Whatcom Museum presents “Endangered Species: Artists on the Front Line of Biodiversity”



Cortada’s Reclamation Project to be featured in “Endangered Species: Artists on the Front Line of Biodiversity” group exhibition


September 8, 2018 – January 6, 2019; Lightcatcher

Curated by Barbara Matilsky, Curator of Art

Endangered Species: Artists on the Front Line of Biodiversity presents 80 works of art in all media, from rare books to cutting-edge video, that span the 19th through 21st centuries. It highlights artists who celebrate biodiversity’s exquisite complexity, interpret natural and human-induced extinctions of plants and animals, and focus on endangered species from diverse ecosystems. The exhibition explores art’s historic role in raising public awareness about the human activities that threaten habitats. Weaving together art, natural science, and conservation, Endangered Speciesalso features creative solutions by ecological artists who revitalize habitats and reconnect people to the rich tapestry of life.

Endangered Species highlights an international group of 52 artists who celebrate biodiversity’s beauty, interpret natural and human-induced extinctions of plants and animals, and focus on species from diverse ecosystems under stress. It also includes the work of artists who spotlight the human activities that threaten biodiversity alongside projects that revitalize habitats and reconnect people to the rich tapestry of life.

The exhibition spotlights five thematic concepts: Celebrating Biodiversity’s Beauty and Complexity: From Landscapes to Microscopic Imagery, Mammoths and Dinosaurs: Interpreting Natural Extinction, Portraits of Loss: Extinction by Human Actions, Endangered Species: Plants and Animals on the Edge of SurvivalAt the Crossroads: Destruction or Preservation of Biodiversity.

Endangered Species has been organized with the intent of impacting public discourse about biodiversity while advancing the artist’s pivotal role in building awareness. By tracing links between contemporary and earlier artists, the exhibition examines art’s contribution to an enduring cultural legacy of nature conservation. Featured artists are listed below.

Major funding for the exhibition and catalogue has been provided by the National Endowment for the Arts and The Norcliffe Foundation with additional support from the City of Bellingham,  Whatcom Museum Foundation and Advocates, Alexandre Gallery, and Heritage Bank. To find out more about how National Endowment for the Arts grants impact individuals and communities, visit www.arts.gov.

To learn more about the exhibition visit: https://www.whatcommuseum.org/exhibition/endangered-species/

Exhibit Catalogue, page 92

Ernst Haeckel (German, 1834-1919); Reef-forming coral with six-fold symmetry, from the book, Art Forms in Nature (Hexacoralla, Kunstformen der Natur), 1904; Lithographic and halftone print. Courtesy of Linda Hall Library of Science, Engineering and Technology, Kansas City, MO.


Featured Artists:

Julie Andreyev and Simon Lysander Overstall; Canadian, b. 1962 and 1969

Sara Angelucci; Canadian, b. 1962

John James Audubon; American, 1785 – 1851

Brandon Ballengée; American, b. 1974

William P.C. Barton; American, 1786 – 1856

Antoine Louis Barye; French, 1796 – 1875

Daniel Beltrà; American and Spanish, b. 1964

Nick Brandt; British, b. 1964

Edward Burtynsky; Canadian, b. 1955

George Catlin; American, 1796 – 1872

Catherine Chalmers; American, b. 1957

David Chancellor; British, b. 1961

Xavier Cortada; American, b. 1964

Mark Dion; American, b. 1961

Dornith Doherty; American, b. 1957

Michael Felber; American, b. England, 1946

Madeline von Foerster; American, b. 1973

Nicholas Galanin; Tlinget/Aleut, b. 1979

Penelope Gottlieb; American, b. 1952

Ernst Haeckel; German, 1834 – 1919

Martin Johnson Heade; American, 1819 – 1904

Patricia Johanson; American, b. 1940

Chris Jordan; American, b. 1963

Harri Kallio; American, b. Finnish, 1970

Sanna Kannisto; Finnish, b. 1974

Darius and Tabitha Kinsey; American, 1869 – 1945 and 1875 – 1963

Isabella Kirkland; American, b. 1954

Charles Knight; American, 1874 – 1953

Adam Kuby; American, b. 1961

Garth Lenz; Canadian

David Liittschwager; American, b. 1961

John Martin; British, 1789 – 1854

Courtney Mattison; American, b. 1985

Daniel McCormick and Mary A. O’Brien; American, b. 1950 and 1952

Susan Middleton; American, b. 1948

David W. Miller; American, b. 1957

Macoto Murayama; Japanese, b. 1984

Edouard Riou; French, 1833 – 1900

Alexis Rockman; American, b. 1962

Christy Rupp; American, b. 1949

Joel Sartore; American, b. 1962

Preston Singletary; American Tlingit, b. 1963

Brian Skerry; American, b. 1961

Carl Strüwe; German, 1898 – 1888

Jason deCaires Taylor; British, b. 1974

Fred Tomaselli; American, b. 1956

Tom Uttech; American, b. 1942

Roman Vishniac; American, b. Russia, 1897 – 1990

Jason Walker; American, b. 1973

Andy Warhol; American, 1928 – 1987

Yang Yongliang; Chinese, b. 1980

Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun; Canadian First Nations (Coast Salish and Okanagan), b. 1957

Cortada’s “Endangered World: BNP & 80.15W” exhibition celebrates 50th anniversary of our “Underwater” Park!


