Sally McIntosh, director of the Ryniker-Morrison Gallery, 406.259.6563,
Media Team, 406.657.1105,

Artwork by Diana Mysse titled, "Falling Down"

Ryniker-Morrison Gallery hosts ‘Teacher of Art’ exhibit February 5-25 

Falling Down

BILLINGS, January 21, 2015 – RMC’s Ryniker-Morrison Gallery will host the Teacher of Art exhibit in Tech Hall on the RMC campus from February 5-25, 2015. The opening reception will be held on Thursday, February 5, 2015, from 4-6 p.m. The exhibit is free and open to the public, who are cordially invited to attend. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

The exhibit will feature artwork by 10 art teachers, including those who are either retired or still currently teaching. Their artwork will also feature a personal art statement that answers the question, “Why do we teach Art in the schools?”

The 10 teachers featured in this exhibit include Leo Olson, Mary Knapp, Phyllis Kindelman, Kate Morris, Rachel Larson Long, Russell Walks, Diana Mysse, Adriane Arredondo-Becker, Tori Wardrip, and Carolyn Thayer.

“We teach Art in the schools to allow students to be exposed to the higher level thinking strategies and the artistic thought process,” said Marry Knapp, a retired art educator who spent 28 years teaching elementary art at the Huntley Project Schools in Worden, Mont.

“Studies since the 1990s have shown a relationship between the arts and academic success,” said Knapp. “It is not the goal of an Art educator to turn students into artists, dancers, or performers, but to have students become better thinkers, problem solvers, and risk takers. These attributes are learned through artistic thought. 

For Tori Wardrip, an Art teacher at Lewis and Clark Middle School, “Art teaches kids that it’s okay to make mistakes and work through them to find solutions. Art helps people scream things they would never even be able to whisper out loud.” She added, “Art tells kids that the process of creating is often more important than the final product, that perfection isn’t always the most desirable characteristic.” 

“This exhibit is dedicated to Connie Landis, Ph.D. in Art Education and a professor of Art Education at MSU-Billings since 1978,” said Sally McIntosh, director of the Ryniker-Morrison Gallery.

In recognition of her dedication to teaching, Dr. Landis received the Award for Educator of the Year in 2004 from the Yellowstone Art Museum, the Montana Art Educator of the Year in 1997, the Higher Education Educator of the Year Award and the Western Region Art Educator of the Year Award from the National Art Education Association, and the Teacher Excellence Award from MSU-B. 

"Connie Landis has been an enormous influence on Art Education in this region for many, many years,” said McIntosh. “It is her teaching, research, and service that has helped produce the quality of art education that we have all come to expect.”