, the camera offers an opportunity to express complex interpretations of real time events and issues that affect us all in some way. It is the act of pure creation from the soul motivated by events and themes that force hard times on many individuals. His equipment choice was always simple, even to this day. A Leica with a lens or two has been the choice for him over the years (including digital with the Leica M8 and the new M9) due to the cameras simplicity and concentration on “Only the Essentials” of design for actual photography. The choice of camera and subject was also heavily influenced by his mentors at Pratt Institute who were master street photographers (Phillip Perkis) as well as photographers like Henri Cartier Bresson, Walker Evans, W. Eugene Smith, and Sabastio Salgado to name a few.

Mr. Leskin’s first motivation was the creation of art and profit secondary to this very day.

Presently, Mr. Leskin offers all levels of black and white photography classes at the Banana Factory in Bethlehem PA and is actively involved as a member of the Steelworkers Archives Inc. (founding member, major contributor of photo documentation for the organization, steelworkers portraits, plant documentation, etc.).

Mr. Leskin is currently gathering materials and research for future exhibitions and book based on his work on Bethlehem Steel an the people who worked there (coverage form 1989 to present).

Portraits of Steelworkers by Edward A. Leskin

Photos of "The Steel"

 

These and a selection of more of Ed's Photographs will be for sale online very soon, so please bookmark this page.