News & Community

Reflections on OFAI 2022

October 31, 2022

Since the very first Oklahoma Fall Arts Institute (OFAI) took place in 1983, artists and educators have flocked to Quartz Mountain for the opportunity to learn from internationally renowned teaching artists and forge connections with their peers from across the state. From seasoned professionals looking to sharpen their skills to novice teachers hoping to take some tips back to the classroom, OFAI offers an abundance of opportunities for growth and renewal.

But why take our word for it? Keep reading to find out how OFAI 2022 provided inspiration and community to this year's participants.

“It was an amazing, therapeutic respite for me as a busy, often stressed educator. It was wonderful getting to know others in the same profession — rubbing shoulders while working on art projects felt amazing. Additionally, I learned new art techniques and mediums and felt incredibly inspired by the creative writing we tapped into. I’m more motivated to work on new writing projects with students and incorporating a bit of the art I learned.”

Elizabeth Wiley, Fall Flutter Book (Oklahoma City)

“Attending OFAI not only empowered me to keep practicing my art but also encouraged me to be a positive role model for my students and colleagues. OFAI always rejuvenates me in a way that helps me mentally and emotionally at a time when I have such a demanding schedule.”

Lynise Parrish, Photographing People (Madill)

“I have not had a personal break since before Covid. With all of the other new and stressful aspects of teaching, my own artistic self has suffered. This was a time for me to rebuild my own artistic self and have a restorative time as well as sharing with others who are art teachers. It blessed me in so many ways. This is the VERY best art workshops place I have ever attended.”

Julana Winegarten, Plein Air and Pastel Made Simple (Tulsa)

“OFAI is truly an art educator’s dream. The workshop itself provides invaluable skills taught by masters in their fields of art and the ability to meet, have discussions with, and collaborate with art teachers across the state is absolutely priceless. The entire experience was fantastic. It truly must be the crown jewel among art education workshops across the state and perhaps even across the country.”

Blake Dean, Observational and Expressive Figure & Portrait Drawing (Bixby)

“Every time I have attended OFAI it has marked me as an educator and an individual. I leave a little better. I take back ideas and the excitement to my students. It’s wonderful to see a love for the arts blossom in them just from the experiences I encounter at OFAI.”

Toni Newton, Musical Theatre: From Choosing a Production to Curtain Call (Mountain View)

“I don't remember the last time I felt so relaxed and stress free. As a mother of 3 and a teacher I wondered if that was ever possible. I was pleasantly surprised how wonderful it was to be around other creative people that were passionate and driven in what they do. I feel like I grew as a person and am better for just attending OAI.”

Stacey Roach, Visual Thinking Strategies (Marietta)

"The feeling of elation that comes over me in all of the activities gives me chills and tears of joy! The philosophies of artists are incomparable. They look at life in a very sophisticated and creative way. I have so much joy when I come here that it carries over into my classroom."

– Trey Hays, Delight Your Senses: Music, Movement, Language and Art (Tishomingo)

“Besides feeding my soul by being in such a beautiful area and being surrounded by other artists and educators, OFAI always offers courses that inspire me. Ceramics: Focus on the Face has lit a fire in me that makes me jump out of bed in anticipation of sharing what I learned with my students. They can't wait for our next clay project, and neither can I... I feel honored, respected, and more equipped to return to the classroom and be my best.”

Kathleen Kendall Walker, Ceramics: Focus on the Face (Mannford)

“I may not be an art teacher, but I truly feel like an artist when I get this opportunity to craft and access to tools and mediums I haven't the money or knowledge to select on my own… When you combine the quality of instructors I have been privileged to learn from over the years with the tranquil setting Quartz Mountain provides, I cannot help but get in touch with the creativity and passion I so often feel I have lost. Where else could we have this experience? Quite simply, nowhere else.”

Heather Smith, Paper, Fiber, Stitch and the Mind/Body Connection (Lawton)


For more on the 2022 Oklahoma Fall Arts Institute workshops for adult artists and educators, click here.

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