Tag Archives: Motif No. 1

Rockport’s Motif No.1 Day, Today!

The festival goes on, rain or shine. Motif No.1 Day activities will take place as scheduled, so we will see you downtown!

The Motif No.1 Day Festival celebrates the arts in Rockport. And all of it centers around the fishing shack-artist’s studio-tourist attraction that started it all: an old building right on one of Rockport’s historic wharves that was painted so often by artists at the turn of the last century that it was given the nickname Motif No.1 by Lester Hornby, a well know artist and instructor of the period. Film, poetry, dance, music, and art-making activities are all a part of the festival, as well as historical presentations and a 5k and Fun Run, with proceeds to benefit Rockport Public Schools’ wellness initiatives.

Motif No.1 Day takes place from 10am to 5pm on Saturday, May 17th in downtown Rockport. The Motif No.1 Day 5k starts at 9am.

For more information, links, and a complete list of activities, visit the Rockport Arts Festivals page here. 

I am delighted to add that my Good Harbor Seal PSA was accepted to the RedShed film Festival. I’ll be there tomorrow afternoon and evening to catch all the short films by local Cape Ann filmmakers. I hope to see you there!


Motif No.1 Short Film Festival

The newest element of Rockport Motif No.1 Festival is the Short Film Festival. Festival organizer and GMG’s Sarah Kelly writes that, “one of the goals of the festival is to help create grass-roots interest in Rockport as a place to work across the arts, and as a place that encourages working artists outside a historical context.”

All the short film entries accepted are screening on both Friday and Saturday. On Friday at 7:30pm at the Rockport Community House hear filmmaker Emile Doucette talk about his work and his short film “Homemade Parade” which captures the unique spirit of Cape Ann. On Saturday, at the Old Firehouse Trust, the screening events begin at 3pm. I will be giving a brief talk about my BomBom Butterflies short film and forthcoming film, Life Story of the Black Swallowtail Butterfly.

I am so excited to have been invited to be part of the first ever Rockport Short Film Festival and I hope to see you there!!

Friday, May 17th at the Rockport Community House Brown bag community supper, 5K race packet pickup & Motif 1 Short Film Festival Screening 7pm. Bring your supper (optional) to enjoy with friends and neighbors while checking out our 45-minute screening of short films. And if you’re registered for the Motif 1 Day 5K, you can pick up your race packet and number too! Filmmaker Emile Doucette will be on hand to talk about his work and his short film “Homemade Parade” which captures the unique spirit of Cape Ann.

Saturday, May 18th at 3 pm

Motif 1 Short Film Festival Screening in the Old Firehouse Trust.

Your Motif No.1 Day Festival Guide HERE on GMG!


Motif No. 1 and the Fish Boat, 1934

Motif No. 1, Rockport, 1934 Alice M. Curtis/©/Fredrik D. Bodin
Motif No. 1 is the most famous fish shack in the world, constructed around the time of the American Civil War (exact year uncertain). Initially used for storing fishing gear, it is located on Bradley Wharf, in the middle of Rockport Harbor (MA). The building soon became a popular subject for painters, including students of renowned artist Lester Horby (1882–1956), who coined the term “Motif No. 1.” Motif became an art studio in the 1930’s and was sold to the Town of Rockport in 1945, dedicated to the Rockport men and women who served in the armed forces. In this photograph, a 17′ Montgomery Fish Boat glides by. The Fish Boat class was designed in 1921 by Nick Montgomery. Six to eight hundred were made at the Montgomery Boatyard in Gloucester, and still are at the historic yard on the Annisquam River. This one probably sailed from the Sandy Bay Yacht Club. They were also raced at the Annisquam and Eastern Point Yacht Clubs. You can read more about the boatyard and fish boats in a GMG post by E.J. Lefavour here. Coincidentally, when I was traveling through the southwestern U.S., I visited Rockport, Texas – a small fishing town (mainly shrimp). In the restaurant where I stopped for lunch, there was a laminated placemat on my table with a photo of … guess what?
Printed archivally from the original 4×5 inch film negative in my darkroom. Image #A8345-196

Fredrik D. Bodin
Bodin Historic Photo
82 Main Street
Gloucester, MA 01930