Randi Ehrhart, North Adams Member Since October 2009 Artist Statement FRANK JOHN EHRHART 4/28/47 – 4/21/09
For me it was love at first sight. For the next thirty seven years I was Frank’s sweetheart. For thirty seven years I never analyzed his character. I absolutely idolized and adored him. Every minute he showed me by his actions that the feeling was mutual. When I met him he was already deeply engaged in active inner work. This work of consciousness, to awaken, to become, to learn to do, was to be the foundation of our relationship. Love was to be the catalyst. For this aim of mutual perfection a supreme conscious effort was required. Trusting to chance was not an option. He challenged me early on to consider seriously that I would need to want this for my own development.
Frank was an enigma. He remained so all of his life. You really couldn’t say you ever understood his nature. He was full of strange and amazing contrasts. Stoic to the outside world, like an island he was self contained, yet the truth is he was extraordinarily passionate. There was nothing superficial or frivolous about him, he was very deep, and it is only now that I realize this made him a difficult personality, a difficult mate. Luckily I was well designed in my own nature not to notice. What may have appeared to most as his trait of intractability, appeared to me to be a quality which was the equivalent of phenomenal, it was indicative of his focus, of his will. I believe my instincts were correct.
For himself, he was an unrelenting taskmaster. Uncompromising with himself, showing dogged determination and persistence in all of his undertakings. He was an autodidact extraordinaire. A brilliant strategist with keen intelligence, he set goals and plotted a course from which he would not easily deviate. After many trials and attempting many methods he would determine that no progress followed his efforts so he would devise a new course of action. From musician to artist to jeweler he became very accomplished.
He was rational to the core, logical, mentally dispassionate. He was clear-sighted like the diamonds he worked with. He was self directed and self determined. His powers of concentration were like a laser. He was extraordinarily patient and persevering, yet at times spontaneous and seemingly impulsive. He was a mystery, often exhibiting the most unpredictable reactions. He was an existential realist to his death, though he sought the miraculous.
He was extremely noble, completely honest, so generous, independent, hardworking and ambitious without being greedy. He detested small mindedness, pettiness, narrowness, dogma. He hated cruelty, discrimination, injustice and oppression in any form. He was very sensitive to pain and suffering and was very empathetic and compassionate. He was extremely broadminded, his horizons had no limit. He always rooted for the underdog. He was non violent and peaceful by nature but he stood up against injustice. He fought a powerful bank pro-se and had a law changed. He fought an unconstitutional curfew law and had it retracted. He defended his children’s rights, he was fearless when necessary, and he fought his fights using great intelligence and argument, and always remained above board.
As the father of three sons, Frank was joyful, enthusiastic, protective, and engaging. When they were little he delighted in his progeny, when they turned to adolescence he was patient, understanding and accepting. As grown men they ultimately know their dad’s love was for them and for life. He discussed everything with them, argued with them constantly. Ours was a noisy home because he cared. He cared for all of us probably more than we cared for ourselves. He expected a lot from those he loved but he also easily accepted our failings. He was always there for us, he didn’t let us down, he gave all he had to us and for us.
Because he was so private and self contained, the outside world did not see the man his family knew. How he had the most infectious belly laugh, how hard and often he laughed, an