NECC Observer

The student news website of Northern Essex Community College, Haverhill and Lawrence, Mass.

Bentley ArtSpace Gets a New Name

A ceremony was held to dedicate this space


Over the summer, the ArtSpace located in a remote corner of the Bentley Library received a new name and some well deserved attention during a dedication ceremony on May 15.  So did Linda Hummel-Shea, for whom the space was renamed.  Hummel-Shea started at NECC as a part-time librarian 35 years ago and retired last June as the assistant dean of libraries.   Throughout the years, this space had been used for a variety of purposes, including a conference room and a place for hosting large events, but in 2009, after a unanimous vote, it was decided that the space would be recreated as “…a long desired and needed location for the students, faculty and community to display their work.” said Mike Hearn at the dedication ceremony.  Hearn is the college’s director of libraries and he emceed the dedication ceremony. “The artspace would not exist as it is today  had it not been for the vision and support and  tenacity of Linda Hummel-Shea.” said Hearn.

Several people spoke at the dedication, including NECC President Lane Glenn and Art Department Director, Marc Mannheimer, who shared anecdotes from their time working with Hummel-Shea.  Also speaking that day was Dr. William Heineman, vice president of academic affairs who recalled how much she cared about the college and community.

“Beyond anything she did for the library, Linda was a great citizen of this college,” he said. Speeches were given while standing at a podium situated just to the left of a digital screen which rotated images of some of the incredible artwork that has been shown at the gallery throughout the years.

Hummel-Shea was also recognized at the college’s commencement on May 16, when she was awarded emeritus status, which recognizes “sustained excellence in performance, character, and meritorious service to the college,” according to the school’s website.

According to Mannheimer, the dedication will not change the way the ArtSpace is used, but he hopes it can lead to increased recognition, grant money and signage for the gallery.  New work will be on display later this month by visiting artist,

“The fact that it’s being named for you makes perfect sense.” Mannheimer said to Hummel-Shea.  She responded with a “thank you” muffled by tears.

For more information about the artspace, contact Mike Hearn at


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