500 Gardens

Artist Xavier Cortada, Secretary of State Ken Detzner, and Jeff Caster from the DOT plant Florida wildflowers outsied the R. A. Gray building at Capitol Hill, Tallahassee, FL

The project works as a gathering, a gathering of shared knowledge. Like any collaborative effort, an individual’s expertise only further aids the group as a whole; appropriation towards betterment. However, this is a twotoned action, one that is significant in its allusion to reflection as well as prescience. Two parties are involved, the assimilation of ideas consistent to their ease of understanding.

The participating Florida schools and libraries (across the 67 counties and 8 regions) were encouraged to plant 500 wildflower gardens, dedicating them to one of 500 important Floridians selected by the team of historians. In this way, Flor500 asks much of both professional participant as well as schoolchild alike; there exists an introspectively ceremonial nature in one’s involvement. No stranger to ritualism in his work, Cortada incorporates this within Flor500 through the student’s education of Florida’s history and its conceptual importance in the cultivation of their own wildflower garden.

FLOR500 garden at Collier County South Regional Library, Naples, FL

St. Michaels Academy students plant their FLOR500 garden, Fernandina Beach, FL

FLOR500 garden dedication at Delray Beach City Hall, Delray Beach, FL

Beach Creeper at St. Michaels Academy, Fernandina Beach, FL

Palmetto Elemntary School’s Mrs. Patricia Rottino Cummins’ fourth grade class, Palmetto Bay, FL

Springwood Elementary School’s Mrs. Cindy Rodriguez’s fourth grade class, Tallahassee, FL