FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Left Brain and Right Brain view on Tampa Bay:
Artist and Scientist to discuss mangrove reforestation at lecture
Mangroves and Eco-Art: A lecture by scientist Tom Smith, Ph.D. and artist Xavier Cortada
Tuesday, November 18th, 2008 at 6:00 pm
Florida Botanical Gardens
12520 Ulmerton Road
Largo, FL 33774
Dr. Tom Smith will discuss "Mangroves of the World - Why They are Important?" and Xavier Cortada will discuss his a participatory eco-art projects aimed at restoring native habitats for plants and animals in coastal communities. Both are working locally with students at Shorecrest Preparatory School on an eco-art project to reforest Tampa Bay.
Prior to the lecture, at 5:00 pm, Cortada will join Smith and the students in dedicating the mangrove installation he created at the Florida Botanical Gardens. The eco-art installation, commissioned by Pinellas County Art in Public Places, features hundreds of red mangrove seedlings in clear water-filled cups. In September, Dr. Smith led the Shorecrest Preparatory School students in collecting the mangrove propagules from Weedon Island Nature Preserve. Next year, students will plant this installation's seedlings on Tampa Bay and replace them with a new batch.
Dr. Tom Smith, a scientist based at the U.S. Geological Service in St. Petersburg, FL, is internationally recognized as an expert on coastal ecosystems in general and mangroves in particular. He has worked in forests in Florida, the Virgin Islands, Belize, Australia, Papua New Guinea, and elsewhere throughout Asia and the Pacific. His research is aimed at understanding disturbance, both natural and man-made, and recovery in these important forests and especially at how to restore them.
Xavier Cortada has worked with groups across the world to produce numerous large-scale collaborative art projects-- including eco-art installations on Miami Beach (2006), the South Pole (2007) and the North Pole (2008). The Miami artist has been commissioned to create art for the White House, the World Bank, the Florida Supreme Court, Miami City Hall, Miami-Dade County Hall, the Miami Art Museum, and the Museum of Florida History. For more information visit www.cortada.com