The Work We Do: Walter de Groot, Greenport Art & Design Emporium

My name is Walter de Groot. I own Greenport Art & Design Emporium here in Greenport, N.Y.

We are discount picture framers. We do large format fine art printing and large format photographic printing. We also have a discount print and painting gallery. If you need art for your home, this is a great place to look because we have a lot of specials and a lot of bargains here. We also have original paintings and some estate work. We have a Picasso in the store. It’s all available for merchants that come in to buy for their stores or the general public.

It’s hectic. I do everything from taking out the garbage to dealing with the customers to building the products. So when you want to be an owner, you have to be prepared to work, work, work and when you have a complaint, talk to yourself because no one else is going to listen.

I also go to corporations and discuss a theme and I’ll give them presentations and hang the pieces, in just about any budget. We service between the East End of Long Island and Manhattan.

I’ve been in the art business for over 50 years. And I started off as an apprentice to my father who was a world-renowned painter/sculptor. At a very early age I started mixing plaster, molding clay and stretching canvases and things like that. I was formally trained as a sculptor and I worked in the high-end restoration field for the last 25 to 30 years working on places like the Vanderbilts, the Astors, JP Morgan, the Roosevelt Estate. You name it, I’ve been there.

Recently, I’m getting a little up there in age. I hate to admit it but it’s true. We toned it back a little bit and opened up this place about five years ago. So I still do small restoration projects that I can do in my studio or I do consulting for larger projects.

I enjoy the art business. I enjoy the people who come in here. It’s a way of life. The art field is my life. That’s what I’ve been doing.

“The Work We Do” is a Suffolk Times multimedia project profiling workers on the North Fork. It is made possible by Peconic Landing in Greenport. See photos on Instagram @thesuffolktimes.