We lost a large piece of our arts community recently, with the passing of my dear friend, A. Eric Arctander.
Eric was an artist, a poet, a partner and a friend and I will miss him every day. I share with you the following, as a way for you to know him, too, and reluctantly wish him a fond “Adieu” ~
During the night some of the mountains moved. Presumably to higher ground.
Now our valley seemed so low, but it still looked like home. It is where my family has been for generations. Only my grandmother was an outsider. She came from another valley. All her life she would regale us with the marvels of her valley. Like ours, it had a river dividing it and thus, like us, there are people from the other side. I have never been there as the journey is both dangerous and boring.
When I was a child the most extraordinary event occurred. A plane landed in our valley. The glittering wings stacked upon wings stood out among the cows in the field. Although foul smelling, the pilot was a dashing figure in a white scarf. Where he came from and where he was going was a mystery to all. And because he spoke French it was never learned. I knew then what my destiny was to be. To Fly! To fly from valley to valley.
In my life, however, I have not been bitter or disappointed that such a fate would elude me (although I continue to study French). So it was that I came to be an artist. And still I paint those valleys of my dreams and take flight over distant mountains.
~ A. Eric Arctander
Executive Director & President
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Putnam Arts Council
P.O. Box 156
Mahopac, NY 10541