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WIlliam Sturtevant

Posted By Andrew Low, Friday, April 25, 2014

The FLOR500 Project is classified as a “participatory art project” created by a local Miami artist, Xavier Cortada. This project serves as a movement to commemorate significant figures of society that were of benefit to the population of Florida.
I was assigned William Sturtevant, an Anthropologist for the Smithsonian Institution. Initially I did not have any previous knowledge of this person; therefore it led me to do some basic research upon the person I was going to dedicate in the garden project. Upon doing this, I was made aware that he was most famous for his work and knowledge involving the use of Native American culture. Sturtevant’s work was described as “absolute indispensable tool that should be found on the shelves of all libraries, public and private alike” by Claude Levi-Strauss, a renowned anthropologist.  Needless to say, I was quite impressed with the work and knowledge that Sturtevant executed/taught, as he incorporated historical aspects to the cultures of Native Americans, a culture that not many are aware of/about.

The seeds collected in class were planted in his honor at the Tropical Park in Miami. Where a sign was put on display, informing the audience of what the garden was being used for. Furthermore, the sign incorporated the use of small Native American prints that showed significance towards the dedication of William Sturtevant.

The relevance to this project is to bring a sense of remembrance towards those who contributed significant work towards our society, regardless of the amount of people it helped. In my opinion it is the least we can do, as a way to give back and raise awareness of the good jobs that these people did. This project also has the ability to aspire others. As they reflect on the project, they may not recognize their potential and use that to its full capacity.  

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FIU College of Architecture + The Arts

Xavier Cortada
Florida International University
College of Architecture + The Arts
420 Lincoln Road, Suite 430
Miami Beach, FL 33139

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


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