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“The Thin Woman” Exhibit Explores Eating Disorders

Submitted by on November 30, 2020 – 8:57 pm
Woman in bed with her head down and a blanket covering her knees and legs.

“The Thin Woman”, an exhibit now available virtually through the NECC Linda Hummel-Shea ArtSpace

“The Thin Woman”, the latest exhibit from The Linda Hummel-Shea ArtSpace at Northern Essex Community College, draws attention to eating disorders, illustrating, through black and white photos and poems, the personal struggles of one woman.

The exhibit is offered online only through December 15.

The poems were written by Michelle Howard of Amesbury and inspired by her sister “Melissa” who has struggled with an eating disorder for 30-plus years.

After writing the poems, Howard reached out to her cousin Charlene Yelle, a Newburyport photographer, and asked her to create a companion photograph for each of the eight poems.

Gallery Director Marc Mannheimer and Howard began talking about the “The Thin Woman” project two years ago, well before the pandemic was an issue. Since the college is drastically limiting visits to campus, a decision was made over the last few months to transition to an online format.

Howard said the project has already led to healing discussions within her own family and she is hoping that the exhibit will reach a broader audience.

“I’ve always felt helpless,” she said. “I wanted to gain insight, help her express to other people what she is going through.”

Here is the link to the exhibit

Located in the Bentley Library Building on NECC’s Haverhill Campus, the Linda Hummel-Shea ArtSpace Gallery features exhibits by NECC students, faculty, and artists from around the region and the world.

Northern Essex’s Department of Art & Design offers many courses in fine art and design leading to an Associate Degree in General Studies: Art & Design.

For additional information, contact Marc Mannheimer, gallery coordinator at

Northern Essex Community College has campuses in both Haverhill and Lawrence. It offers approximately 60 associate degree and certificate programs as well as hundreds of noncredit courses designed for personal enrichment and career growth.  Each year, 6,000 students are enrolled in credit associate degree and certificate programs on the Haverhill and Lawrence campuses; and another 2,000 take noncredit workforce development and community education classes on campus, and at businesses and community sites across the Merrimack Valley.  For more information, visit the website at or call 978-556-3700.