Have You Seen the Movalli at the RAA?

‘Have You Seen the Movalli at the RAA?’
Rockport Art Association Kicks Off 2009 Fundraising Campaign

Local Artist Charles Movalli Donates Original Painting, ‘Gloucester Harbor II,’ to Raise Funds for Rockport Art Association’s Community Programs.

Rockport, Mass., June 10, 2009 ‘ The Rockport Art Association (RAA) is kicking off its major 2009 fundraising program, with a goal of raising $100,000 to help the RAA further its mission of promoting the art and artists of Cape Ann — past and present –through exhibitions and education. ‘Have you Seen the Movalli at the RAA?’ refers to a large painting which has been generously donated by renowned local artist, author and distinguished member of the RAA, Charles Movalli. The campaign encourages people to visit the RAA to see this impressive work of art, as well as the works of the RAA’s other 250+ artist members.

The RAA is the nation’s oldest continually operating art association and serves a region steeped in a rich and meaningful arts tradition. During these challenging times, it seeks community support and involvement to continue programs that further this tradition. It’s an ambitious goal: Sell 1,000 tickets in four months to raise $100,000 for ongoing arts courses for students and adults, lectures, exhibitions and school programs.

‘Gloucester Harbor II’ is a beautiful 36′ x 48′ framed painting, inspired by a tiny vintage black-and-white photograph Movalli found in the estate of his friend and former Gloucester art teacher, Howard Curtis. The painting is classic Movalli ‘ a strong composition with bold expressive brushstrokes that captures the energy of Gloucester’s working harbor in the 1930s and 1940s. It’s one of a series of four historic paintings; one is in the Cape Ann Museum collection, and the other two have already been sold to art collectors.

‘We are reviving a tradition that began over 50 years ago, when our founding painters would donate paintings to raise money for the organization,’ stated Judi Rotenberg, president of the RAA’s board of governors. ‘Today, more than ever, we need the support of our community to continue to deliver the quality programs that make the RAA such a vital asset to both residents and visitors to Cape Ann. Please purchase a ticket in support of the RAA ‘ and have the chance to own this fantastic painting by Charles Movalli.’

Movalli is one of Cape Ann’s most successful and admired contemporary painters, known not only for his art, but also for his writings on Cape Ann painters. He holds a doctorate in American literature, and is the author of 9 books, including the four definitive works on Emile A. Grupp’, who was his mentor and friend. He has also authored scores of articles on Cape Ann’s art and artists. He has won numerous awards for his paintings, which are widely collected by both institutional and private collectors.

Charles Movalli grew up in Gloucester, the son of a local oilman whose customers included many of the famous painters of Cape Ann. His mother, a talented watercolorist and member of the RAA, bought Movalli his first French easel when he was ten, and together they would paint the back shores, where they got to know Grupp’ and the other artists who have come to define the ‘Cape Ann School’ of painting. This appreciation for great art, and his love of Cape Ann, inspired him to pursue a career as a painter after his formal education in literature. He still lives and maintains his studio at the family home in the Freshwater Cove section of Gloucester.

Movalli states: ‘I’ve spent a lot of time poking around the Gloucester wharves. And it’s exciting to think of the terrific painters who nosed around here way before me. Plus, I often bump into one of the energetic new crop of painters — many of whom talk about their ambition to join the RAA. I like to hear that a sense of ‘tradition’ still exists. That’s why I picked one of my more historical pieces for this event. It’s my hope that this painting of old Gloucester can help a venerable institution and the living artists who belong to it.’

The painting will be on display at the Rockport Art Association until October 2, 2009, when a gala for ticket holders and the drawing will be held. Raffle tickets, which are $100.00 each or 6 for $500, may be purchased at the RAA or by phone. Tickets will also be sold throughout the summer season at events around Cape Ann ‘ just look for the signs, ‘Have You Seen the Movalli at the RAA?’ The RAA hopes that both corporations and individual supporters will purchase tickets to have a chance to win this important painting, and more importantly, help the organization meet its fundraising goal of $100,000. No more than 1,000 tickets will be sold.

Visit or call the RAA at 978-546-6604 or email rockportart@verizon.net to purchase tickets.

About the RAA
The Rockport Art Association, located at 12 Main Street, Rockport, Massachusetts, is one of the oldest and most active art organizations in the country. Since its founding in 1921, this non-profit art association has steadily increased in size and currently includes approximately 250 juried artist and photography members and over 800 contributing members. With a year-round program of classes, lectures, exhibitions and community outreach, and an impressive museum collection, the RAA is dedicated to promoting the art of Cape Ann, past and present through exhibitions and education. Each year the RAA welcomes thousands of visitors from all over the world. For additional information, call the Rockport Art Association at 978-546-6604 or visit www.rockportartassn.org.