Carlos “Botong” Francisco, the national artist for painting, whom Austria admired deeply, encouraged the artist to join the Ayala Museum as an artist and illustrator. His first project was to design the museum’s diorama of Philippine history. His talents caught the attention of the Zobel de Ayala family, a prominent art patron, who commissioned him to create a mural, along with Fernando Amorsolo and Fernando de Ayala, for the St. Anthony Chapel in Forbes Park.
In 1970, Austria held his first exhibition at Marcel’s Gallery of Fine Arts in Oakland, California. In the same year, he represented the Filipino community at the International Art Festival in Berkeley, California. This was soon followed by exhibitions in San Francisco, California, as well as the Hidalgo Gallery in Makati (1972), the Galerie Beue (1973), Hyatt Regency (1975), and Sining Kamalig (1976). A high point in his career was his nomination as one of the five finalists in the 1983 Mobil Art Awards.