The Oklahoma Arts Institute is a private, nonprofit organization developed in 1977, with a mission to provide exceptional multidisciplinary arts experiences that develop individual talent and inspire a lifelong passion for the arts. OAI administers a program for talented Oklahoma youth every June and a series of continuing education workshops for adults every fall.
Following are 10 biographies of the 41 Edmond-area students who attended the prestigious Summer Arts Institute. The students worked with award-winning artists in nine areas of the literary, visual and performing arts. Biographies will be published in each Tuesday MidWeek and Saturday Weekender edition of The Sun through July.
Irene Markovna Mann
Edmond student Irene Markovna Mann, 18, graduated from the Classen High School of Advanced Studies in May. This is her third year to attend the Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute in the discipline of ballet.
Irene said when she attends OSAI all she has to think of is her art.
“People at the institute love and accept what needs to be done in order to articulate their art,” Irene said, “and everyone learns from each other and everyone is very open and honest and true to themselves.”
Irene said she experiences new feelings and ideas that help her feel stable when all of her emotions come while at OSAI. She also finds new approaches to accepting and working on who she is as an artist.
“I am looking forward to getting to know everyone and getting to make lifelong friendships. I am looking forward to the strength and happenings I will face. I am looking forward to going home for my soul.”
Irene said in 10 years she wants to be doing something she loves and doing exactly what she needs to do, the things she loves.
“Art is a way to make life longer,” Irene said. “It’s experiencing with the soul and the subconscious and it’s a way to love life and appreciate things that really speak to others in such powerful ways.”