Xavier Cortada 2010 December Newsletter
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Newsletter: December 2010
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Xavier Cortada

Cortada exhibits at Miami museums, art fair;
lectures at Princeton University.

December 2010

Local exhibits
Frost Art Museum
SCOPE Art Fair
Art Center South Florida
Miami Science Museum
Arts for a Better World

Other news
Art in Embassies

Art in Embassies
exhibits Cortada's paintings in Africa

"The stunning mangroves of Xavier Cortada highlight the challenge of
living in harmony with the natural world and protecting our environment.
This is as pressing a challenge for Equatorial Guinea - which has its own threatened mangroves and unique biodiversity - as it is for the United States."

Ambassador Alberto Fernandez
Malabo, Equatorial Guinea

Click here for more

UM Alumni Center

Paintings, prints on permanent display at new UM Alumni Center

Five works by University of Miami alumnus Xavier Cortada (BA 1986, MPA 1991, JD 1991) are on permanent exhibit at the newly inaugurated University of Miami Newman Alumni Center in Coral Gables, FL. 

Three of Cortada's colorful mangrove paintings and edition 1 (of 5) of the artist's signed, numbered limited edition Longitudinal Installation prints (of both the North Pole and South Pole work) flank the hallway leading to the center's first floor conference room.

Hawaiian eco-art: Bishop Museum Banner A

Coral eco-art at Hawaii's Bishop Museum

In the past few months, museum educators at the Bishop Museum in Honolulu have begun implementing Xavier Cortada's "Coral Eco-art Project" to help protect's Hawaii's coral reefs.

The project engages families across the Hawaiian islands in crafting eco-actions that help reduce green house gases and reduce ocean acidification that are harmful to Hawaii's coral reefs.

Cortada's work at the Bishop Museum was sponsored by ECHO (Education through Cultural and Historic Organizations) and the Peabody Essex Museum. During March 2010, Cortada was aritst in residence at the Bishop Museum, visited its collections and worked with museum educators and with University of Hawaii researchers to develop the participatory eco-art project.

The Bishop Museum was founded in 1889 by Charles Reed Bishop as a memorial to his wife, Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop, the last direct descendant of King Kamehameha I. The Bishop Museum's mission is to study, preserve and tell the stories of the cultures and natural history of Hawai'i and the Pacific. It works closely with teachers, school children, and lifelong learners to offer meaningful educational programs, hosting more than 325,000 children, families, and out-of-state visitors annually.

Bishop Museum
1525 Bernice Street
Honolulu, Hawai'i


University of Miami

Biology Department appointment

On November 10th, 2010, the faculty of the University of Miami Department of Biology voted to extend artist Xavier Cortada the title of Adjunct Lecturer of the Department of Biology.

Silver Knight

Silver Knight Alumni Legacy Network

On November 17th, 2010, Cortada was elected to serve as Vice Chair of the Silver Knight Alumni Legacy Network.

The Silver Knight Alumni Legacy Network is a forum created to engage past, present and future Silver Knight honorees, the best and brightest of Miami's outstanding high school seniors, to continue their pursuit of excellence, to enhance our community through civic engagement, to work together to contribute through community service and to inspire future award winners.

Cortada, a Miami Herald Silver Knight Award winner from Miami Senior High School in 1982, will be inducted with the other officers -- including attorneys Rafael Penalver (Vice Chair) and Jimmy Morales (Chair) -- during a ceremony in the new Downtown offices Greenberg Traurig on December 21st, 2010.  More information about the group at www.silverknightalumni.com

MOCA logo

MOCA Leadership Circle

Cortada joined the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) Leadership Circle.  Membership in the Leadership Circle is a yearly commitment and involves attending dynamic lectures, outings and functions tailored to engage future advocates for contemporary art and philanthropy.  To learn more about MOCA visit www.mocanomi.org

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 Genetic Sequence


Frost Art Museum

Florida International University
10975 SW 17th Street
Miami, Florida  33199

October 13th, 2010 - January 2nd, 2011

Xavier Cortada's solo exhibit at the Frost Art Museum explores the sequence of events that makes up life on the planet from the molecular to the monumental.  

The title of the exhibit also references a series of actions Cortada set in motion to create of a unique strand of DNA.  This included a participatory installation on the museum wall where 400 visitors randomly generated a genetic sequence.  Participants replaced one of 400 pieces of a large scale work on paper (representing a DNA molecule) with a card depicting one of Cortada's four nucleotide paintings.

Sequentia Opening
above: screen grabs from opening night performance courtesy of wetheat.tv
Random Sequence similar to human DNA

During his November 10th lecture at the Frost Art Museum, Xavier C
ortada joined FIU's Dr. Kalai Mathee in announcing that the genetic sequence randomly generated by 400 visitors to his Sequentia museum exhibit a few weeks earlier was similar to a portion of human Chromosome 3 which encodes for proteins that direct the navigation of axons in human neurons.

Sequentia LabARTory Sessions
Hours earlier, Cortada worked in Dr. Mathee's laboratory in the FIU College of Medicine to synthesize the 400-nucleotide DNA molecule.  He named it "Sequentia.

For more information please visit

Xavier Cortada, "(The Four Nucleotides:) Adenine," 2010
Xavier Cortada, "(The Four Nucleotides:) Adenine," acrylic on canvas, 60" x 72", 2010.

