“Florida is Nature” exhibition at Orlando Science Center


Xavier Cortada, “(Florida is…) Florida Bog Frogs,” archival ink on aluminum, 60″ x 40”, 2016 (Public art commission at Fort Drum Turnpike Plaza)


Florida is Nature

a solo exhibition

Xavier Cortada


Orlando Science Center
Fusion: STEAM Gallery
782 Princeton Street
Orlando, FL 32803

Exhibition runs May 3, 2019 through July 30, 2019

Florida is…Nature” is an evolving body of work that depicts the natural beauty of Florida It asks Floridians to define their state by its actual nature, not by things we do and build to displace it.


Learn more at www.FloridaIsNature.com



State of Florida Division of Cultural Affairs presents “Florida is Nature” at top of State’s Capitol



Xavier Cortada, “Florida is… Wildflowers,” 2015. (Public art commission at West Palm Beach Turnpike Plaza)


Florida is Nature

a solo exhibition

Xavier Cortada


22nd Floor Gallery
State Capitol
Tallahassee, FL

Exhibit runs December 1st,  2018 through March 31st, 2019


 “Florida is…Nature” is an evolving body of work that depicts the natural beauty of Florida.  It asks Floridians to define their state by its actual nature, not by things we do and build to displace it. 

Learn more at www.FloridaIsNature.com



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.

FLORIDA IS… solo show at “The Frank”

Through May 19th at The Frank: Xavier Cortada, “Diatoms,” 2017.

You are cordially invited to

Florida is…

a solo show by

Xavier Cortada


The Frank
Frank C. Otis Art Gallery and Exhibit Hall
Pembroke Pines City Center
601 City Center Way
Pembroke Pines, FL 33156


Opening: March 29, 2018
Artist workshop: March 31, 2018
Artist talk & exhibition walk-through: April 26, 2018
Exhibit runs through: May 19th, 2018

Xavier Cortada, “(Florida is…) Wood storks,” archival ink on aluminum, 60″ x 40”, 2016 (www.floridaisnature.com)

About Florida Is Nature

Conceptualized during Xavier Cortada‘s residency at the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation Artist Residency in Captiva, Florida, “Florida is…” is an evolving body of work that depicts the natural beauty of Florida.  It asks Floridians to define their state by its actual nature, not by things we do and build to displace it.  Some “Florida is…” works hang as public art in public venues, admonishing viewers to find better ways to coexist with nature. The project invites participants to capture and share their images and perspectives on the project’s online platform.

PARTICIPATE: Help others understand and appreciate Florida’s natural beauty.  Upload an image of your favorite animal, plant or place to www.floridaisnature.com and tell us why we should all care for it and strive to protect it.  We will share it on our website and social media.  We will also ask you to help us spread the word and get others to see that “Florida is… Nature.”


About Endangered World

Endangered World is a participatory eco-art project by Xavier Cortada that has addressed global biodiversity loss through art installations at the South Pole (2007), North Pole (2008), Holland (2009) and Biscayne National Park (2010) and through online participatory art projects. Learn more at www.endangeredworld.org,


“Finally, the shriveled mangrove plant represents the demise of the Confederacy…”

In 2005, I was asked to create the 2006 Florida Heritage Month poster.  I was charged with depicting the 5 flags that flew over my home state since Europeans made contact.  Every fourth-grade classroom was to receive the poster.  Instead of painting a Confederate flag, I chose to depict the demise of the Confederacy.

Below is the statement that I wrote then.  It was printed on the back side of every poster.

Xavier Cortada, “Five Flags / Florida,” 61.5″ x 96″, acrylic on canvas, 2005 “Five Flags/Florida” (Cortada’s “Five Flags / Florida” is In the collection of the Florida Department of State, commissioned for the 2006 Florida Heritage Month Commemorative Poster.)


“Five Flags/Florida” (2006)

Miami artist Xavier Cortada utilized the Florida coastline to depict its heritage: each wave represents a new wave of immigrants who set roots and established communities. The mangrove roots metaphorically depict our interconnectedness as people who share a rich and diverse cultural history.

The mangrove root on the left symbolizes Florida’s indigenous people. The two clusters of clouds above mark their first encounter with Europeans: Juan Ponce de Leon’s landing in 1513.

Each of the mangrove plants rising above the horizon represent the five flags that have since flown over the peninsula:

The first plant has two sets of leaves representing Spain’s two periods of control: 1513-1763 and 1784-1821. The leaves on the second plant resemble the fleur-de-lis on the French flag when it was flown over Florida during 1564-65. Great Britain’s reign over Florida, 1763-1784, is shown as a mangrove plant with sliced leaves as it divided the territory into East Florida and West Florida. As the war for American independence ended, all of the territory was returned to the Spanish.

