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First Art Gallery Show of the Semester Now Open

Submitted by on September 9, 2022 – 7:50 pm

Haverhill, MA (September 9, 2022) – Northern Essex Community College is proud to present the first gallery show of the fall semester in the Linda Hummel-Shea ArtSpace. The show is titled “The Middle-West” and exhibits photographs from Iowa by Jeff Caplan.

black and white Image of john deer tractor

“John Deer Used” by Jeff Caplan

Caplan took the photographs starting in 2019 when he moved from Lowell, MA, to Oskaloosa, Iowa, for a position at William Penn University. In his previous works, Caplan explored the “urban and industrial decay of architecture and infrastructure.” He says moving to a more rural setting gave him a new perspective on his art and his life. “Living in this unfamiliar place, I was able to see the country from two very different perspectives as it lumbered through a turbulent time, which included a volatile political climate, a division of solidarity within the United States, and a global pandemic that was traumatizing for so many of us.”

Works include “Ozinga Feed Service Inc.” which captures the shining steel silos of a livestock feed processing plant, and a display of vintage tractors from a small county fair in “Tractor Faces 1-10.” Caplan says these images evoke a culture that perhaps embraces the simpler things in life and is happy to live in a place with fewer distractions than those in more populated areas.

In a review of the exhibit, visual artist and professor Markus Haala writes:

What appears to be a document of the mundane Iowa landscape is undeniably more personal and profound than a first glance reveals. Where his earlier works, such as “From Tools to Twilight,” poetically mourn the disappearance of historical Americana, “The Middle-West” presents the viewer with the mood of an isolated outside perspective, reflecting on a place that is not home.

An Opening and Artist Talk is scheduled for Thursday, September 22nd, from 3-6 pm. “The Middle-West” runs through October 15.

The Linda Hummel-Shea ArtSpace is located in the Bentley Library on NECC’s Haverhill Campus, 100 Elliot Street. It is open Monday- Thursday from 8 am-9 pm, and Friday 8 am-4 pm. This show is sponsored by the NECC Art Department and the Liberal Arts Division. For more information, contact or