Ayrshire College team pay tribute to beloved colleague with Ron McLean Award for Photography

Ayrshire College team pay tribute to beloved colleague with Ron McLean Award for Photography

Ayrshire College's Art, Design, and Media department paid special tribute to their late colleague, Ron McLean, during their end of year show.

Ron was a much-loved photography lecturer who died earlier this year after a brave battle with cancer, and the loss of Ron left a profound impact on the Ayrshire College community.

Determined to honour his memory, the staff decided to establish an annual award that celebrates both the man and the passion he held for his craft.

The inaugural Ron McLean Award for Photography was handed out at the end of year show to HNC student Eleanor Shirkie, a deserving recipient who has been influenced by Ron’s teachings since starting on a Level 5 Photography course.

Johnnie O’Byrne, Curriculum Manager for Art, Design and Media at Ayrshire College, said: “If we forget about the facts of him being a wonderful photographer, an excellent lecturer and his genuine commitment to his students and the College, we are still left with the plain and simple fact that he was a beautiful person, loved by his colleagues and those he taught. We couldn’t let that go quietly.

“Ron was very impressed by Eleanor’s early work, and his guidance and support through her classes at levels 5 and 6 meant she was well prepared to continue, as she did, to great success at HNC. We’re all very excited to see what she can do in her HND.

“Her winning, besides her obvious skill in photography, is especially apt as she also embodies many of the wonderful qualities of Ron himself: generosity, kindness and a gentle spirit. It was very touching to see her so moved by the award.”

The Ron McLean Award for Photography will be an enduring testament to Ron's legacy and his invaluable contributions to Ayrshire College. Each year, this award will recognise exceptional talent in photography, keeping alive the memory of a cherished colleague who left an indelible mark on the lives of those he taught and worked alongside.

18 July 2023

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