Counselors

Acting

Reese Dawkins Acting Liaison

Reese Dawkins

Acting Liaison
Deer Creek, Oklahoma

Reese Dawkins is a student filmmaker and actor living in Los Angeles, California. Originally from Edmond, Oklahoma, he is a lifelong lover of movies, acting, and video games. He studied with OSAI for three summers as a student, once in chorus and twice in acting. When he's not working on a film, Reese can be found in the movie theater, lost in a museum, or out dancing to pop music.

“My OSAI memories are among my most cherished. I'm excited to return to Quartz Mountain and have a hand in continuing that magic for Oklahoma's next generation of artists!”

Chorus

Alec Warn

Alec Warn

Chorus Liaison
Edmond, Oklahoma

Alec Warn is so excited to be returning for his second summer as a choral liaison! Attending OSAI in high school is what inspired Alec to become a choir teacher. He will be entering his seventh year in teaching next year at St. Andrew's Episcopal School in Austin, TX. When Alec is not leading choirs or directing musicals, he loves to run, spend time at the lake, and travel!

Alec is excited to watch incredible artists create and grow in a beautiful environment. It is always a lot of work, but the Quartz magic is always worth it!

Taylor Rodgers

Taylor Rodgers

Chorus Liaison
Dunwoody, Georgia

Taylor Rodgers is currently on faculty at Dunwoody High School, where he is the Director of Choral Activities and Fine Arts Department Chair. He teaches Chorus and AP Music Theory; directs the Soundwaves a cappella ensemble; serves as music director for the DHS musical productions; and is a faculty sponsor for Tri-M Music Honors Society and GSA. Taylor attended the Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute as a Choral student from 2007-2009. This will be his fourth summer serving as a Choral Liaison. Taylor is an avid runner and a connoisseur of naps.

“I cannot wait to embark on these next few weeks at Quartz Mountain! I can think of no other experience as fun, artistically fulfilling, or mind-blowing as the Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute.”

Creative Writing

Rachel Whitfield

Rachel Whitfield

Creative Writing Liaison
Edmond, Oklahoma

Rachel Whitfield was a Creative Writing student at OSAI from 2013 to 2015. Starting this fall, Rachel will be pursuing an MFA in Poetry from the University of California, Riverside. Besides poetry, Rachel loves their cats, Sharkie and Lulu, and true crime.

“There's possibly only one thing I love more than getting to hang out with other artists: serving as a mentor to younger artists and watching them make art they're proud of.”

Dance

Emily Lower

Emily Lower

Dance Liaison
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Emily is an OSAI ballet and modern dance alum from 2009, 2010, and 2011. When she is not working at OSAI, Emily teaches dance at Western Heights middle and high school in Oklahoma City. She is so excited to be returning this summer as a counselor and dance liaison!

“I am most excited for OSAI to be back in magic bubble of Quartz Mountain this year! I have so many fun memories of being there as a student, and I look forward to seeing what this next generation of artists will create with their time there.”

Drawing & Painting

Mercedes Smith

Mercedes Smith

Drawing & Painting Liaison
McLoud, Oklahoma

Mercedes is a 28-year old aspiring art teacher. She enjoys making art, doodling, oil painting, and is looking forward to experimenting with printmaking this summer. Outside of art, she enjoys graphic novels, trashy TV, and has been collecting garden gnomes since she was in high school.

“This is an incredible opportunity to meet artist from all over the state and I’m excited to be at Quartz Mountain with my best friend!”

Virginia Sitzes

Virginia Sitzes

Drawing & Painting Liaison
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Virginia is a printmaker, muralist, and active arts advocate living in OKC. She is the creator of Sunny Dayz Mural Festival, and co-founded the Oklahoma-based artist collective, Art Group OKC in 2017. She is also the event and outreach coordinator for the Connect:Collect Print Exchange, is a Teaching Artist for the Oklahoma State Department of Education's federally funded Art Tech program, and has worked for the Oklahoma Arts Institute for 4 years. She is a teaching artist for Oklahoma Contemporary, on the board of directors for the Oklahoma Mural Syndicate, and has shown her work in galleries and shows around the region since 2013.