Endangered World: Biscayne National Park


80.15 W

a solo exhibition by

Xavier Cortada


Hibiscus Gallery
Pinecrest Gardens
11000 S. Red Road
Pinecrest, FL 33156


Join us in welcoming special guest Gary Bremen, Biscayne National Park Ranger during our opening reception on Sunday, August 12, 2018 from noon to 2pm.

Exhibition runs through August 8, 2018 through September 3, 2018




Xavier Cortada (with the participation of 359 collaborators), “Endangered World: Biscayne National Park,” 360 individually painted flags flying along a mile-long, site-specific participatory art installation across the national park, 2010. (http://endangeredworld.org/biscayne-national-park/)

Exhibition celebrates the celebrates the 50th anniversary of Biscayne National Park

Endangered World: Biscayne National Park: Conceptualized by Cortada, the outdoor installation features 360 brightly colored flags lining Convoy Point’s roads and trails for over a mile. Each flag represents one degree of the planet’s longitude, and 360 individuals and organizations from throughout South Florida decorated the flags with an image of an endangered or threatened animal that lives at that longitude. Participants also committed to an “eco-action” that directly or indirectly mitigates the plight of that animal. (Learn more at http://endangeredworld.org/biscayne-national-park)

80.15 W: In contrast to the exuberance of the outdoor installation is 80.15 W inside the Dante Fascell Visitor Center Gallery. Here, Cortada has created 17 somber works on paper that feature the 17 threatened and endangered species that call Biscayne National Park home. The exhibit is titled for the longitude where the Visitor Center sits to tie it in to the larger installation outside. The pieces were created using reused carbon paper, a metaphor for the impact (or “carbon footprint”) that humans have had on that animal. (Learn more at https://cortada.com/2010/80.15W)

Biscayne National Park:

In 1968, plans for southern Biscayne Bay included a major petrochemical plant necessitating digging a 40-foot deep channel across the bay for 7 miles in an area that naturally averages 6-8 feet deep. That channel was to conyinue beyond the northern Keys, through the shallow coral reefs, out to deep water. At the same time, plan were afoot to establish the City of Islandia, consisting of the northernmost islands of the Florida Keys (those north of Key Largo). The city was to include single-family and high rise living, bridges, streets, an amusement park and more. A small, but vocal and incredibly persistent, group of citizens fought these plans, and proposed the creation of a national park unlike any other…one covered mostly by water. Fifty years later, Biscayne National Park celebrates its Golden Anniversary as the largest marine park in the National Park System, protecting mangrove forests, shallow bay waters, the undeveloped Florida Keys, coral reefs and evidence of 10,000 years of human history, all within sight of downtown Miami.

The park preserves Biscayne Bay and its offshore barrier reefs. Ninety-five percent of the park is water, and the shore of the bay is the location of an extensive mangrove forest. The park covers 172,971 acres (69,999 ha) and includes Elliott Key, the park’s largest island and first of the true Florida Keys, formed from fossilized coral reef.  The park is home to an incredible diversity of animals and plants including over 600 native fish, neo-tropical water birds and migratory habitat, and threatened and endangered species including sea turtles, manatees, the Schaus’ swallowtail butterfly and Florida semaphore cactus. Some animals and plants are in the northern limits of their ranges.Biscayne National Park is a very diverse place. Four distinct ecosystems melt into one another creating rich edge communities or “ecotones.” These edges support an incredible array of wildlife, including hundreds of species of colorful fish, plants found nowhere else in the United States, and visitor favorites like pelicans, manatees and sea turtles. Winds, currents, storms and the park’s close proximity to one of the nation’s largest urban areas means that the entire park is in a constant state of flux — ever-changing in the face of new challenges posed by the constant cycle of building and destruction. (Learn more about Biscayne National Park at https://www.nps.gov/bisc/index.htm)



Xavier Cortada “(80.15 W:) Hawksbill Sea Turtle” Archival ink on paper (generated from drawings created on 11” x 8.5” carbon paper) Signed, numbered, limited edition (edition of 5), 16” x 12” 2010


Titled for Biscayne Bay’s longitude, “80.15 W” features the 17 threatened and endangered species that call Biscayne National Park (in Miami, FL) home. In 2010, Cortada created the drawings on carbon paper, a metaphor for the impact (or “carbon footprint”) that humans have had on that animal, even across the boundaries of protected nature preserve. The carbon paper originals were premiered at the national park’s gallery and are in the permanent collection of NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale, Ft. Lauderdale, FL.