, Newburyport, MA


January 31, 2014

Printer's career straddles worlds of art, business


How is business right now?

I’ve gone through downturns in the economy, but this one is just bizarre. I’ve never seen such devastation in the art market. Probably 70 percent of the people I worked with have fallen through the cracks. The market has been devastated with this economy for five years now. A few painters just stopped making prints. They want probably to spend more time with their paintings.

Is it a combination of the downturn and new technology?

Yes. Computer technology has taken a big bite out of studios like mine. An artist or painter who may want to consider doing prints may want to have a high-resolution version of a painting made, and then have it printed digitally.

Do you use computers at all?

I do use the technology; it helps me in the developing process. ... But I don’t like to have somebody give me a piece and say, “I want you to develop this in Photoshop.” I’d much rather have you be part of the process.

You’d rather help people realize their vision, than just press a button that says “print”?

What I provide basically, if they come here, they get the knowledge I have of what I’ve absorbed over the last 40 years. It’s this evolving circle. Each artist gives you a little bit different look at things. You take a little piece of that and use it for the next thing. It’s been a lot of fun. I wish I could work with a lot of these people more.

If you go

What: “Turning Process Into Profundity: 45 Years of Printed Work by Robert Townsend”

When: Through Feb. 12. Gallery open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Where: Salem State University’s Winfisky Gallery, Ellison Campus Center, 352 Lafayette St., Salem

How much: Free

More information: 978-542-7890

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