During the recent Plein Air Convention & Expo (PACE) in Tucson, Arizona, PleinAir magazine publisher Eric Rhoads presented Ken Auster’s widow, Paulette Auster, with Ken’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
The presentation, which moved the presenter to tears, recounted how the first workshop Rhoads ever attended was one taught by Ken Auster. A film followed that traced Auster’s life, from childhood and young adulthood immersed in the world of surfing, to a successful career as a creator of surf-themed silk-screened T-shirts and later surfboards, to plein air painting and popular painting workshops.
“San Francisco Street Scene,” by Ken Auster
Rather than hewing to one profession, Auster went where the fun and fortune led him. His faith and his art led him to a life seeing the beauty in everyday objects. Auster was a founding member of the Laguna Plein Air Painters Association and a highly collected artist.
“He was a genius in his own right,” summed up Jean Stern, the executive director of the Irvine Museum in Irvine, California.