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About the Artist: Xavier Cortada
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Xavier Cortada

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"Xavier Cortada created a series of extensive installations on his Antarctic visit, focusing on the crucial element of time. The Florida native cast an ice replica of a Mangrove seedling that is very slowly making its way over 150,000 years to the coastline. In contrast, he marked the mere 50-year history of human presence at the South Pole with chronological flags stretching across the frozen land."

Lucy R. Lippard

Weather Report exhibition catalog, Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, 2007.




Xavier Cortada, 2007Xavier Cortada is the founder and artistic director of the Reclamation Project.  The Miami artist also serves as the founding director and artist-in-residence at FIU College of Architecture + The Arts | Office of Engaged Creativity.

The artist has created art installations at the Earth's poles to generate awareness about global climate change: In 2007, 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. In 2008, he planted a green flag at North Pole to reclaim it for nature and in so doing launch a global reforestation eco-art effort.


Cortada has also developed participatory art projects to engage communities in local action at points in between. In Florida, he has worked with scientists, arborists and environmental managers to develop eco-art projects that engage community residents in bioremediation: coastal reforestation initiatives in Miami (Miami Science Museum, 2007), an urban reforestation campaign in St. Petersburg (Florida Botanical Gardens, 2009), and coral reef preservation efforts in Hawaii (Bishop Museum, 2010).


Cortada has also worked with groups internationally to produce numerous art projects and installations, including environmental works in Holland (2009), Quebec (2009) and Latvia (2008), peace murals in Cyprus (2000) and Northern Ireland (2000), child welfare murals in Bolivia (1997) and Panama (1999), and the official International AIDS Conference murals in Geneva (1998) and South Africa (2000).


The Miami artist has also been commissioned to create art for the White House (2002), the World Bank (2003), Miami City Hall (2005), