Robert Senske, Jr. (b.1965) is a fourth generation Long Beach native who grew up on the Alamitos Bay Peninsula and spent his childhood literally on the sand or in a boat with his family, often sailing to their beloved Catalina Island during the 1970’s and ‘80s.
A Cal Berkeley graduate with a degree in Political Science who is also co-founder of a life insurance agency, Senske is entirely self-taught. He began consigning his original pen & ink drawings of beach and sailing scenes to a local gallery when he was just fourteen years old.
By age 22, he had cultivated a thriving cottage industry, selling Long Beach themed greeting cards to Hallmark stores throughout the city, including Hyatt Hotels, City Hall, the Port of Long Beach, Long Beach Airport and American Golf Corporation. Even the former three-term Mayor of Long Beach, the Honorable Beverly O’Neill and former Governor of California, the Honorable George Deukmejian, were big fans and collectors.
In 1998, Senske was honored by the American Society of Marine Artists at the Newport Harbor Nautical Museum in Newport Beach, California (“A Brush with the Sea”). He was the youngest artist participating in an international cast that included Englishman John Stobart, who was widely considered the greatest Maritime Artist in the world at the time. Two of Senske’s original paintings: one a heart-pumping rendition of Naples Sabot sailboats racing in Alamitos Bay (“Logjam”, 36”x48”, acrylic on canvas, 1992); the other an epic panorama of San Francisco Bay (“Summer in The City”, 24”x72”, acrylic on canvas, 1998), were official selections in the juried exhibit.
It is worth noting that while Senske bases his paintings on photos he takes himself, “Logjam” and a few other early published works, were based on photographs taken by fellow sailor and Long Beach resident Peter Gales, who was one of Eastman Kodak’s official “ground zero” photographers in Hiroshima, Japan, in the days following the dropping of two atomic bombs that ended World War II.
In 2021, Long Beach Airport and the City of Long Beach commissioned Senske to produce 21 giant mural-sized reproductions of his most iconic paintings and installed them on permanent display throughout the concourse. The highlight of the exhibit is a dazzling line-up of ten 5’x5’ canvas Giclees (pronounced “Jhee-Clay”) that hang evenly spaced across 100 consecutive feet of outdoor wall space.
Framed reproductions of Senske’s work are also available at Broadway Video in Long Beach, 3401 E. Broadway (90803), as well as Shore Business Center, 5318 2nd St. (90803), in the heart of Belmont Shore.