FLOR 480,Seaoats (Uniola paniculata), FLOR500, Florida, Wildflower, Art, Nature, History, Eco-art, FIU, VIVA Florida, Garden, Artists, Engaged Creativity, Environment, participatory art,Tom Virgin FLOR500 is a participatory art, nature, and history project that marks the importance of the moment when the history of Florida changed forever and gives a glimpse of what its landscape was like 500 years ago. Developed by Xavier Cortada, director and artist-in-residence of FIU’s College of Architecture + The Arts’ Office of Engaged Creativity, the project commemorates Florida’s quincentenary in 2013.
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Region 8 Southeast Florida

 FLOR 480
Seaoats (Uniola paniculata)

 

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FLOR 480 by Tom Virgin

Tom Virgin," FLOR 480: Seaoats (Uniola paniculata)”, Diptych Relief print on Chinese paper with gold leaf,

13" x 20", 2012. (CC)
  

 

About the Artist

Midwest born and raised, Tom Virgin has lived and worked in Miami since 1992. His work has been shown internationally in the United Kingdom, Japan, Canada, Mexico, and New Zealand, as well as nationally from Portland, Oregon to Key West. He was awarded an MFA in 1994 from the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida. His BFA was earned in 1989 at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Florida. His work has been featured in 1,000 Artists’ Books: Exploring the Book as Art, U.S. National Park Service print and web publications, the Miami Herald, and Accent Miami.

Tom Virgin’s work has been commissioned by the Florida Keys Art in Public Places, the City of Gainesville Art in Public Places, Miami Dade College, and Miami Art Museum. He has received numerous grants and fellowships from artist’s residencies and other institutions including the Surdna Foundation, the State of Florida, Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs, Creative Capital Professional Development, Tigertail Productions, the Ucross Foundation, Jentel Artist Residency, Oregon College of Art and Craft, the Anderson Center and U.S. National Parks. His work can be found in the the collections of the Walker Art Center, the Jaffe Center for Book Arts, the Bienes Museum of the Modern Book, the University of Miami Library’s Special Collections, the University of California’s Mandeville Collection, University of Denver, and Wells College.


Artist's Statement

When I arrived here, I made a beeline from the white sand beaches of Lake Michigan to the golden sand of Boca Raton’s Spanish River Park on the Atlantic Ocean. One could still find whole shells on the beach, and the coarse sand was warm and golden in color. As I stood in the shallow water in the sun, huge schools of silver pilchards and other bait fish would swim by taking minutes to pass. They would actually bounce off my legs as they swam by, tickling my shins.


Framing the scene were the ubiquitous Sea Oats (Uniola paniculata), literally holding the beach together. Today, the schools of fish are greatly diminished. Oceans are rising. Sea Oats and other dune flowers struggle to cope with the traffic brought by more and more beach goers. Treat these plants gently, they have a big job to do. Help me to introduce my grandchildren to the Florida I found four childhoods ago.

 

 

 

 

 




 

FLOR 480 Seaoats
Photo credit: Ken Marks

Seaoats
(Uniola paniculata)
For more information about this flower please visit
Atlas of Florida Vascular Plants Institute for Systematic Botany


Five hundred Florida artists are sought to create art for FLOR500, a participatory art, nature, and history project that marks the importance of the moment when the history of Florida changed forever and gives a glimpse of what its landscape was like 500 years ago. Developed by Xavier Cortada, director and artist-in-residence of FIU’s College of Architecture + The Arts’ Office of Engaged Creativity, the project commemorates Florida’s quincentenary in 2013. For more information click here.

FIU College of Architecture + The Arts


Xavier Cortada
Artist-in-Residence
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.






FLOR500

 Reclamation Project






 NYFA sponsored-artist participatory eco-art projects

 

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