Del Mar man’s 7-foot sculpture wins ‘Best in Show’ in national art competition

Del Mar artist Richard “Rick” Frederick with his award-winning sculpture “Splash.”

By Claire Harlin

Del Mar artist Richard “Rick” Frederick won “Best of Show” this summer in a national art competition judged by 16 museum curators.

His three-dimensional sculpture, “Splash,” which stands 7 feet tall, stole the show with its flowing, nature-inspired teardrop shapes made from stainless steel and glass.

“It’s just incredible for him to be acknowledged for a piece that was blood, sweat and tears to make,” said Frederick’s wife, Tory, adding that he worked on the sculpture for about two years. During that time, she gave birth to their now 3-year-old daughter Breezy.

Frederick, who graduated in 1981 from San Diego State University with a degree in art, said the sculptural marriage of steel and glass has always intrigued him because it carries strength and mass, and its “temporal tones define color sublets of mirror reflections of the sculpture’s surroundings.”

Frederick_Richard_Splash1“Glass is fluid, bold and fragile,” he said. “It carries the ability to refract light and confuse the eye with a depth of color and suspended space. It can act as a window into something unseen, present a bold visual statement or hide behind the reflective ghost of its environment.”

The work of art is the first in a series of water-themed sculptures that Frederick has designed, said the artist, who has aspired to be an artist from an early age.

He was taught by his father to draw and paint, and he started taking on art jobs as early as high school. He painted signs, murals, did airbrushing, worked as a draftsman and performed design and layout work for some local shops. At 14, he was cutting and welding coffee cans to make sculpture.

“That was my first experience creating sculpture and one that influenced my entire life,” he said.

The inspiration for his most recent work was shapes derived from nature — “a visual quest to entice the viewer to look through, behind or around an element,” he said.

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