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Cape Cod National Seashore Through the Eye of an Artist March Exhibit

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Date: March 3, 2010
Contact: Jody Anastasio, Interpretive Ranger, 508-255-3421

Peter Romanelli's Tidal Pool
"Tidal Pool" by Peter Romanelli

The landscapes and resources of Cape Cod National Seashore provide inspiration in many forms. Come to the Salt Pond Visitor Center this winter and spring to view works of several artists who have been so inspired and have captured the source of this inspiration with their art.

From March 2-30, an exhibit entitled A New Chautauqua will be presented by artist/photographer and Truro Resident Peter Romanelli. Mr. Romanelli’s inspiration comes from late 19th-century tent shows that traveled around the United States with the stated mission to use art, spirituality, and science to direct the new technology to solve the problems of mankind. 

These lectures began on the shore of Lake Chautauqua, in western New York, and, for the next 25 or so years, they became known as Chautauquas. This show is a Chautauqua, one that is designed to use art and science to create a more intimate and profound relationship with the environment of Cape Cod, and the Provincetown sand spit in particular. 

Professional photographer and amateur geographer Peter Romanelli has combined his talents in both fields to outline the ecological history of the Provincetown sand spit, from glacial debris to climax forest. In photographic images and words he describes how the landscape came to be. The presentation also includes audio and tactile displays that encourage a more intimate relationship with the photographs.

Romanelli was first entranced by the Cape light and landscape in the early 1970’s.  Later, as he became more familiar with the outer cape, he began to notice patterns in the environment. 

Both his undergraduate thesis, a short film entitled “Shoreline,” and his graduate thesis, “A Gradient Analysis of Secondary Succession in the Provincelands Area of the Cape Cod National Seashore” described geological and ecological processes at work in the outer cape. Primarily a landscape photographer, he concentrates on the shapes and patterns in the natural world that express the underlying structure and processes of the planet and, perhaps, the universe, itself.

IF YOU GO: Salt Pond Visitor Center is located at Route 6 and Nauset Road in Eastham, and can be contacted by calling (508) 255-3421. The center is open from 9 AM to 4:30 PM and staff is available to assist with activity planning. There is a museum, bookstore, and orientation films.

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Did You Know?

vernal pond

The hydrologic system of lower Cape Cod consists of four distinct ground-water lenses, or flow cells, which receive recharge through precipitation. Other hydrologic features besides groundwater include kettle ponds, freshwater wetlands (vernal ponds), freshwater streams, and estuarine wetlands.