Rake leaves. �Carve pumpkins. �Bake pies. �Create art? This fall, eight Ada residents added a weekend of intensive artistic study to their usual checklist of fall activities. �LaNelda Carson, Lori M. Gray, Trina Jones, Kelley Lunsford, Fred Patrizi, Maureen Patrizi, Tina Vercelli and Rodd Wellington attended the Oklahoma Fall Arts Institute at Quartz Mountain (OFAI), a series of weekend retreats for adults taught by master artists in the literary, visual and performing arts.

�I hope to share what I learn at OFAI with all of my students so they can better appreciate their Native American culture,� said Vercelli, a visual arts teacher at Byng Junior High and Byng High School.

Vercelli participated in an OFAI Southeast Native American Basketry workshop.

OFAI gives Oklahomans a chance to study with nationally-renowned artists and stay close to home. �True beginners and professional artists alike can find OFAI workshops that fit their expertise and interests in a variety of classes, including painting, photography, printmaking, writing, dancing, storytelling, choir, theater, and arts integration. �OFAI is held at the Quartz Mountain Arts and Conference Center and state park in southwest Oklahoma.

�I am looking forward to participating in this workshop. �I hope to learn more about the dance sport program and be able to implement the art form of dance into our school curriculum,� said Maureen Patrizi, a counselor at Bowlegs School.

Patrizi participated in the Southeast Native American Basketry workshop taught by Peggy Sanders Brennan of Edmond. Participants learned the traditions of native basketry and completed a Southeastern Indian corn holder basket. Sanders Brennan, a Cherokee Nation member, is the founder of the Oklahoma Native American Basketweavers Association.

The other Ada residents participated in the following classes:

Rodd Wellington � �American Indian Literature and Films of Oklahoma� with Dr. LeAnne Howe

Trina Jones � �Photographing People� with Dennis Darling

LaNelda Carson and Fred Patrizi� �DanceSport� with Amanda Horne

Lori Gray � �Arts Integration� with Sadler Arts Academy Faculty

Kelley Lunsford � �Expressive Monotype� with Marwin Begaye

All Oklahoma public schoolteachers automatically receive full scholarships to attend OFAI, including tuition, room and board. �Ada teachers were sponsored by the Oklahoma State Department of Education, the Oklahoma Arts Council, the BancFirst Charitable Foundation, ConocoPhillips, the Pauline Dwyer Macklanburg and Robert A. Macklanburg, Jr., Foundation, the Sarkeys Foundation and Chesapeake Energy Corporation. �

The Oklahoma Arts Institute is a private, non-profit organization developed in 1976, with a vision to cultivate established and emerging artists and educators through art workshops, immersion and awareness. OAI administers a fine arts program for talented Oklahoma youth and a series of continuing education workshops for adults.