Do you draw, paint, carve in wood, make jewelry, sew or quilt, or do ceramics? Have you traveled to some interesting country and have a few pictures to show off? Do you collect something interesting? A visual arts exhibit will be held as part of the Old OHS Forever Reunion Weekend, June 25-27. The exhibit will be chance for OHS alumni to share their passion for visual arts with classmates and friends.
Carol Frey Kovacs, OHS Class of 1953, will be coordinating the exhibit.
“I thought that we needed some other places to gather, meet, greet, and discuss things of interest. It (Art Exhibit) will be fun for anyone of any age. Everyone likes to share their passion for creating things of beauty. …or places they found to go visit,” shared Kovacs who did not have the benefit of an art program during her years at Orrville High School.
“I can only remember one art class in Jr High. I made and etched a copper bracelet. There was no art class after that,” commented Kovacs.
Kovacs interest in art began in childhood watching her commercial artist father, Harry Frey, OHS graduate of the 1930’s, draw pen and ink illustrations for a hardware catalog. Frey also drew one of the early designs for the Red Rider logo.
In high school during the early 1950’s, Kovacs became the one who was expected to make posters for events, stage settings and yearbooks.
“When the drama dept. performed the Mikado, I painted Mt. Fujiyama on set backdrops. At our graduation, I painted Niagara Falls on a canvas curtain that went clear across the stage,” remembered Kovacs. “The late Donna Fry Hartnett and I both talked of going to art school when we graduated and wrote about our interests in each other’s yearbook. “
Kovacs wanted to go to the Chicago Art Institute but money was an issue. She accepted a scholarship to Ohio University for two years to become an elementary school teacher. The core curriculum included extra hours of art and music.
Fourteen years, and 5 children later, she earned her Bachelor of Science in Education and a minor in Art from The University of Akron.
As a house wife, Kovacs joined a small art club in West Richfield, OH (north of Akron) and learned a lot from seminars and private instruction there.
“When some of my pieces were sold and I won a couple ribbons, I was encouraged to keep on painting,” remarked Kovacs.
For the next 40 years, Kovacs experimented with all media and crafts just having fun with it as a hobby. She moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico in 1988 where her father, Harry Frey, was a commercial artist.
“Dad and I started painting together and entered shows. He was much better than I will ever be,” commented Kovacs. “We had a friendly rivalry in those days. I have always been awestruck by his amazing talent. He never quit taking classes with other teachers throughout his life.”
In 2005, Kovacs moved to McKinney, TX to be close to one of her daughters and family. She found an art club there and decided retirement would be a great time to paint and work on other hobbies such as needlework, quilting, rug hooking, and embroidery. She is currently president of the Art Club of McKinney and learning how to do stained glass pieces.