Archive for January 7, 2010

Always me – Always Chris

artwork Chris RITCHEY

In search of my son series
No.1- No. 2

It is no wonder the college remembers you. I received a lovely note from the Cleveland Institute of Art, part of which reads:

“Chris had left a great impression on all of us at CIA over his school years and we were proud of his accomplishments professionally as well.”

Cleveland Addy Awards

I am sure you did leave an impression. There was that time you were very upset about a painting grade that you felt was unfair. You used your talent to enter into a project where , if you won, you could place your entry anywhere on the college.

You did a full size body cast of yourself , sitting slumped on a floor with the broken painting across your knee – dressed in jeans and a hooded sweatshirt pulled over the face, empty beer cans strewn about .

When the project won you had it placed outside the painting instructor’s office .

And there was the time not so very long ago , when I got the call

I am having to put a few hundred dollars on your credit card for lumber and dry wall!


“Well the college admin took away our display space for our show and gave it to one of the other majors so I am building my own display area”

I remember saying :
Oh! Chris do you think that is wise?

“Yes! I am supposed to be promoting myself to employers , to stand out , well I am only doing what they have taught me”

Little did I know or the college that Chris trucked in 2 by 4s, dry wall paint and carpet and built an office/reception/studio space right in the middle of the display floor.

He spent all night building it and surprised the “powers that be” and the student body .

Of course, he had to take it all down after the show, but other students then picked up on it and built their own display areas ( only out of cardboard) and me I was out a few hundred bucks but I was so damned proud of your guts and fight !

Someone asked me about my decision to take this route ( as I am not going quietly into the night with my grief and anger- obviously) :

Honestly answer would your son agree with what you are doing ? Answer honestly “

In my 2nd guessing state that I was in -I answered

“He would understand why I was doing it “

That is not what I asked !

came the reply

So now here is my answer after exploring my son’s work and searching for that answer :

I would say YES!!!! He would expect nothing else as he knew who I am and he would be right there with me.

The essence of who Chris was did not change because of Cancer or H1N1 or anything or anyone else. He was Chris and he still speaks.
My birthday card ( designed by Chris) the year I fought the selling of Lorain’s 200-year-old park.

to be continued……

January 7, 2010 at 12:01 am 7 comments



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January 2010