LONE WOLF — Years of hard work and dedication have paid off for Navajo High School student Julia Pelletier, who has earned a spot at the prestigious Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute at Quartz Mountain (OSAI), held June 13 through 28. Pelletier is studying chorus at OSAI with nationally renowned faculty artists from across the U.S. In conjunction with acceptance, all students receive full scholarships to attend the program.
“What the Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute is doing for students is life-changing,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister. “The summer program offers our schoolchildren the opportunity to learn and develop their skills from world-class artists. It’s programs like OSAI that give Oklahoma students the inspiration and encouragement to succeed.”
At OSAI, Oklahoma high school students spend at least six hours a day studying one of nine artistic disciplines in the literary, visual, and performing arts. In the evenings, they attend a variety of performances, lectures, and demonstrations that give them an appreciation of the arts outside of their chosen discipline. Students from different disciplines and backgrounds study, reside, and eat meals together. With so many highly motivated and gifted students working together in close quarters, lifelong friendships and career-enhancing collaborations often develop.
“I am very thrilled to attend OSAI this summer! I have been looking forward to this for years and am honored to have been selected,” said Pelletier. “I have been eager to meet Dr. Amanda Quist and grow musically under her. I believe attending OSAI will help me build confidence as a singer and impact my future auditions and performances.”
This is the program’s 39th year, and since its inception, many famous artists have taught at OSAI. Former faculty artists include recipients of the Academy, Emmy, Grammy, and Tony Awards. This year’s faculty includes Keith Carter, world-renowned photographer and educator, and Allen Tinkham, Conductor of the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra.
Quartz Mountain Nature Park has been the home of Institute programs since 1978. The secluded locale makes it an ideal location for arts immersion. Set between Lake Altus-Lugert and the rocky Quartz Mountains, the Arts & Conference Center boasts a 700-seat performing arts center, versatile studio pavilions, and more. Students and faculty draw inspiration from the beautiful natural setting.
Pelletier was selected to attend OSAI through competitive statewide auditions, with nearly 1,000 students auditioning for just 270 spots. Pelletier’s scholarship is provided by the Oklahoma State Department of Education and the following donors: Helon Whiteside LaGree Scholarship Fund and Melda Moore Scholarship Fund. Additional program support is provided by the Oklahoma Arts Council, Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department, and SONIC, America’s Drive-In.
OSAI culminates in ONSTAGE Weekend, Friday, June 26 and Saturday, June 27. The weekend consists of concerts, performances, film screenings, and gallery exhibitions where all OSAI students have a chance to present their work. All ONSTAGE events are free and open to the public, and a performance schedule is available at www.oaiquartz.org or (405) 605-7500.
The Oklahoma Arts Institute is a private, non-profit organization founded in 1977, with a mission to provide exceptional multidisciplinary arts experiences that develop individual talent and inspire a lifelong passion for the arts. In addition to the Summer Arts Institute, OAI administers a series of continuing education workshops for adults every fall.