“OSAI is one of the most unique and INCREDIBLE arts intensives I have ever been a part of. Oklahoma is so lucky to have it.”

Film & Video

Elizabeth Myles

Elizabeth Myles

Film & Video Liaison
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Elizabeth Myles is a Chicago-based interdisciplinary filmmaker and animator born and raised in Oklahoma City. She graduated from the University of Chicago in 2020 with a B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies. Her interest in moving images and the possibility of freedom within structured repetitive acts drives her video and animated work, which is also informed by her ongoing classical cello practice (OSAI '13, '15, '16). By combining traditional film techniques with experimental animation, her work uncovers significant themes of interior spaces and explorations of Blackness.

“Growing up as a young Oklahoman artist, OSAI has always been the place where I've felt most inspired and understood. Returning as a counselor is something I've always looked forward to so that I can experience the magic of Quartz Mountain again and support artists that find solace in this artistic oasis, just like I did when I was their age.”

Mary McLain

Mary McLain

Film & Video Liaison
Los Angeles, California

Mary McLain is a filmmaker and sandwich enthusiastic currently living in Los Angeles. When she is not at OSAI she's hiking, working and reading as much as she can. She loves movies, dogs, rocks, and trees.

“I cannot wait to meet everyone this year and soak up that Quartz Mountain sunshine (and magic).”

General Operations and Office

Burnie Conner

Burnie Conner

Store Manager/Town Runner
Edmond, Oklahoma

Raised in Edmond, Oklahoma, Burnie originally attended OSAI as a creative writing student in 2016, and again as a counselor in 2021. They have a wild passion for art, dabbling in crafts such as analog/digital collaging, making chainmail, and writing nonsensical think pieces that will never see the light of day. When they're not creating something, you can find Burnie working behind the counter at their family's taproom. Or, even more likely, you'll find them at a random concert venue in Oklahoma City, supporting all the local bands.

“OSAI is my home away from home! After the hectic last few years, I'm excited to return to the Quartz Mountain lodge proper.”

Danny Valdez

Danny Valdez

Office & Store Assistant
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Danny Valdez is a singer, actor, and educator. He currently teaches K-5 Music at Cleveland Elementary in Norman. Besides his love for performing, he loves playing board games, crafting, baking, watching TV, spending time with friends and family, but mostly cuddling with his husband. He was last at OSAI back in 2012 as a choir kid and he's glad to be coming back.

“I have always looked back fondly on those two weeks I spent at OSAI years ago, and I can't wait to create new memories. I love what OSAI is doing and I'm ready to be a part of it again.”

Kendall Ross

Kendall Ross

Front of House/Programs Manager
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Kendall is a full-time fiber artist and knitter born and raised in Oklahoma City. She earned a BA in American history from Pepperdine University. Her zodiac sign is cancer, and she loves reality TV.

“I'm so excited to work with young artists and see how they grow in their artistic disciplines!”

Kyle Shaw

Kyle Shaw

Office & Store Assistant
Tulsa, Oklahoma

Kyle is an OSAI alum (orchestra/viola 2008-2010) and has spent only one summer since 2008 not participating either as a camper, an audience member, or a counselor. Since moving to Colorado, his artistic focus has transitioned to singing, and staring with the expression of a sick Victorian child at people who talk over the conductor. He currently works as a speech-language pathologist in the public schools. Fun fact: Kyle was born in northeast Scotland!

“I'm always excited to see students grow in their art, but of course I'm especially excited to be back at Quartz Mountain this year! I'll wave to the lake, hug a cabin, maybe even give a polite nod to a centipede.”

Orchestra

Brian Dunagan

Brian Dunagan

Orchestra Liaison
Tulsa, Oklahoma

Brian Dunagan is currently a middle school orchestra teacher. His favorite things to do are baking, hiking, and biking. He attended OSAI in 2014 and 2015 as an orchestra member.

“I am excited for OSAI 2022 because I will get to watch amazing students make progress in their art form for two weeks!”

