Alexander/Heath Contemporary
is pleased to announce
an exhibition by painter

Michael Townsend

January 6 through February 3, 2023

Art-by-Night Friday, January 6th, 2023, 5-9 pm

Art-by-Night Friday, February 3rd, 2023, 6-9 pm

New Downtown Location:
109 Campbell Avenue SW, Roanoke, Virginia

Michael Townsend Opening  / January 6, 2023


Michael Scott Townsend was born in Binghamton, New York in December of 1966.  He grew up in West Windsor, near the outskirts of Binghamton.  He began drawing in grade school and painting in junior high.  At this early age comic books were a constant source of inspiration.  By high school, Mike knew he wanted to do something with the arts.

Mike attended Mansfield University in Pennsylvania and obtained a Studio Arts Degree.  His favorite classes were painting, figure drawing, graphic design, printmaking, jewelry and sculpture.  Mansfield is a teacher’s college and therefore art classes were not just about making art, but understanding the process and being able to explain it to others.  This skill would later become valuable.

After college Mike worked at the Binghamton Post Office by day, and sign painter by night.  Not being satisfied with either job, he began contemplating a move to the big city to become a staving artist.  Thankfully fate would have him scanning classifieds and discovering a position available at an “Artist Paint Company” in upstate New York.  Figuring the gig would get him some free paint and a paycheck before they showed him the door, he accepted the position at Golden Artist Colors in the Quality Control Department.

A year later after learning about the paint-making process, Michael decided it was time to go a new direction.  During his time at R&D, Mike did application testing and making test batches of paint. The team created unique materials for artists using a very Edisonian method of Trial and Error. Mike has always considered himself a bit of a Renaissance Man, so this process worked well to feed his desire to learn new things because even the test methods had to be invented.

Knowing the products at the formulation level and having first hand experience of conducting the testing has given Mike a unique insight of art materials and how they relate to the artist.  This experience was utilized as Mike began working with artists directly.  At first the calls were about specialized applications, such as airbrushing and silk-screening, but it quickly grew to be his main job.  To date, Mike has probably worked directly with more artists about technical artist issues than anyone on the planet.

Currently Mike is working on creating videos to support the documents and teaches workshops and product classes both for Golden and independently.  He has penned many documents for Golden, including Just Paint Newsletter Articles, and also has written several articles for websites about a variety of topics.  Mike still creates artwork in many different forms.  As with everything else, Mike enjoys variety and this can mean many styles emerge, so he is not as diehard of an artist as he would like but he does enjoy the process and learning, and has recently joined a new Plein Air painters chapter with Chenango Council of the Arts.

Mike is the proud parent of three sons – Bruce Michael, Ryan Bartholomew and Ennis Jameson – with his wife Kyna Lynn Townsend. He has an older brother (Gary) who currently lives with his family in Kansas.