Kusterer Artworks

Born in New Haven, Connecticut, Ken Kusterer had just learned the typesetter’s trade in 1963 when he entered his local college, Yale University, to study graphic design. Civil rights, anti-poverty, and anti-war activism delayed his graduation for years, and led him to think that the study of social change skills was more urgent than art.

After an almost 40-year career teaching, writing, and advocating for economic and social change in Latin America and the United States with his wife Faith, he suffered a meningioma that ended his research and writing days.

Art seemed more important again, and the nature of his art -- which had always been linear, graphic, or architectural – was transformed.

Since he began to show in mid-2008, his work has won a blue-ribbon Skelly Award at the annual Rehoboth Art League show, and a juried place in the annual Chatauqua show in Tennessee. He is a member of the Delaware Shore Artists Group, and is one of the best-selling artists in the Rehoboth Art League member gallery. Since October, 2010, he is one of 8 artists represented by Artworx 19971, the virtual gallery at http://artworx19971.com

Some of my paintings deliberately contrast attractive pictures with unattractive subjects, such as the local poultry factory system. I have painted many expressionistic portraits of “Heroes of Human Liberation,” such as the prize-winning portrait of Harry Hay and his partner. I paint struggle paintings, such as “The Long Hard March Down Freedom’s Road,” which was shown widely and now hangs in Boston. I also paint ikons for meditation, and visualizations of idealized “places for the mind to go.” Often I use written and visual references from the latino experience.

All of my work is characterized by strong colors, thick multi-layered paint, and clearly visible brush strokes or knife marks. Frequently narrative words are included in the design. Contrarily, I often texture details with a knife, and paint large spaces with brushes or a sponge. Texture - its depth, emphasis, and place - is always a conscious decision.

My paintings hang in government agencies in Washington and Dover, in non-profit agencies’ spaces, and in private collections throughout the eastern U.S.

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