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Garden 442: William Whitaker

Posted By Keandra Maragh, Wednesday, April 23, 2014

In honor of William Whitaker I, Keandra Maragh felt it was necessary to plant Garden 442 in his remembrance. Whitaker brought one of the biggest accomplishments economically to Florida. This major outcome first started with him trading dried salt mullet and dried roe to Cuban traders from sailing overseas. This in turn caused one of the first economic booms for Florida. In addition, Whitaker planted the first commercial citrus groves in the state causing the blooming of the renowned Florida oranges. Florida now provides 75% of the country's oranges. In all, with his experimenting of grafted oranges, he acclaimed himself as "Whitaker Sweet".

William Whitaker’s accomplishment for the state of Florida made me curious as to why Indian Blanket seeds were chosen to celebrate the historic mark he paved the way for. Looking into research about Indian blanket seeds I saw that they were native to North America and can pretty much grow in most conditions. The brilliant and radiant assorted colors of red, yellow, and gold translate to me as powerful colors that symbolize strength and dignity as to describe the actions of Williams Whitaker’s impact on Florida.

Even though my location was not as public as designated I made the best of the situation by finding a private home to plant it in. Planting in the night was best for the plant to have a moist and comfortable setting of soil, as well as, a comfortable setting for my assistant seed planter. Consequently, I chose the backyard of the private house because of the enriched atmospheric environment that was contained by the dazzling massive amounts of different plant and flower life within the backyard area. Nonetheless, I felt that the environment would promote growth of such bright and delightful flowers.

 In short, the flower project was fun and choosing the private home to harvest the Indian blanket seeds in was a great choice because it had an intimate and appreciative environment, as well as, an appreciative flower lover that loves art in any shape and form. Expressing the importance of William Whitaker’s role in Florida’s history and being able to make a difference by causing awareness was a pleasure and a great way to build bonds in an artistic way, as well as, cause restore historic awareness.

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FIU College of Architecture + The Arts


Xavier Cortada
Artist-in-Residence
Florida International University
College of Architecture + The Arts
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Miami Beach, FL 33139

Xavier Cortada's participatory art practice is based at Florida International University.






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