In 1821, the United States bought Florida from Spain for $5 million. The fourth plant represents the American flag. Back then the American flag had 24 stars. That number grew by three when Florida became the 27th state in 1845. The plant is bifurcated because Florida split from the Union in 1861 to join the Confederacy. After the Confederacy was defeated, Florida returned to the Union at the end of the Civil War in 1865. Finally, the shriveled mangrove plant represents the demise of the Confederacy.

The mangrove root on the right honors those whose search for freedom (e.g.: Seminoles, slaves using the Underground Railroad, Holocaust survivors, Cuban exiles, and Haitian refugees among others) brought them to Florida’s shores.

The painting, “Five Flags/Florida,” was created by Mr. Cortada for Florida Heritage Month 2006.




FIU SEAS and CARTA artist-in-residence Xavier Cortada
will be exhibiting his Native Flags project (www.nativeflags.org)
and his 2015 work, 5 Actions to Stop Rising Seas.


An international symposium and curated exhibit focused on the intersection of science and art.
Exhibit & Special Event on Saturday, April 22, 2017
3:30 pm -10:00 pm; Free and open to the public
Exhibit on display from April 9 – June 26, 2017


HIT IT: Xavier Cortada, “Five Actions to Stop Rising Seas: Hit it!,” video screen shot, 2015.
In acknowledgement of the support from the Rauschenberg Residency/Robert Rauschenberg Foundation


5 Actions to Stop Rising Seas: Hit it! | Burn it! | Eat it! | Freeze itBury it! video documentation of performance, 2015
Xavier Cortada

5 Actions to Stop Rising Seas was created by Xavier Cortada during April-May 2015 during an artist residency at the Rising Seas Confab 2015, Rauschenberg Studio, Captiva, Florida. In this performance, Cortada comments with irony on the weak to non-existent actions being taken to address both the causes and the imminent realities of climate disruption in a State clearly at the epicenter of potential disaster—one which has been caused by inadequate action globally on soaring levels of greenhouse gases related to human activity.

Cortada has long been involved in art that intervenes in, and/or comments upon environmental problems. He has created environmental installations (North Pole and South Poleand direct-impact ecological art projects, in Florida, around the US, and internationally, (Taiwan, Hawaii and Holland).

Xavier Cortada is Florida-educated and has lived in Miami since he was three. He is currently Artist-in-Residence at FIU School of Environment, Arts and Society | College of Arts, Science & Education and the College of Communication, Architecture + the Arts. (https://cortada.com)



The Deering Estate offers complimentary exhibit evenings, highlighting a variety of contemporary, historic, and visiting exhibitions inside the historic homes. Exhibit Evenings are free of charge and offer the public a chance to interact with artists and curators and to experience a variety of exhibit tours and talks. Exhibit Evenings are held from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm, unless otherwise noted. Exhibit on view daily, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm; Free with Estate Admission.

Southern Alliance for Clean Energy presents “DO NOT OPEN” performance


Contact: Jennifer Rennicks, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy

Alissa@cleanenergy.org, 954-734-3773


ADVISORY: Miami Community Leaders, Elected Officials, and Artist, Join in Interactive Art Installation

to Highlight Sea Level Rise and Uncertain Future of South Florida

Event emphasizes climate action uncertainty as President-Elect Trump is inaugurated


Miami, Fla. – One day before the inauguration of climate change denier President-Elect Trump, Miami-based and globally featured artist Xavier Cortada will host a live performance as a portion of his ongoing research driven art, CLIMA 2016. The interactive exhibit “Do Not Open” invites participants to imagine the future of South Florida, its communities, and the effects of sea level rise, writing letters to future Floridians placed in a time capsule. 

When: January 19th at 7:00 PM

Where: Cortada Art Studio Gallery, 4664 SW 75th Avenue, Miami, FL 33155


  • Xavier Cortada
  • Elected Officials
  • Community Leaders
  • South Florida Residents

What: The event, through art, will draw attention to the challenge of climate change impacts to South Florida and the need for more action now. This is an especially critical and timely message as the event is being held only one day before the inauguration of a new president who vocally denies climate change and its effects already being felt by communities throughout the world. The Do Not Open art installation is a time capsule to capture written messages/letters that will be added to the exhibit by Xavier Cortada. The performance also coincides with the full gallery opening featuring a series of ceramic and tile works.


Xavier Cortada, “DO NOT OPEN,” 2016.

DO NOT OPEN:  Participant Instructions | Artist’s Poem

City of Sweetwater submerged beneath a 6 foot sea level rise.

Submerged: City of Sweetwater beneath a 6-foot rise in sea level (using the eyesontherise app).


