Painted Cuban Plane Lands in Miami’s New Arts Hub – “The Warehouse District”

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 Press Release                                 Contact:       Oscar S. Garcia

Ana Margarita Martinez

Seth Gordon


Painted Cuban Plane Lands in Miami’s New Arts Hub – “The Warehouse District”

 MIAMI, FL – October 27, 2004 — Miami artist Xavier Cortada’s Painted Cuban Airplane has found a new place to land in The Warehouse District, Miami’s newest arts hub. 

An exhibit of the celebrated painted Russian Antonov-2 Colt airplane, used by a family to escape from Cuba, and the accompanying Freedom Luggage Installation (see below), will open Thursday, December 2, 2004 at 8:00 pm at 318 NW 23rd Street, near the corner of NW 5th Avenue and 23rd Street. (Scroll down to see invitation.)  

Exhibits hours during the Art Basel week will be:   

  • 8 am – noon and 8pm to midnight on December 2nd
  • 8 am to midnight on December 3rd, 2004, and
  • 10am to midnight on December 4th and 5th.

After Art Basel, the airplane is slated to remain onsite in the Warehouse District as a museum operated by the Cuban Monument to Freedom, Inc. to honor the Cuban Diaspora and all those who value freedom.

The grand scale opening event is open to the public and is presented by Tony and Joey Goldman of Goldman Properties and Dan Kodsi and Greg Mirmelli of Royal Palm Communities.  The University of Miami Libraries Cuban Heritage Collection, Cuban Monument to Freedom, Inc will also join Miami Mayor Manny Diaz in opening the exhibit space on December 2nd.  Other event co-sponsors include Interfligfht Studios, Leeds and Colby, Artista Mundo, Club Space, Executive Air Services, 94th AeroClaims Group and Atlantic Coast Construction Group.


About the Painted Cuban Plane and the Freedom Luggage Installation:

Upon arrival at Key West, Florida in 2002, the airplane was confiscated by Ana Margarita Martinez as partial payment of $7.1 million owed to her by the Cuban Government and found its way to the Cortada’s paintbrushes.
Miami artist Xavier Cortada painted the side of the Cuban Airplanes with mouths (to symbolize freedom of expression and the voices of those who sought freedom) and surrounded the airplane with 47 painted pieces of luggage:  46 pieces of luggage each painted with a color from the light spectrum and numbered sequentially from 1959 to 2004, representing each year the Cuban community has been in exile.  The 47th piece is painted in white. 

Each piece will include letters from exiles describing what they left behind in Cuba and what they found when they arrived in the United States, the letters sorted according to their year of departure.  The 47th piece, white light, is reserved for those who aren’t Cuban exiles but (perhaps after visiting the exhibit) may have thoughts to share about the Cuban Diaspora and/or freedom. Viewers will be able to write pre-formatted letters and deposit them into mail slots on the podiums and thereby become a part of the art work.


About the artist: Xavier Cortada

Xavier Cortada has exhibited his works in museums, galleries, and cultural venues around the world.. The Miami-based Cuban-American artist, attorney, and activist, has worked collaboratively with diverse groups across the United States, Latin America, Europe and Africa to create pro-social community murals and participant-driven art projects.  Cortada has created art for the White House, the World Bank, the Florida Capitol, the Florida Supreme Court, the Miami-Dade County Juvenile Courthouse, Nike, and the Miami Art Museum. The artist’s website is