Large crowds of visitors from near and far prevailed on March 10, 2019 in the ANNELIESE DESCHAUER Gallery for the festive exhibition opening of “Pictures by Heidi Ritz (1942-1980) from Geisa”.
Emotional memories of popular art teacher
The popular teacher of art education at the Polytechnische Oberschule Geisa fell victim to a violent crime on November 24, 1979, which is still incomprehensible today, and she died as a result.
Many family members, former teacher colleagues as well as students of the teacher, who died about 40 years ago, came to the vernissage. At the opening of the exhibition, the sympathetic and unforgotten teacher, who painted numerous pictures with town views of Geisa, nature and landscapes of our Rhön homeland in her spare time, was remembered with dignity. There was a review of her life and her artistic creative phases. The sponsoring association under the chairmanship of mayor Martin Henkel and Dagmar Nicklich as 2nd chairwoman had invited.
Artistic achievements honored
The 2nd chairwoman of the sponsoring association, Dagmar Nicklich, was pleased with the good presentation of the pictures and exhibits by Heidi Ritz. He said this was also a tribute to her artistic achievements after so many years. The exhibited paintings are only a small part of her extensive work as a painter.
Contemporary witnesses remembered
In her eyewitness account, former student Beate Sennhenn spoke movingly: “Mrs. Heidi Ritz had the gift of awakening abilities in her students in a pedagogical, human way that was ahead of her time, abilities that they themselves did not even know they possessed.” She went on to describe, “My drawing teacher was gentle, approachable, inspiring, encouraging, kind, pretty, always stylishly dressed. Her creative hand skills and legacy remain and live on in my work; Heidi Ritz continues to be a role model for me today.”
Highly esteemed teacher
Former student Astrid Bein remembers her beloved teacher fondly, even after 50 years. Heidi Ritz had said, “Look at things carefully. Do you see the small details? Feel free to touch the object. How does it feel to you? Grasp it with all your senses. And then put your ideas, shapes and colors on paper. Give shape to your imagination. Do not be sparing with colors. Use also the intermediate tones. Tell a story with your picture. Nothing can be wrong with what you do. Find your personal style.” In closing, the former student summed up, “Heidi Ritz was a style icon for me; she was a fascinating woman and loving teacher whom I greatly admired and appreciated.”
On behalf of the Wilhelm Ritz family, presenter Sylvia Möller thanked Heidi Ritz for her appreciation and tribute. In conclusion, a cordial invitation went to visit the exhibition on two levels of the gallery. In the basement of the gallery, the members of the Friends had lovingly set up a small “artists’ café” and invited visitors to enjoy coffee and homemade cake, which was very well received by the visitors.
The violin duet Magdalene Schmidt-Schindler from Ostheim/Rhön, violin teacher at the Wartburgkreis Music School, and her student Sarah Henkel from Kranlucken provided the musical accompaniment. The two musicians skillfully performed classical pieces from the 18th century and received great applause.