In developing Flower Force, Cortada took his FLOR500 participatory eco-art project as a point of departure. The goals of both are to help Floridians commemorate the multicultural origins of our state, understand how much the people and the landscape has been transformed since colonization, and to encourage participants to help shape the future natural and human history of Florida.
FLOR500 focuses on Spain’s naming and colonizing the peninsula in 1513, while Flower Force marks the point when the United States acquired Florida from Spain. Because the transformation of Florida’s landscape has been so drastic, the artist encourages all Floridians to restore “what was” as a first step to building a future more in tune with nature.
Brief Timeline of Florida History
1905 – 1912
Hunting and gathering Paleoindians present in Florida
Beginning of tribes and chiefdoms eventually met by the Spaniards: Timucuans, Apalachee, Calusa, Tequesta
Juan Ponce de Leon landed north of Cape Canaveral and named Florida
British invaded Florida, native populations diminished
Treaty of Paris ended French and Indian War, Spain ceded Florida to Britain
Florida returned to Spain, in exchange for Bahamas and Gibraltar
Signing of the Adams-Onís Treaty, ceding Florida to the United States
Ratification of the Adams-Onís Treaty, Spain officially transfers Florida to the United States
Florida admitted to the Union as a state
Civil War, Florida was part of the Confederacy
Beginning of the draining and development of the Everglades
Construction of Henry Flagler’s Overseas Railroad to Key West
“Mariel Boatlift” brought 120,000 Cuban immigrants to Key West
Commemoration of the 500th Anniversary of Ponce De Leon’s arrival in Florida
Xavier Cortada, Conquistadores, 2007, (acrylic on canvas)
The Florida Wildflower Foundation protects, connects and expands native wildflower habitats through education, research, planting and conservation.
To produce and supply high-quality wildflower seed and plant material for landscape professionals and the consumer with a commitment to quality and service.