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Artist's Statement 2003: Legacy of the Mangrove

Florida Hispanic Heritage Month 2003

Artist's Statement | Florida Mangrove | The Journey | Press Release | Hispanic Leaders

The Legacy of the Mangrove

Since Ponce de Leon discovered it in 1513, Hispanics have been making significant contributions to this state.

To me, immigrants are like mangrove seeds that wash up and take root on a Florida sandbar and build a stable land mass for other life to take hold.

The mangroves’ walking feet serve as a metaphor for the growth and evolution of the state.

Miami, my home, is the perfect example of a community enhanced by the contribution of Hispanic immigrants.

For Hispanic Heritage Month 2003, I chose to create two murals:

The first, Florida Mangrove, portrays the first encounter between Ponce de Leon and Florida’s indigenous residents against the backdrop of a beach and mangroves.

The second mural, The Journey, depicts immigrants in a sea of floating mangrove seeds. They're on the journey many others have made since Ponce de Leon named the state La Florida.

 2004 - 2013


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

FIU College of Architecture + The Arts

Xavier Cortada
FIU College of Architecture + The Arts
Miami Beach Urban Studios
420 Lincoln Road, Suite 440
Miami Beach, FL 33139

 Reclamation Project 



Native Flags

The Reclamation Project and Native Flags are participatory eco-art projects by FIU College of Architecture + The Arts Artist-in-Residence Xavier Cortada.  

In South Florida, they are presented in coordination with our project partners:

FIU Office of University Sustainabiity
MDC Earth Ethics Institute

Copyright 2006-2013 
Xavier Cortada