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The Costantino Family of Artists 1929-present
??The family work of Augustine, his wife, Stephanie, their son, Carlo and, his father, the late Ralph Costantino is a visual journey that takes the viewer through the artistic experience of four generations. With mediums that range from stone sculpture, ornamental iron, ceramic and wood to acrylics, oils, pastels, watercolor, charcoal and pen and ink, nearly every art medium has been explored.
Ralph Costantino, 1929-2001, an internationally respected artist and son of well known metal sculptor, Salvatore (Sam) Costantino, graduated from the University of Houston with a BSA. His style has been refered to as “abstract colorism” and “romantic expressionism”. Ralph, drawing on his experience in sculpture with his father and studying painting under some great names such as Bernard Lemmo, rejected all such labeling insisting that he always paint exactly what and how he wanted. His credits include the Southwestern Art Centennial 1956 and 1958 First purchase, AIA Architects National First and Third purchase and Gulf Area Artist Third Annual First purchase. Ralph's one man shows include Jeans Gallery and Jones Gallery in La Jolla, CA., 2131 Galleries, River Oaks Gallery and Dryer Gallery in Houston, TX and the La Costa Country Club in La Costa, CA. He has shown his work extensively is Solona Beach, Incline Village, Tahoe City and Palm Springs,CA as well as Lahaina, HI. He participated in a promotional campaign with Charlie Hayes' Salon Ferrari. His artwork was featured on the covers of San Diego's Journal of Commerce and Industry Business Forum, San Diego North County Living Magazine and Sunset. Among his other artistic pursuits, Ralph was a consummate percussioninst sitting in with such names as Cal Jader and Chet Baker, his love for music and painting led the entire scope of his life. Costantino and his wife Lucille married in 1958 and had four children.
The youngest surviving child, Augustine grew up watching and absorbing his father's creative style, sometimes he would prepare canvases or underpaint Ralph's work. In the 80's, Augustine decided to pursue a career in professional surfing. When an auto accident on the island of Kauai ended that dream, Augustine moved back to San Diego County to honor the "wake-up call" that he had just received and pursue the ministry. It was then that Augustine met and married Stephanie Wright, a college student whose artistic abilities had been honed since early chilhood under the influence of her mother, an incredible portrait artist and her father, a talented wood sculptor and painter. The two worked side by side ministering to teens and young adults for the next nine years of their lives as they raised the first two of their four children.
Then something happened that would prove to have a lasting impact on their lives. Ralph Costantino passed away. His passing brought with it a great stirring in Augustine. As the family added two more children into the mix the couple continued their ministry for four more years. But Augustine had longed to take a new direction in his life. The family, now six strong, moved to Lahaina, Maui and Augustine began to paint. Moved by the connection it seemed to give him to his deceased father and the release the it seemed to provide, he painted prolifically for the next five years. Augustine seemed to possess his father's ingenious ability to know color and to paint fearlessly. His lack of any formal training has not seemed to hinder his delighted purchasers and collectors. They are thrilled by his color choices and bold, whimsical lines. His pieces are often labeled "unique" and "fresh". They're primarily abstract and hold a clear reminisense to his father's style and design. "I love to paint and I love to surf.", says Augustine. And so, being unafraid to do what he feels he was born to do, Augustine teaches private surf lessons and paints (and paints... AND paints), never tiring of these two occupations.