Silver Knight honorees have gone on to greatness

The Miami Herald

May 3, 1998

By Allison Klein

1998-silver-knightXAVIER CORTADA

1982 Vocational-technical, Miami High

Cortada, a Cuban-American artist, lives in Miami. He has been commissioned to create art for corporations such as Nike and HBO and governmental and non-profit organizations.

“The award served as validation for me, a kid who grew up really poor in Little Havana,” Cortada said. “It came during a confusing, adolescent time when I completely needed it.”

Cortada keeps his Silver Knight nearby to remind him of how he beat the odds.

“It’s in my office in front of my constitutional law book,” he said.

Cortada, 33, earned bachelor’s and law degrees from the Unviersity of Miami. Instead of practicing law, he followed his “ture passion.”

He has exhibited paintings “reflecting the dark side of society” in Washington, D.C., New York, Madrid, Peru, Nairobi and Johannesburg. Recently completed works will be displayed as 24-foot-by-20-foot glass tile murals on the exterior of the soon-to-open Niketown on Read Road and U.S. 1.