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NECC ArtSpace Gallery Features Local Painter Through Mid-April

Submitted by on March 29, 2021 – 5:24 pm

Inside & Out, 30″ x 40″ x 1.5″, 2020, oil on wood panel

This month’s exhibit in Northern Essex Community College’s Linda Hummel-Shea ArtSpace Gallery is a homecoming for Newton, NH painter Kale Baker, who graduated from Northern Essex in 2014, before transferring to Montserrat College of Art, where she earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting.

Titled “Vessels”, the online exhibit includes 11 oil paintings, capturing a wide range of subjects from plants in a greenhouse at the Fuller Gardens in North Hampton, NH to the Merrimack River and the New England Coast. It will be available through April 15, when the NECC Student Show begins.

The online exhibit includes an artist vita and statement, a video interview with the artist, and the exhibit.

As a student, Baker “exhibited an innate understanding of the use and interaction of color”, according to Marc Mannheimer, her former professor and the director of the ArtSpace Gallery. While her work has evolved, becoming less abstract, that talent for color continues, he says.

In an interview that is a part of the exhibit, Baker says that her work can be viewed in a larger context, as part of a statement about climate control and the vulnerability of nature, or more simply. “If people want to see my work as just a potted plant, that fine, too.”

Green Echo, 30″ x 30″ x 1.5″, 2021, oil on wood panel

A 2010 graduate of Newburyport High School, Baker earned her Associate Degree in General Studies: Art & Design from Northern Essex with an almost perfect GPA in 2014 and her bachelor’s from Montserrat in 2017.

Starting at Northern Essex was a “wonderful experience”, she says, which prepared her well for transfer.

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. During the pandemic, the gallery has closed and exhibits are being held online.

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.