Logan Blunt

Logan Blunt

Percussion Liaison
Owasso, Oklahoma

Logan Blunt is a 2018 graduate from Owasso High School and a 2021 graduate from Northeastern State University where he received his Bachelor’s in Music with a minor in Media Studies. He attended OSAI as a percussionist in 2017 and 2018. He has marched with Carolina Crown Drum and Bugle Corps in 2019 and 2020 and with Resistance Indoor Percussion from 2019 to 2022. He is excited to serve as a counselor and the Percussion Liaison for a second year.

“I absolutely love the energy and love of the arts that is found everywhere you go on the mountain. I can't wait to once again experience the Quartz Magic!”

Mady Hendryx

Mady Hendryx

Orchestra Liaison
Edmond, Oklahoma

Mady excited to serve as a counselor and orchestra liaison this year for OSAI 2022! She recently graduated from Oklahoma State in May 2021 with a BA in Music and minors in Nonprofit Management and Sociology. Mady is also an alum of OSAI from 2014-2017 for the orchestra discipline for double bass. When not on the mountain, Mady works full time for the Oklahoma City Philharmonic as their Donor & Volunteer Relations Coordinator. She currently lives in OKC with her dog Max and likes to paint!

“I am excited for OSAI 2022 to see these talented young artists transform in all aspects throughout the two weeks! OSAI is a fantastic program that creates a space for these artists to learn more about their craft and a place for them to be authentically themselves!”

Maggie Matheny

Maggie Matheny

Orchestra Liaison
Owasso, Oklahoma

Maggie is an orchestra alum of OSAI from 2013-2015, and she has served as an orchestra liaison since 2018. When not working at OSAI, Maggie is an assistant band director for Owasso Public Schools in Owasso, Oklahoma where she primarily teaches 6th and 7th grade band students. Outside of her job in Owasso, Maggie enjoys running, cooking, playing video games, and spending time with her friends, family, and cat- Niko!

“I am SO excited for OSAI this summer because it is the first time since 2019 that we are back at the Mountain! I can't wait for our students to experience the magical atmosphere of being in this artistic utopia.”

Racquel Coleman

Raquel Coleman

Orchestra Liaison
Edmond, Oklahoma

Raquel Coleman is a graduate student at Northwestern University, currently studying harp performance. She just completed her Undergraduate Degree at the University of North Texas. Raquel was an orchestra student at OSAI for the summers of 2017 and 2018, and is absolutely elated to return as an Orchestra Liason for Summer 2022! Besides her infatuation and pursuit of a career in musical performance, Raquel enjoys doing yoga, reading, and going on adventures with her best friend, Australian shepherd, Jasper.

“I'm ecstatic for OSAI because there is nothing like the Quartz Mountain magic that comes from making art surrounded by the beauty of nature.”

Photography

Laurène Smith

Laurène Smith

Photography Liaison
Tulsa, Oklahoma

Laurène Smith attended OSAI as a photography student in the summers of 2015-2017. Afterwards, she completed a BFA with a major in photography. Although her current work focuses on photography, she is also very interested in print media and bookmaking. She currently works at an artist-run center in Montreal, helps direct an artist collective she co-founded, and is pursuing a second bachelor’s in Architecture. When she’s not working, she likes to hike, read and solve puzzles.

“I'm excited to return to Quartz Mountain and to participate in making the program the best two weeks of the students' lives! I’m also very excited to be surrounded by students and staff so passionate about the arts, and to see the students’ work develop throughout the program.”

Public Relations

Hannah Rogers

Hannah Rogers

Performance & Documentary Videographer
Tulsa, Oklahoma

Hannah is a filmmaker from Tulsa, OK. A film/video student at OSAI 2013, 2014, and 2015, this will be Hannah's fifth summer as a counselor at the Institute. In her free time, she enjoys afternoon naps with her dogs, crochet, embroidery, and roller skating.

“This year I am excited to get a closer look at all of the disciplines that I haven't been able to see as much of before as a documentary/performance videographer. I'm so ready to meet all of the talented artists attending and see the amazing work they will create!”

