Dept. of Art and Art History graduate student presents “Different Names for the Same Thing”

Exhibition premieres March 3 at the UMKC Gallery of Art

“Different Names for the Same Thing,” a painting exhibition by Dennis Helsel, will be presented from March 3-26 at the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) College of Arts and SciencesDepartment of Art and Art History Gallery of Art. An opening reception will take place from 5-7 p.m. on Thursday, March 3. The Gallery of Art is located in Room 203 of the Fine Arts Building, 5015 Holmes St., Kansas City, Mo.

Readings by local poets will take place from 2-5 p.m. on Saturday, March 12. Students and faculty from the College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of English also are invited to participate in this interdisciplinary conversation between the spoken word and the visual arts.

UMKC Gallery hours are 1-5 Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and 1-7 on Thursday.

Helsel describes his work as “born of an escapist pursuit, guided by intuition and impulse.” His creative process starts with searching for a feeling, frequency or point of consciousness and then expressing it through inventive, abstract visual language.

“Sometimes I stare at a painting and I wonder how I can get inside of it; how can I become what I am looking at?” Helsel said. “Other times, I feel that a painting asserts its independence and tells me to leave it be, so that it can exist apart from me.”

Above all, Helsel seeks to create a rich and emotive perceptual experience through his work, where a diversity of meanings can be explored.

Anticipated to receive an M.A. in Studio Art from the Department of Art and Art History this spring, Helsel teaches Art at Blue Ridge Elementary in Raytown, Mo. Helsel received a bachelor’s degree in Art Education from the University of Central Missouri in 2005. Following graduation, Helsel taught middle and high school Art in Warrensburg, Mo.

The University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC), one of four University of Missouri campuses, is a public university serving more than 15,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students. UMKC engages with the community and economy based on a four-part mission: life and health sciences; visual and performing arts; urban issues and education; and a vibrant learning and campus life experience. For more information about UMKC, visit You can also find us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and watch us on YouTube.

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