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Exhibition by Photographer Thomas Fitzgerald Opening at Cape Cod National Seashore 

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Date: April 27, 2011
Contact: Hope Morrill, Curator, 508-255-8925

"People of the First Light," a temporary exhibition of photographs by Thomas Fitzgerald will open at the Salt Pond Visitor Center classroom on May 2 and be on display through June. Fitzgerald's exhibition is one of several throughout 2011 that commemorate Cape Cod National Seashore's 50th anniversary. On August 7, 1961 President Kennedy signed legislation establishing the national seashore. Several celebratory events are planned for the year. The exhibit is a companion to the new permanent museum exhibit on Wampanoag culture and history that will be dedicated on May 14.

Thomas Fitzgerald has been a historical, documentary, and archival photographer for over 30 years. Between 2006 and 2009 he worked with the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe to create oral histories of the tribal elders and to capture the tribe's powwows and other important celebrations and gatherings. Many of the exhibition images are from this project. He worked for the Massachusetts Secretary of State's Office as the official state photographer for Public Records, the Historical Commission, and the State Archives and Museum. He also has extensive experience photographing museum artifacts and archeological digs. Fitzgerald's work has been exhibited at the Art Institute of Boston, The Boston Architectural College, The Institute of Contemporary Art; The Boston Athenaeum, and the Massachusetts State House. His work has been published in Time Magazine, Newsweek, People Magazine, Architectural Digest, Mother Jones, and many newspapers. He is currently working on a documentary about circus performers.

Other exhibitions in the 50th Anniversary series include historic and aerial images of the national seashore's natural and cultural scenes, staff, and partners; landscape art developed by students at Nauset Regional High School; science; quilts; and art and literature inspired by the resources and beauty of the national seashore.

If you go: Salt Pond Visitor Center is located at the intersection of Route 6 and Nauset Road in Eastham and is open daily from 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM. The center includes a lobby with expansive views of Salt Pond, Nauset Marsh, and the Atlantic; a museum featuring the park's natural and cultural stories; staff to assist with trip planning, and a store with books, maps, puzzles, games, t-shirts, and 50th anniversary commemorative items. There are short films shown throughout the day. The Buttonbush and Nauset Marsh Trails, and the Nauset Bike Trail are located nearby. For more information on Cape Cod National Seashore programs call 508-255-3421, or check the park's website, www.nps.gov/caco.

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Did You Know?

Spadefoot Toad

An abundance of sandy soil and shallow freshwater ponds for breeding make Cape Cod National Seashore an ideal landscape for Spadefoot Toads. A Threatened Species, the Seashore supports their largest known population in the Northeast. Some park roads are closed on rainy nights to protect them.