UNION, NJ - Michelle Harpster of Mountainside is set to exhibit her work at the James Howe Gallery located in the Vaughn Eames building at Kean University in Union April 14 through May 13th. 

Harpster, a graduate of Kean University’s art education program is currently completing her Master’s Degree in studio art. "Collective Visions; MA Studio Thesis Exhibition" is the culminating exhibition for the graduating Master’s Degree candidates.

The show will be open to the public April 14th through May 13th. An opening reception will be held Sunday, April 17th, from 1 to 4 p.m. with comments by the exhibiting artists at 2 p.m.

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Michelle’s series of watercolor paintings explore the relationship between vintage ideals and feminine roles structured to entice the viewer into the paradox of a woman’s experience. Her works are thematically linked to classical Victorian values, the influence of societal hierarchy, and women’s fashion. Michelle explores this concept through the depictions of the century’s highly restrictive articles of women’s clothing including bustles, polonaises, crinolines and abundant frills. In this series she is linking the concepts of hegemony among the sexes as well as societal influences of refinement and constriction. The works examine a delicate beauty shrouded in restraint.

Harpster has also exhibited watercolors in a solo exhibition entitled Birds of a Feather last January of 2015 at the James Howe Gallery. She has participated innumerous student exhibitions at Kean University highlighting her drawings, paintings and metal pieces. In addition, throughout her artistic career Ms. Harpster also had works chosen to tour through the municipal buildings of Union County.

Other featured artists included in "Collective Visons" are Denise Moser, who teaches in New Providence, Janice N. Gossman, who teachers in Clark, and Monica Franco, who teaches in Irvington, as well as artists Janice Quarto and Michelle Suriel.

The James Howe Gallery, Vaughn Eames Fine Arts Building, Kean University is located at 1000 Morris Avenue, Union, New Jersey. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday 10 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

For further information, log onto www.kean.edu/~gallery or call (908) 737-5326