  • Walk up to the “Do Not Open” wall in the exhibit.
  • Close your eyes: Imagine your city in the future. Imagine how rising seas will impact it and those who will live here then.
  • Think about what you would like them to know. Think about what you believe someone living in 2041, 2066, 2116 or 2216 will need to hear from someone living in 2016.
  • Unclip a blank piece of paper and envelope from the wall and use a pencil to write it all down:  Tell them who you are. Tell them why you are writing to them. Sign it. Date it.
  • Fold the letter in two, kiss it, place it in the envelope and seal it.
  • On the outside of the envelope write only one of these four phrases:

“DO NOT OPEN: 25 years”
“DO NOT OPEN: 50 years”
“DO NOT OPEN: 100 years”
“DO NOT OPEN: 200 years”

  • Clip the sealed envelope to the “Do Not Open” wall with the words facing out.
  • Stare at your envelope for 25 seconds, 50 seconds, 100 seconds, or 200 seconds.
  • Think of how your words will be received in the future.
  • Walk away

Earlier Workshop with Seniors
Wednesday, December 7th, 2016 at 10 am
Milander Center for Arts & Entertainment








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clima-web-logoCLIMA Home | Main 2016 | Gallery | Statement | PressEvents | Livestream

Cortada worksDo Not Open | Climate Refugees | Hot for Hialeah | Psychoanalysis of Climate ChangeReclamation Project | Flor 500
LTER : Everglades (Florida) | HJ Andrews (Oregon) | Hubbard Brook (New Hampshire)

DO NOT OPEN:  Poem | Participant Instructions

Workshop with Seniors
Wednesday, December 7th, 2016 at 10 am
Milander Center for Arts & Entertainment
Hialeah Seniors








img_8143 img_8277


Xavier Cortada, "Testamento," archival ink on aluminum, 2015

Xavier Cortada, “Testamento,” archival ink on aluminum, 2015

CLIMA 2016 Panel: The Art of Climate Change

clima-web-logoCLIMA Home | Main 2016 | Gallery | Statement | PressEvents | Livestream

Cortada worksDo Not Open | Climate Refugees | Hot for Hialeah | Psychoanalysis of Climate ChangeReclamation Project | Flor 500
LTER : Everglades (Florida) | HJ Andrews (Oregon) | Hubbard Brook (New Hampshire)

CLIMA Panel: The Art of Climate Change
Tuesday, December 6th, 2016 at 10 am
Milander Center for Arts & Entertainment




Moderator:  Dean Brian Schriner, Dean, FIU College of Communication, Architecture + The Arts

Xavier Cortada, Artist-in-Residence, FIU College of Communication, Architecture + The Arts and School of Environment, Art and Society
Micheal Gray, MFA candidate in Visual Arts: Studio Practice, FIU College of Communication, Architecture + The Arts
Miriam Machado, Education Curator, FIU Frost Art Museum

Art Presentation: Let the Sunshine in Pinecrest, Palmetto Bay & Cutler Bay | Vote NO on Amendment 1


 Let the Sunshine in-5

Let the Sunshine in-1 Let the Sunshine in-3 Let the Sunshine in-2

“Let the sunshine in…”
Xavier Cortada


Xavier Cortada, “Vote NO on 1,” oil on solar panel, 2016

Art Presentation: Let the Sunshine in Pinecrest, Palmetto Bay & Cutler Bay | Vote NO on Amendment 1
Artist’s Statement

Let the Sunshine in-4Earlier this year, we moved into our new home in Palmetto Bay and installed solar panels. We wanted to do our part to protect the environment. Using clean energy helps save the planet by reducing the amount of “dirty” electricity we need to buy from utilities.

It also saves me money. Unlike fossil fuels, sunshine is free.

Most Floridians like clean energy. They would love to bring it to their homes.

Clean energy companies like it too. As do thoseemployed in the growing clean energy work force.

Not everyone likes the idea of clean energy, though.

The utilities don’t.

The utilities have spent $22 million to place a deceptive Constitutional Amendment on the ballot before Florida voters on November 8th, 2016. At first reading, Amendment 1 sounds as if it advances the cause of solar energy in the Sunshine State. Instead, it stifles competition and sets up mechanisms that disincentivize rooftop energy.  Utilities would rather have change on their own terms. They’re not accustomed to having competition and will do anything to stop potential competitors even if it means tricking you into voting against your own financial interests so they can increase their profits and increase the rate of our planet’s destruction.

I want to make my new neighbors aware about the truth behind this amendment. I want us to shine a light on this “wolf in sheep’s clothing” amendment so that they can make informed choices at the ballot box.

So, using old solar panels Cutler Bay Solar Solutions (my solar contractor) gave me, I created three “sun paintings:” One for my Palmetto Bay neighbors. The other for my neighbors to the south at Cutler Bay. And the other for my neighbors to the north in Pinecrest.

I want my new neighbors to see the sun art and see themselves reflected on the solar panels. I want them to see their connection to the sun.

Everything that lives on Planet Earth (including residents of Pinecrest, Palmetto Bay, and Cutler Bay) is threatened by humandisruptions to the perfect, but fragile balance created in synchrony with the sun.

Let’s live in balance with nature.

Let’s lower our carbon footprint.

Let’s harness the power ofthe sun.

Let’s follow its light.

Let’s use its energy to save the planet while growing our economy. Let’s make the right choices.

Vote No on Amendment 1 and let the sun shine in the ”Sunshine State!”