Joe G writes:
“Hello Joey: I’ve been trying for many years to find out some information about a painting by Rosario Piraino that I have. In image of that painting is embedded below.
I did mail a letter to an address in Gloucester back in about 2003, to whom I thought was a relative (I think the name was Carmella Rosario), but my letter was returned and marked “Not at this address.” I’d sent some emails to a woman who’d shown on her Facebook page that she was indeed related to Mr. Piraino, but I never got any response.
In any case, I’m trying to find out if there is a gallery or other place where some of his paintings may be on view. His work is quite good.
If you might have any information about the subject I would be very appreciative if you would be so kind as to share any of it with me.
Rediscovering art and artists can be slow detective work. I don’t know the approximate year of the painting. The rocks could be identified. GMG readers may know more: is there a fellow artist that showed together in a group show with Rosie, traded art, stories? Did he hang his paintings in his house? Did he have a studio? Do you own a similar work? I did not find his name in some local artist member directories. The obituary describes seascapes and schooner as motifs. Let’s see!
For GMG readers like me who did not know him (I know many did), here is some information about Rosario Piraino that may jog some memories. Joe G thanks for the note and intriguing request.
Rosario A “Rosie” Piraino (1927- 1989)
Rosario was born in Gloucester on November 23, 1927. He was a life long Gloucester resident and graduate of the Class of 1945. He was a member of the ROTC. His interest in the GHS yearbook, Flicker? Drawing. He was a WWII army Veteran and member of the Capt. Lester S. Wass Post #3, American Legion and the Gloucester Lodge of Elks No. 892. He was a professionally trained artist with a fine arts degree from the Art Institute of Boston. In 1971 his family resided at 14 Orchard Street. For nearly 3 decades, he worked as an artist and Art Director at MIT before retiring in 1991*. There is a comment about carpooling with him to Lincoln Labs.
*From the printed matter for his obituary:
“Rosario was dedicated to his family and his beloved city. He was happiest strolling the boulevard meeting and greeting his friends. He spent his younger years working as a fish cutter along the waterfront. Along with his friend, the late Charlie Favalora, he owned and operated the Pioneer Fish Company.
He was an accomplished fine artist, having painted many seascape images of the Cape Ann waterfront. One of his favorite subjects was the schooner “Gertrude L. Thebaud”. Rosario was an avid golfer, who was affectionately known as the “King of Candlewood”, a nod to the three “holes-in-one” he made in his retirement. He will be missed by the many friends who enjoyed his sense of humor, stories and positive attitude.
In addition to his wife of six years, he is survived by three daughters and sons-in-law, Stephanie and Steve DelTorchio, Kathryn and Douglas Goodick and Paula and John Reilly all of Gloucester, three sons and two daughters-in-law, Stephen and Gayle (Frary) Piraino of Rockport, Dominic Piraino of Phoenix, AZ and James and Donna (Durland) Piraino of Gloucester, six grandchildren, Jeffrey Piraino of Rockport, Stephen and his wife, Kimberly DelTorchio of Satellite Beach, FL, Lindsay and Amy DelTorchio and Lauren and Adam Goodick all of Gloucester, three brothers, Frank Piraino of Gloucester, James and his wife, Marie Piraino of Waltham and Walter and his wife, Susan Piraino of Peachtree City, GA, a sister, Phyllis and her husband, Ernest Morin of Gloucester, a brother-in-law, Paul Ventimiglia of Gloucester, two sisters-in-law, Eileen Trupiano and Francesca Piraino both of Gloucester, Josephine’s grandson, Jonathan Moore of Essex and many nieces and nephews. He was also predeceased by his first wife, Grace M. (Ventimiglia) Piraino, a brother, Anthony Piraino and a brother-in-law, Salvatore Ventimiglia.”
Their daughter, writer Stephanie DelTorchio, responds.
Their daughter, Kathryn Goodick, ran for Ward 4 City Council in 2015. That link is from GMG which ran any candidate press release that was sent in.
Piraino’s 2008 quote in the Boston Globe Saints and Sinners Collide (Fiesta and Brewery):
“In the onetime fishing capital of the world, the St. Peter’s Fiesta – a five-day festival where faith, family, and celebration are emphasized – brings thousands of people into Gloucester’s downtown. But over the last decade, as the fishing industry has nearly collapsed and the fiesta has taken on commercial sponsors – such as liquor companies – some wonder if more people see the event as a reason to party than to pray. “They took God out of it,” says Rosario Piraino, a retired fisherman and fish plant owner.”