August 2009 – Cortada completes public art on Gulf Coast



Xavier Cortada
In This Issue
Public Art at Gulf Coast
“Life Wall” at Neolithic Gravesite
Tile murals mark place
Living monument celebrates Miami’s birthplace
Upcoming exhibits
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Current exhibit: Antarctica: Collected Works from the Bottom of the World Maryland Science Center, Baltimore, MD April 3rd – September 7th, 2009 Read more aboutBaltimoreexhibit
Upcoming exhibit: Polar Identity Works/San Jose San Jose, CA August 7th – September 11th, 2009 Read more about San Joseexhibit
Upcoming exhibit: Water:  Three States Auburn University Art Gallery Auburn, AL August 24th – November 10th, 2009 Read more about Auburnexhibit
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Cortada completes public art on Gulf Coast Artist’s eco-art featured in the current issue ofPublic Art Review. Commissioned by Pinellas County Public Art and Design Program, Cortada created ecoart installations at Florida Botanical Gardens and engaged 750 residents in reforesting native trees in their front yards. See Cortada also created digital paintings for the lobby of the main building. The Miami artist recently completed public art projecs for the Frost Art Museum in Miami, FL (commissioned by Florida’s Art in State Buildings) and the Murray E. Nelson Upper Keys Government and Cultural Centerin Key Largo, FL (commissioned by Monroe County Art in Public Places).
“Life Wall” goes up in Holland Artist creates work about endangered species at Neolithic gravesite museum
Xavier Cortada created “Endangered World: Life Wall” using 360 red bricks along with stones deposited in the Netherlands by glacial forces during the last ice age. The work is an 8.5m wall created near the nation’s largest neolithic gravesite at the Hunebed Center in Borger, Drenthe Province. The 360 bricks represent 360 animals struggling for survival across 360 degrees. On each brick, Cortada painted the longitude where each animal lives.  When a species dies out, the number is painted black. The animals are part of an interconnected web that includes humans. How many bricks can be removed before the wall of life comes tumbling down?
Cortada’s work in the Netherlands is presented by Natuurkunst Drenthe. The artist was a participant in the Symposium Kunst- en natuurwandeling OverLeven – 2009.
Read on
Placemakers: Art marks pedestrian plazas Ceramic murals establish places to sit and socialize at local park
Materiality and texture are vital parts of the expression of this piece at Miami’s Curtis Park. Glass mosaic and ceramic tile that are hand painted and glazed are used to create a texture as exuberant and complex as the natural world the piece celebrates. The play of light, the movement of water and the gestural quality of the piece evoke natural processes, rhythm, movement, spontaneity and expressiveness. Read on.
“Incorporation Palm” celebrates Magic City Notable Miamians dedicate art piece at Miami’s birthplace On Earth Day 2008, Miami artist Xavier Cortada had a Royal Palm Tree planted at the very location where, in 1896, three hundred and sixty eight men incorporated the city of Miami, elected its first leaders, and selected the Royal Palm as the symbol at the center of the city seal. On Tuesday, July 28th, 2009 at 1:00 PM, four Miamians came together at the Incorporation Palm site to become the city’s first “reincorporators.”
The Dedidication Each of the four participants heard Dr. Paul George describe how the City of Miami was incorporated at that very location 113 years earlier. Then, Miami artist Xavier Cortada gave them four flags to install at the base of the Royal Palm tree, each flag depicting a different number of the city’s incorporation year: 1, 8, 9, 6.
1:  Theresa Gutierrez, student 8:  Thelma Gibson, community leader 9:  Hon. Ursula Ungaro, federal judge 6:  Carl Juste, photojournalist
Each then touched the palm tree with the palm of their hand and recommited themselves to growing the City of Miami. The Art In conceptualing an artpiece that marks the birthplace of the city, Cortada thought to bring the seal to life.  He designed “incorporation Palm” as a living monument; one that honors not only those who brought the city to life but those who work today to keep it growing. Cortada’s conceptual piece references the past (1896) as a way of charting a course to a brighter future (the growing Royal Palm), the promise made by every generation that labors here.  During Miami’s 109th birthday celebration, the Mayor and City Commissioners unveiled two murals at the entrance of City Hall.  Cortada stated that he created these two murals because he wanted “to educate residents about their City’s history and its multicultural origins. By learning about our past we can build a future filled with mutual respect and understanding.” The Incorporation Palm, a living monument, aims to do the same. The work invites residents to dedicate themselves to bettering the city and in so doing become “Reincorporators.”  Reincorporators will be able to post their Incorporation Palm photo, talk about their commitment to the city, and exchange ideas on how to better Miami.  To see blog, click here.
Current exhibit
Maryland Science Center  presents “AntARcTica: Collected Works from the Bottom of the World” 04/03/2009 – 09/07/2009 Location: Baltimore, Maryland
Upcoming exhibits
SWITCH, CADRE and 01SJ (*) present “Polar Identity” 08/7/2009 – 09/11/2009 Location: San Jose, California Auburn University Art Gallery presents “Water: Three States (Phase 1)” 08/24/2009 – 11/10/2009 Location: Auburn, Alabama
(*):  The “Polar Identity” exhibition will be online on the SWITCH Online Journal as well as The Works Gallery in San Jose, California . This will connected with the CADRE New Media Lab from San Jose State University and the San Jose Zero One Festival on the Edge. SWITCH SWITCH is the new media art journal of the Computers in Art, Design, Research, and Education (CADRE) Laboratory for New Media of the School of Art and Design at San Jose State University. Published since 1995, SWITCH is one of the earliest online journals focusing on art and technology. The mission of SWITCH aims to critically evaluate developments in art and technology with community, research and openness. SWITCH is interested in fostering a critical viewpoint on issues and developments in the complex, and sometimes opaque crossovers between art and technology through practice, research, outreach, and participation. CADRE The CADRE Laboratory for New Media is an interdisciplinary academic and research program dedicated to the experimental use of information technology and art. A theoretical and critical orientation provides a conceptual context in which artistic activities are defined. Faculty and students have participated in the evolution of media technology for over 20 years. 01SJ An independent nonprofit organization whose primary mission is to conduct a biennial festival that will offer attendees compelling experiences made possible at the intersection of art and digital culture. ZER01 is the producing organization for 01SJ: A global festival of art on the edge.
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