Octopus Mural unveiled at United Way

Art and Philanthropy Intersect as Renowned Local Eco-Artist Xavier Cortada Unveils 14-Foot Mural at United Way Miami

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 29, 2022 | 9:00 A.M. – 9:30 A.M

3250 SW 3rd Ave #305, Miami, FL 33129


Art and Philanthropy Intersect as Renowned Local Eco-Artist Xavier Cortada Unveils 14-Foot Mural at United Way Miami

Larger than Life Ceramic Tile Octopus Mural Gifted by the Xavier Cortada Foundation to United Way Miami


MIAMI (Nov. 22, 2022) – As Miami Art Week rolls-in, United Way Miami is celebrating its own art installation with the unveiling of a hand-painted, 14-and-a-half foot long ceramic tile mural gifted by local eco-artist Xavier Cortada and the Xavier Cortada Foundation.

The larger than life bright and bold Octopus mural stands eight feet tall and is valued at $68,000 and will be permanently installed in a breezeway at United Way Miami’s Ansin Building, which serves as a common outdoor gathering space for events and staff. The mural will be unveiled on Tuesday, November 29th at United Way Miami.

“As many prominent business leaders and art enthusiasts descend on our community during its annual Miami Art Week, I want to shine a light on the importance of art, community, and philanthropy with the donation of a permanent art installation at United Way Miami,” said Cortada. “I want to give Miami something that will stay behind after all the art fairs and tents disappear. By showcasing art in public spaces at the neighborhood level, we invite people to celebrate Miami’s cultural riches while imagining a more just future.”

Xavier Cortada is a Miami-based Cuban-American artist that has been involved in the community for more than 30 years. He was recently named the first-ever Artist-in-Residence for Miami Dade County. His work focuses on generating awareness and action around climate change, sea level rise, and biodiversity loss. He has created art at the North and South Poles and across six continents, including more than 150 public artworks, installations, collaborative murals and socially engaged projects. In South Florida, Cortada’s art can be seen at Miami-Dade Commission Chambers, Miami City Hall, Frost Art Museum, Port Everglades, several Florida Turnpike Travel Plazas, and two dozen affordable housing sites.

“We are incredibly grateful to Xavier and his foundation for selecting United Way Miami for this beautiful installation and for giving us an opportunity to be a part of Miami’s renowned art week as well as the conversation around art and philanthropy,” said Symeria Hudson, president & CEO of United Way Miami. “Art has a fascinating way of bringing people together and we look forward to the many conversations this piece will ignite on our campus and within our giving community.”

The mural represents Cortada’s second donation to United Way Miami. Many of his signature Florida mangrove paintings are displayed in the break room at the organization’s headquarters on Coral Way. 

“I have lived in Miami since I was three years old and it is an honor to have my work showcased at United Way Miami, a beacon of hope for so many in our community for nearly 100 years,” added Cortada. “I hope it helps inspire more collectors and gallerists to give back and motivates people to take action for a brighter and more equitable Miami.”


United Way Miami is a driving force in the community, successfully responding to emerging needs and transforming people’s lives. Since 1924, we have worked together with our network of donors, volunteers, and partners, to generate and amplify resources, and advocate for policies that improve the quality of life for all. We leverage our unique role as convener, strategic funder, service provider, awareness builder, and influencer so that everyone in Miami-Dade has access to quality education and the opportunity to lead healthy and financially secure lives — the building blocks of a thriving community.