Cleveland Institute of Art- Chris Ritchey Scholarship -Year Two

November 9, 2011 at 12:53 pm 5 comments

Self (CIA Window) Chris Ritchey

October 6th 2011– As with the year before, I received the invitation to meet with the recipient of the CIA Scholarship in Chris’s name for the student that shows , tenacity, diversity , and stands behind their work no matter how controversial at the Cleveland Institute of Art.

Last year , I wrote how hard it was to drive into the parking lot and walk the corridors.

This year the event was changed to the Joseph McCullough Center. It was the very place where we had attended so many of the student shows during Chris’s 5 years -it was the place where his growth as a student was measured by his peers, friends and family finally realized with his BFA presentation.

Oh! it has been freshly painted and remodelled but the bones were still there, the scuff marks on the floor where numerous displays over the years had been set up still visible as they await the next remodelling phase.

This year just Nikki and I attended – Gavin probably would have thought it would be a great place to be a 2 1/2 year old but I am not sure CIA was quite ready of “this year’s Gavin” –

and quite frankly the reminders of happiness at CIA and our loss is very difficult for Chris’s Dad and Nana.

I geared myself up for a week, like some competitor running a race in my minds’ eye running the course beforehand – visualizing the pitfalls and areas of emotional danger along the route.

But no matter how you prepare there is always the unexpected. The large area that was open in Chris time was partitioned off now , which made it easier. Nikki and I helped ourselves to the refreshments as we waited to be introduced to Andrew Frank.

We distanced ourselves a little from the crowd, emotional incontinence is not something you want to share with those enjoying the evening.

As we took our chairs by the window I noticed the large pillar in front of us and realized it was the spot that Chris had built his
“display area” the marks were still there.

My eyes filling with tears I turned away to look out the window to take a deep breath and looked straight out at his old apartment when he first went to CIA.

The apartment was part of the college at that time, I remember that first moving in day, his room had the balcony that overlooked the cul-de-sac. From the balcony we could see and hear students from the music school as they too were moving in , along the row were musicians, artists, youth , eagerness, expectation joy and life in all its creative colours. I sat on the ledge with Chris that morning and said-

Chris, you are so fortunate to be here amongst all of this creativity – I so envy you – – enjoy it all – immerse yourself – this time will not come again.

I believe he did enjoy himself and I am so glad he had those years of creativity- they mean so much now. He made a documentary short film on that balcony, I found it a few months ago – A view from the beer bottle” as the “student” imbibed and crawled to the bathroom, the sights along the way- One day I may post if I can figure out how 🙂

Andrew Frank and Nikki

As I wiped my tears and turned back to the room a young smiling face approached Andrew Frank- he was a joy to talk to and very patient with this emotionally incontinent mother. He listened patiently to the anecdotes about Chris and CIA and he shared his creativity .

I know Chris would once again have been pleased at the choice of this year’s recipient and once again there will thanks to the generosity of readers , Chris family and friends there will be another recipient next year and in my son’s name creativity will be enabled and legacy continued…….

If you would like to contribute to the Christopher Ritchey Memorial Scholarship at CIA please do so by sending the check to :
Attn M. Kinsella
Cleveland Institute of Art,
11141 East Boulevard,
Cleveland, OH 44106

mark Chris Ritchey Memorial Scholarship

Entry filed under: Chris Ritchey, education, Love. Tags: , , , .

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November 2011

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