Probably most indicative of his work and its technique is Mr. Ehrich's statement, "My material is a living substance to me." Professor Ehrich deems himself a modern classicist, and, as such, believes in a basic simplicity yet desires to explore with the time in his sculpting. The noted sculptor feels that direct carving is of the greatest importance to him, and working with wood and many varied types of stone offers a medium which presents a certain responsibility to the artist. Here the individual must utilize every action, as it cannot be corrected. Among the many types of materials used are basswood, cherrywood, mahogany, black marble, alabaster, and fieldstone.
Although the showing covers a period of twenty years of the artist's work, there are certain pieces which are Professor Ehrich's favorites. These include the Prodigal Son, done in fieldstone, Adolescence, in terra cotta, and Night, again of the striking fieldstone.
Mr. Ehrich, a native of Germany, where he received his basic art training, previously taught in Buffalo's Art Institute, and was director of the Federal Art Project. For over twenty years, he has been noted as a distinguished leader in the art field of the University and the Rochester region. Mr. Ehrich's work has been exhibited in many showings, both one man and group, and many of his pieces are found in valued places in private and public collections. As a sculptor and teacher, he has been the recipient of many honors and awards for his contributions in his art.
Professor Ehrich believes that one of his greatest pleasures is the instruction of students interested in the fine arts. He particularly enjoys the smaller classes, as these afford a chance to work directly with the student. Although the chances of finding a truly great artist may be considered 500 to 1, the opportunity to enrich oneself and gain inner satisfaction are just as valuable in the eyes of Professor Ehrich. During his service as a faculty member, he has also been instrumental in bringing various features such as a foundry to the art student. Here the more notable student works may be cast in bronze.
Anyone spending the small amount of time required to study William Ehrich's work on exhibit will find it highly rewarding, whether a real student of the art, or just a casual observer.