VERMILLION, S.D. -- Twenty high school students with an interest in the visual arts and Native American culture are taking part in the Oscar Howe Summer Art Institute (OHSAI) this week at the University of South Dakota’s campus.
This year’s institute runs through June 17 and will give the participants a closer look into the work of notable American Indian Northern Plains artist and former USD professor Oscar Howe.
Professional Northern Plains artists and instructors such as Don Montileaux, Marwin Begaye, Bunky Echo-Hawk and Roger Broer will teach workshops that focus on Native American history and culture. Students attend drawing, painting, printmaking, photography, cultural studies and art history classes for multiple hours per day to concentrate on assignments and explore their talents. The workshops are housed in the Warren M. Lee Center for the Fine Arts studios, providing participants with all the art equipment and resources a major university has to offer.
OHSAI participants, who must be in grades 10-12, are chosen based on an application, a letter of reference, and a portfolio of artwork. Those chosen then attend for free and receive a holistic campus and community experience including on-campus housing and meals, field trips to area museums and cultural facilities, and a final honoring ceremony, gallery exhibition and sale of student artworks that is open to the public. The institute, founded to educate the next generation of Native American artists, provides its participants a first glimpse into their artistic future.