In Memoriam: Ken Auster

In Memoriam: Ken Auster

Ken Auster The museum was saddened to hear about the death of artist Ken Auster, who passed away on January 29. Auster was one of the most respected of California’s contemporary plein air painters, and through his impetus the Laguna Beach Plein Air Painting Invitational was founded, an event that was held at the museum for many years. He received a BFA from California State University Long Beach and began his career as a printer, operating a highly-successful silk screening business, creating T-shirts for the surfing community and for rock bands. Soon, however, he began painting outdoors with friends, and a second career was launched. Initially his paintings focused on surfing, but by the mid-1990s, his subject matter became all inclusive—cafes, train stations, airports, street scenes, and interiors—many of which were of Laguna Beach. Auster received numerous awards for his works that were deftly rendered with an economy of brushstrokes and vibrant color. He shared his passion with hundreds of students who attended his workshops in his studio in Laguna Canyon as well as in Carmel. Ken is survived by his wife Paulette Martinson.