FIU logo


SCOPE Miami Art Fair
Xavier Cortada, "80.15 W", 2010
During the SCOPE Miami art fair, Hardcore Art Contemporary Space will exhibit Xavier Cortada's "80.15 W" carbon paper drawings and prints in their booth:  Booth C42
Titled for Biscayne Bay's longitude, the "80.15 W" series features the 17 threatened and endangered species that call Biscayne National Park home.



Wynwood Gallery Arts District

3055 North Miami Avenue (Booth C42)| Miami, Florida 33127

Tuesday, November 30 | 3pm-9pm
Free for VIPs or $100 donation at the door benefiting the SCOPE Foundation

General Admission Fair Hours
Wednesday | December 1 | 11am-6pm
Thursday-Saturday | December 2-4 | 11-7pm
Sunday | December 5 | 11am-6pm

For more information please visit

Endangered World 

"Endangered World: Life Wall" participants

Life Wall

Art Center South Florida features Xavier Cortada's "Endangered World: Life Wall", an eco-art project he launched in 2009 at a Neolithic gravesite/museum in Holland. 

The instal
lation depicts participants' online contributions to the participatory project*: On a found stone, participants paint the longitude of the animal they've adopted.  They keep their marked stone in a conspicuous place (e.g., as a  paperweight on a desk) to remind them daily of the sustainable practice they've promised to engage in support of their endangererd animal.


Zero degrees -- EW drawingUpstairs in his studio (#201), Cortada is showing 180 pencil drawings of endangered animals living in the Eastern Hemisphere.  The work is based on the 360 endangered animals originally featured in the artist's 2008 North Pole Installation, in the 2009 Life Wall in Holland, and in the 2010 mile-long installation at Biscayne National Park in Miami. 

Art Center South Florida
 924 Lincoln Road
Entrance Gallery and Studio 201

Miami Beach, Florida 33139

On exhibit through January 10, 2011

*Special thanks to Gretchen Scharnagl and Artistic Expression in a Global Society, a foundational global learning course she co-teaches at Florida International University.

For more information please visit

Longitudinal Installation: 90N / 90S
90 N
/ 90 S

North Pole & South Pole Installations
at Miami Science Museum 

Miami based artist Xavier Cortada created art installations at the Earth's poles to generate awareness about global climate change: 

NSF logoIn 2007, as an NSF (National Science Foundation) Antarctic Artists  & Writers Program grantee, the artist used the moving ice sheet beneath the South Pole as an instrument to mark time; the art piece will be completed in 150,000 years. 

NYFA logoIn 2008, as an NYFA (New York Foundation for the Arts) sponsored artist, he planted a green flag at North Pole to reclaim it for nature and launch a participatory eco-art project to help reforest the world below.

Miami Science Museum
Replicas and artifacts from these installations, as well as other artworks, are on exhibit at the Miami Science Museum, 3280 South Miami Avenue, Miami, FL through May 31, 2011.
For more information please visit

Reclaiming Mangroves
Reclamation Project mangrove seedling

Five  years ago Miami artist Xavier Cortada brought awareness to the importance of mangroves by launching the Reclamation Project at the Bass Museum of Art.

Annually, the eco-art project's volunteers collect mangrove propagules, grow them for several months inside clear cups hanging on Lincoln Road store fronts (earlier site of a mangrove forest) and the Miami Science Museum, and then plant the seedlings nearby on Biscayne Bay.

To celebrate eight acres of coastal reforestation to date, Cortada's mangrove paintings will on exhibit at two local venues during the next two months. Proceeds from sales of the paintings will benefit several charities (see links below).

Arts for a Better World
Wynwood Arts District 
November 30th through December 5th.2010

Union Credit Bank reception for the Reclamation Project 
Brickell Financial District
Opening reception: December 13th at 5:30 pm 
Exhibit runs through February 15th, 2011

 Where Magazine
Several paintings from Cortada's mangrove series hang permanently in the newly inaugurated University of Miami Alumni Center; others are on loan
to the residence of the US Ambassador to Equatorial Guinea as part of the  U.S. State Department's Art in Embassies program.

Princeton University

he Colloquium Series of the

Center for Migration and Development

"An Artist's Perspective on Race and Ethnicity:
The Ancestral Journeys Project"

a lecture by

Xavier Cortada

December 16th, 2010 at noon*
Princeton University
Princeton, NJ

Through his multi-year "Ancestral Journeys" project, Xavier Cortada explores
the complex relationship between human genetics, identity and history, particularly human migration from its origins in East Africa.

For more information please visit

Visit artist's studio:

Xavier Cortada studio
924 Lincoln Road
Studio 201
Miami Beach, FL 33139


For more information
please visit

Cortada drawing hand in studioMiami artist Xavier Cortada created art installations at the North Pole and South Pole to address environmental concerns at every point in between. He's been commissioned to create art for the White House, the World Bank, Miami City Hall, Miami-Dade County Hall, Florida Botanical Gardens, the Miami Art Museum, Museum of Florida History, Miami Science Museum and the Frost Art Museum. Cortada has also developed numerous collaborative art projects globally, including peace murals in Cyprus and Northern Ireland, child welfare murals in Bolivia and Panama, AIDS murals in Switzerland and South Africa, and eco-art projects in Holland, Hawaii and Latvia.

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.


 Reclamation Project

 NYFA sponsored-artist participatory eco-art projects


Native Flags   






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