native of Wildwood, New Jersey, Rik is a self-taught artist who credits
copying the Sunday Funnies, especially "Terry and the Pirates," and the
covers of the Saturday Evening Post, for his early art training.
After graduating from high school, Rik was a staff artist for a weekly
newspaper until enlisting in the US Navy in 1951. During his naval
career, he was a journalist, creating training aids and various cartoons
and illustrations for the Norfolk Naval Base newspaper.
While in the Navy, he did stage work as an actor with the base players and
decided to pursue an acting career. He attended Pasadena Playhouse
School of Dramatics in California upon discharge. He discovered he
had a voice for singing in grand opera and began serious study with
private teachers. He returned to Philadelphia in 1962 and sang major
roles with the semi-professional Rittenhouse Opera Company.
Over the years, Rik never abandoned his "drawing board" and continued
working as a Commercial Artist and as a cartoonist-illustrator for the old
Philadelphia Bulletin, creating a daily cartoon for a feature entitled,
Later, he was the creative/art director for a Cherry Hill, NJ advertising
agency creating campaigns for various commercial clients throughout
Southern New Jersey.
In 1972, he entered his first public art exhibit in New Jersey at the
Batso Village Art Show, taking second place for his gouache painting of
the Governor's Mansion in the village. His solo show at the
Frameworks, Ltd. Gallery in October 1987 included his wildlife acrylics
and samplings of his illustration and cartooning works.
Other exhibits followed, including the Easton Gallery in PA, and various
Wildlife Shows throughout the Mid-Atlantic states and at the NJ Department
of Environmental Protection offices in Trenton. He has received
various awards for his work, most recently in the Camden County, NJ Senior
Citizen Annual Juried Show where he garnered First Place.
Rik is a member of the Ocean City, NJ Art Center, Philadelphia Sketch
Club, The New Jersey Water Color Society, the Millville, NJ Renaissance
Art Center, The Cape May County Art League, The Center for the Arts in Marlton, NJ and the prestigious
International Guild of Realism. He also participates in various
shows with Southern New Jersey art organizations.