Istvan Gallery celebrates second anniversary

In the art industry, nothing is as simple as it seems, and Stephen Kovash will be the first to admit it. As the owner of Istvan Gallery, 1218 N. Western, he is all too familiar with the ups and downs of running a successful business. But on Friday, he will celebrate triumph in a drained economy as his gallery marks its second anniversary.

"Basically, I'm just hangin' in there," Kovash said with a laugh. "I've been working the art world my whole life."

The gallery will feature local artists Suzanne Thomas and Billy Reid at an anniversary reception from 6 to 10 p.m. Kovash said he chose their works because he recently discovered astounding pieces by both. Thomas is an art professor at Rose State College, while Reid is an emerging artist from Norman.

Both are incredibly different, but Kovash said the colors and primitive nature of their work complement each other.

Prior to opening the current gallery on Western, Kovash owned and operated various art spaces throughout the  metro. He also works for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, where he does grant work.

"I'm hardheaded, and you put all those together, and it's a perseverance kind of thing," he said.

For the anniversary show, he worked closely with Thomas and Reid to decide on which pieces to showcase and where to hang them. Kovash said he likes to work with exhibiting artists this way, rather than simply placing their work on his gallery walls. He said the concept has evolved over the last couple years as he's learned to discuss his vision with the artist in an attempt to parallel two ideas. His years in the art world have taught him organization and, more importantly, patience.

"Trying to manage artists is like the old, clich

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