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Eric L Bellmann died October 16, 2021 at the age of 81. He leaves behind many loving friends and his beloved cat, Walter. Eric was a native of Rochester, NY. A gifted and successful artist throughout his life, Eric won numerous prizes and awards. His work can be seen in over 50 public collections, including the Memorial Art Gallery. He was commissioned to do work for the Rochester Philharmonic, RIT, and Xerox, among others and has been included in dozens of exhibitions from W. Virginia to France. A tenured professor at RIT, he also served as Chairperson of Art, Design, and Crafts in the College of Continuing Education for 12 years. Early on, Eric taught and later volunteered in Rochester City Schools among others. He loved teaching young children at Memorial Art Gallery’s Creative Workshop.
In addition to being a highly successful artist, Eric was a gifted writer. His column “Growing Up” in the Empty Closet ran for over 27 years (now archived and accessible digitally at UR) is funny, boldly honest, insightful. A lover of film, Eric appreciated the work of unknown artists and once found himself with a possible job offer from Andy Warhol. Throughout his life Eric continually re-created and transformed himself. He embraced sobriety and became an active member of AA for 34 years. He came out without fear. He traveled, honed new crafts from art he was inspired by. His life of beauty and transformation continued into his last 20 years. Disciplined, every morning Eric sat in meditation. He attended workshops and retreats, some affiliated with Thich Nhat Hanh. He found due to true love, a Dharma teacher, his communities, and his cat, that like the Grinch, his “heart grew.” He developed new art techniques into his late 70’s.
Eric’s body will be interred at White Haven Memorial Park in Pittsford, NY (Green Burial section). A Memorial Gathering to celebrate and honor his life is being planned, more information will be posted here once it is available.
Lieu of Flowers, contributions may be made to Doctors Without Borders USA, P.O. Box 5030, Hagerstown, MD 21741-5030 DONATE ONLINE