FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 6, 1997
Miami Artist at Bronx Group Show: Violence is Pandemic:
Exhibit documents creation of anti-violence mural with North Philly Youth
Xavier Cortada, a Miami-based, Cuban-American artist, will travel to New York for the opening of “The Condition of Pandemics: Towards the Millennium” exhibit on February 8th, 1:00-3:30 p.m. His work will be presented at the Longwood Arts Gallery (965 Longwood Avenue, Bronx) along with that of seven other artists who picture the human body, illness, and those who care for the sick.
Cortada’s exhibit depicts Violence as a public health issue, affecting people’s lives the way virulent microorganisms do. “In essence, violence has become pandemic–too often bullets beat the bugs to the killing” states Cortada. “Unless a community address the underlying social issues that engenders the senseless killings of youth by youth, violence festers like a microorganism in a Petri dish.”
The exhibit documents the creation of “Hasta Cuando?” [How much longer?]–an anti-violence mural painted during Mother’s Day 1996 by Cortada and Puerto Rican youth from a blighted North Philadelphia neighborhood. The outdoor mural, depicting a child dying in his mother’s arms, was inspired by March 1996’s murder of Ram, 16, by a rival drug gang.
The mural was sponsored by Norris Square neighborhood’s United Neighbors Against Drugs (UNAD) and Join Together, a national resource to fight substance abuse based in Boston University’s School of Public Health. Cortada is a Join Together National Leadership Fellow.
Cortada has used his art to reach people across four continents. An attorney, Cortada is serving his third term as chair of the Dade County Bar Association Juvenile Courts Committee and has worked extensively with juvenile justice and community development concerns. For more information on Cortada’s work both in the studio and in the community as an agent of social change, please call him at (305) 858-1323 or see his website, [http://www.cortada.com].
The exhibit’s curator, Betti-Sue Hertz, can be reached at the Longwood Arts Gallery, 718-842-5659 or the Bronx Council on the Arts, 718-931-9500.