Senior Thesis Spotlight: Leah Netsky

Leah Netsky, one of only two  photographer represented in this year’s group of thesis candidates, is admirably brandishing her chosen medium, and she is growing as an artist in the process.

Originally form Newton, Massachusetts (in the Boston Area), Leah transferred to Guilford from Hampshire College in the Pioneer Valley for her sophomore year. She had read about Guilford in the Colleges That Change Lives publication, and since it was one of her options for her freshman year, she did not have to reapply. It was also a more inexpensive option, so Leah decided to travel south.

Leah took up the art of photography her junior year of high school, and it was one of her major interests by the start of her college career. However, she could not get into any photography classes her first year at Hampshire, and since she was not required to select a major course of study there, she could not claim that that she ‘needed’ to enroll in one. She truly found her niche at the photography program at Guilford, though, and declared it as her major.

When exploring her thesis focus this semester, Leah initially endeavored to re-acquaint herself with the darkroom. “I was basically doing nude portraits with light from the blinds, creating stripes. I was testing different papers and toners too. It was an intensive darkroom [study].” Halfway through the semester, though, she began to miss working digitally and with color, and thus embarked on a series of digital diptychs, which use two side-by-side images to create a single, unified piece of art. Here is an example entitled Air:

Some of Leah’s strongest influences include photographers Edward Westin and Wolfgang Tillmans

Leah says that thesis this semester has been somewhat dtough in terms of direction; mainly noting that meeting times are sparse. It’s also been difficult being a photographer, working in separate spaces from most other thesis students, but she looks forward to next semester, wherein she foresees a deepened sense of community among the thesis seniors. As far as junior, freshmen, and sophomore Guilford artists are concerned, Leah advises: “I think they should do it if they want to. It’s a cool experience. It’s hard if you don’t build in deadlines for yourself, though.”

After graduation, Leah plans to move somewhere based on location and find work, though she has no definitive plans. Regardless of where she decides to go, we wish her the best look forward to seeing more of her work at the Spring exhibition.

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