Connie M. Landis, PhD
Art Department Chairperson

Watercolor by Pat Lee©, Billings artist of Temp, the Kelly Girl and Che-Che - the two fabulous Landis dogs


Direct link to Artists' Book Collection joins my(cyber) 


1987 Ph.D. University of Wisconsin-Madison, Wisconsin
1978 M.S.Ed. Eastern Montana College, Billings, Montana
1962 B.A. Lawrence University, Appleton, Wisconsin
With additional coursework at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, The University of Illinois-Campaign/Urbana and Rocky Mountain College, Billings, Montana.



As my course syllabi state: " I strive to provide a classroom setting where ideas may be challenged and minds may be changed and/or positions affirmed...where ideas, views and responses are respected and courtesy is maintained."

ART 101 - Fundamentals of Art for the Elementary Teacher
EDCI 305 - Teaching Art in the Elementary School
EDCI 315 - Teaching Art K - 12

Additional teaching assignments at various times:
            Art 399 - Careers in Art

            Art 498 - Resume and Artist Statement
            Art 499 - Senior Show, Visual Portfolio and Review



An important aspect of my professional responsibilities includes advising of student who seek licensure to teach art in Montana, kindergarten to grade twelve. Thus, I take an active role in guiding advisees on diversified topics toward their career goals. All the following are important--the initial declaration by the student as an Art Education Major and/or Minor, the application into the teacher education program , the completion of the Plan of Study, the graduation and the initial art teacher position.


With many years of art teaching art, I continue to find satisfaction in the ever-changing arena of art education. I enjoy the many aspects of teaching and consider it a privilege to be part of the academic community.

Whether in the classroom or workshop situation, leading edge information is laid upon tried and true standard and historical information mixing the modern and post-modern educational approaches. The open exchange of varying ways to creatively problem solve remains a focus. Recognition that students often teach me more than I teach them is realized and appreciated.

Visual art can make a difference in the quality of life and created from a personal perspective enriches the maker-thinker and affects others. Art leads individuals to appreciate others whether those living now and/or in the past. There is no doubt that art enriches, art energizes and art empowers.

Two favorite quotations:

Successful teachers challenge the process, inspire a shared end vision, enable
 others to act, model the way and encourage the way.  
           -Unknown author-

 We’re all like stamps, we leave impressions.          -Jim Morrison-


One-of-a-kind Artist’s Books are created in my studio, combining in unique ways the book structure with the book visual content.  The book content often questions prevalent ideas and practices from the social, political and psychological arenas of what it means to be human in an ever-changing worlds.  Preference is given to "a hands-on-the-book" approach for the viewer -- sometimes wearing white gloves and sometimes not to encourage handling of the artwork.

Paper pulp from commercial suppliers in intermingled with handmade papers from other sources. Embellishment processes include: collage, drawing, painting, printmaking and other techniques necessary to enhance the book's message. Satisfying hours are studio-spent in coming to understand how the form of a book enhances the book content and vice versa.

Spreading the structure and message of Artists’ Books is evident in the many ways books become part of my instructional program, serve as extended workshop topics and are entered in gallery and exhibit venues. Many satisfying hours are spent in my home studio creating books.

Click here to view a collaborative Web site created by MSU Billings students featuring various Artists' Books from varying countries in the Special Collections of the MSU Billings Library:


World travel is a serious way to meet interesting artists and many others and to spend time in art museums, galleries and studios. Two weeks a month have been spent in the following countries throughout the years:

Botswana, Canada, Costa Rica, Denmark, Egypt, England, France, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Namibia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Sweden, Sweden, and Zimbabwe

These travels make me even more appreciative of Montana and provide many more ideas for Artist’s Books.


Who needs an excuse to shop the junk and antique stores and garage/yard sales? 

    My four most active collections include: 

  1. Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil monkeys - These small sculptures of varying materials and process are inspired by the original monkeys above the door to the sacred stable in Nikko, Japan. Seventeenth century wood carvers fashioned these charming original monkeys from the area north of Tokyo. Copies spread to China and later to the world, yet none capture the life and movement of the Nikko monkeys. Some day I will see these original Nikko monkeys in Japan.

  2. Crayola® items produced by Binney and Smith - stuff such as inflatable BIG crayons, banks, clocks, cups, dolls, backpacks, easels, cameras, tee-shirts and other plastic items. this collection supports one comment from my kindergarten teacher on a report cart:  "Commie spends all her free-choice time in the art corner."  After all, crayons rule the world!

  3. Artists' Books - Travels, conferences and workshops have encouraged the purchase or exchange artists' books.  Enjoyment is found in studying the various approaches to the structure and ideas within these "gardens' opened in my hands.

  4. Bird sculptures - Whether of stone, ceramic, wood, metal or mixed media, theses hand-held figures remind me of nature when displayed.  Beyond the dusting, theses nature interpretations are treasured for their realistic and abstract qualities.



    The original monkeys who hear no evil, speak no evil, and see no evil enact their creed above a door to the sacred stable at Nikko.  17th Century wood carvers fashioned them after monkeys from this area north of Tokyo.  Copies spread to China and later to the whole world, but none captures the life and movement of Nikko's own.  


Return to MSU-Billings home page  | Return to The Department of Art home page

Last updated 05/17/10