Josh Eliot

Josh Eliot

Performance Videographer/Town Runner/Pool Chaperone
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Josh is a filmmaker, actor, and drag queen from Oklahoma City. He attended OSAI 2016-2018 for Film and Video. He recently graduated from Oklahoma City University and is excited to see what he's going to do next in life.

“We're going to be back at Quartz! The environment is so communal and inspiring and I can't wait to see how it changes the energy of the camp this year. Everyone is going to make such great creations!”

Mike Hanisch

Mike Hanisch

Public Relations Assistant
Tulsa, Oklahoma

Mike Hanisch is an OSAI chorus alum going into his senior year at the University of Notre Dame. Mike has continued to sing in college and will serve as president of the Notre Dame Glee Club next year. He is also a songwriter and dorm room producer.

“I can't wait to get back to the Quartz Mountain magic! Plus, my little brother Noah will be in the chorus this summer, so it'll be fun to be there with him.”

Sarah Bunch

Sarah Bunch

Public Relations & Photography Assistant
Tulsa, Oklahoma

Sarah is an alumnus of OSAI 2017 (drawing and painting) and a recent graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University. They enjoy experimenting with alternative photo processes, making jewelry out of dead bugs/plants, and working with ceramics. In her free time, she loves learning about plant identification, playing board games, and going hiking. They work as a content creator for a local business when not at OSAI.

“I had a wonderful time as a student at OSAI, and I’m excited to provide a similar arts experience for incoming students!”

Site/Stage Crew

Dylan Wilson

Dylan Wilson

Site/Stage Crew
Sapulpa, Oklahoma
 
Dylan is a trumpet performance major at the University of Oklahoma. He is an avid gamer and loves to make music and binge anime. When he is not working for OSAI as a counselor, he is practicing trumpet and teaching private lessons to kids of all ages. He is an alumnus of OSAI, having performed in the orchestra in 2018 and 2019.
 
“I am so excited for OSAI 2022 because I will get to help many students on their paths to success in their art form like my OSAI counselors did for me!”

Keegan Rose

Keegan Rose

Site/Stage Crew
Bethany, Oklahoma

Keegan Rose is a 26-year old Graduate student attending the University of Central Oklahoma in pursuit of a choral conducting degree. He is an alumnus of OSAI from 2014. Keegan has performed in collegiate and professional opera, music theatre, vocal jazz, barbershop, acapella and choral performances across Oklahoma and has directed various ensembles and musical theatre shows. When not in rehearsals Keegan spends time playing disc golf and making YouTube videos.

“I am excited for Quartz because I have been looking forward to coming back in my capacity as a counselor since I attended myself. I know that the past few years have been difficult given the effects of the pandemic but as everything is opening up I believe now if the perfect time to take a breath and enrich our lives by making meaningful connections through music.”

Mary Hill

Mary Hill

Site/Stage Crew
Waynoka, Oklahoma

This is Mary's 7th summer as a counselor at OSAI. Her alma mater is Edmond North High School and she is an alumna of The University of Oklahoma, where she was on the OU Drumline and in the Percussion Studio. Mary has taught band & general music for 6 years at Putnam City, Piedmont, and Timberlake Public Schools, and will beginning her 7th year teaching band & choir at Waynoka Public Schools. When Mary isn't at OSAI or teaching, she enjoys painting, gardening, visiting museums, and spending time with her husband, Weston, and their cocker spaniel, Rebel.

“I am extremely excited to be back at OSAI at its home at Quartz Mountain! I can't wait to walk across the bridge to the PAC to find it packed with campers and performances, once again!”

Tyler Zwink

Tyler Zwink

Site/Stage Crew
Woodward, Oklahoma

Tyler Zwink is a Vocal Music Education and Composition student at the University of Central Oklahoma. He hopes to continue writing music through graduate studies, and has had three of his operas performed. He was a chorus discipline OSAI camper from 2017-2019, and hopes to continues working with the program that set him up for a future career in music. He likes bowling, trading card games, and video games.

“I am excited for OSAI because I want to help work for the organization that set me on a path for a career in music, as well as continue to create more art!”