“TOGETHER AGAIN”: A TRIBUTE TO THE LATE CINDY FRITZ THE COMMISSION AND HOW IT CAME TO BE The Buckeye Lake Region Chamber of Commerce Winterfest Art Show has graced me with meeting a lot of cool new people. This past January, before the world screeched to a halt, was no exception. On January 25th, 2020 I met Stephanie Fritz. She bought a print from me that I had sold out of. We exchanged information to arrange for a pick-up after the show. Stephanie later came to my gallery to get her print. While there, she handed me a snap shot of 3 people who were together on a trip to Key West. The three people were Stephanie, her husband and her sister-in-law, Cindy. She asked me to paint a likeness of the picture.

BACKSTORY OF COMMISSION: CINDY FRITZ: When Stephanie commissioned this painting of herself, her husband and her sister-in-law, Cindy, she explained that Cindy (sister-in-law) had been killed. I was unaware at the time that this tragedy was actually in the news a little over a year ago. After hearing the story, I remembered seeing the news piece on TV. Cindy had gone to the Diley Road Medical Center in Pickerington, Ohio for non-life threatening reasons. While waiting for treatment, someone slammed their car into the medical center waiting area. One hospital employee was killed and Cindy passed a few days later. As they say, in the blink of an eye, this precious lady was gone. Stephanie had sent me a link to the news report. Her friends and family testify that Cindy was a beautiful human. She was described as woman FULL of compassion, generosity and the ability to unite people even beyond her passing. Stephanie says of the snap shot that the people in it were here two favorite people in the world and it was a happy time spent in Key West. She loves and misses Cindy deeply.

CONCLUSION: IN MY OWN WORDS When invited to do this work, I was apprehensive. I knew this snapshot was so much more than just a vacation picture. It was a very shining moment in time. A way that Stephanie wanted to remember her beloved Cindy. Commissions, a little like tattoos, have reasons for coming into being. A person wants to hold on to something so dear to them. Commemorate a person, place or thing that made a difference in their lives. It may be a landmark of surviving something, it may be a glimpse of how life was better for them because of the subject matter or it may be just as I said above. A sweet moment in time. Though one person from this picture is gone, this is Stephanie’s way of putting them back “Together Again”. Rest in Peace Cindy Fritz. I never had the pleasure of meeting you, but am nevertheless blessed by even getting to hear about your “shine”. May your legacy live on through everyone you touched. Thank you for reading. If you care to read past blogs, just go to www.smithgirlarts.com. If you are interested in a commissioning a moment in time, PM me. Happy Easter g Left to Right: Cindy, Richard and Stephanie.