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“Antarctic Ice Paintings” exhibit in Key Largo

August 14, 2013 - April 7, 2014

Antarctic Ice Paintings on exhibit at

 The Gallery at Kona Kai Resort
Key Largo, Florida.

Miami artist Xavier Cortada’s “Antarctic Ice Paintings” will be on display at The Gallery at Kona Kai in Key Largo, Florida from Wednesday, August 14th 2013 through Sunday, April 7th 2014. Completed in Antarctica between December 2006 and January 2007, Cortada’s “ice paintings” were created using samples given to him by scientist’s onsite during his National Science Foundation Artist and Writers Antarctic fellowship.

Created from Antarctic sea ice  and  the  western  Antarctic  ice  sheet,  combined  with sediment from the McMurdo dry valley mountain ranges, Cortada’s abstract, thought-­‐ provoking “Antarctic Ice Paintings,” express the artists’ concern over global warming and the threat from melting polar ice.

Inspired by his Antarctic lab-­‐mates, Cortada asked the researchers to provide him with ice core samples from their investigations. He began experimenting with them and the result was a collection of nine-­‐by-­‐twelve-­‐inch watercolors.

“I packed my canvases, brushes and paints before my South Pole trip, not knowing what to expect.” While at Antarctica’s McMurdo Station on Ross Island, working alongside biologists, geologists, oceanographers, physicists and other researchers studying the Antarctic, Cortada “ended up making these ice paintings of and about Antarctica. In part it was accidental,” Cortada says, adding: “A scientist working next to me was researching how single-­‐cell algae would cluster to avoid being eaten, while another was examining the effects of temperature change on life in the Dry Valley, Antarctica’s most arid region.”

Cortada hopes his art challenges us to live in harmony with nature and that it reaffirms the notion that we are simply custodians of the planet.

American painter Xavier Cortada resides in Miami, Florida. His work is exhibited in museums, galleries, government and cultural venues across the Americas, Europe and Africa. Cortada develops participatory art projects to engage communities in local action. He has worked with scientists, arborists and environmental managers to develop eco-­‐art projects engaging community residents in bioremediation, coastal reforestation and coral reef preservation. This year he will be working with Monroe County schools on an eco-­‐art project in conjunction with The Fairchild Challenge at The Botanic Gardens at Kona Kai Resort in Key Largo.

The National Science Foundation Antarctic Artists and Writers Program supports writing and artistic projects specifically designed to increase understanding and appreciation of the Antarctic and of human activities on the southernmost continent.

The Gallery at Kona Kai is located on the grounds of Kona Kai Resort, Gallery and Botanic Gardens at 97802 Overseas Highway in Key Largo; telephone: 305-­‐852-­‐6914. It is open daily from 10am to 6pm.

For more information contact Joe Harris @ 305-­‐393-­‐2504 or 305-­‐853-­‐8102 or e-­‐mail: info@konakairesort.com


August 14, 2013
April 7, 2014


The Gallery at Kona Kai
97802 Overseas Highway
Key Largo, FL United States


Joe Harris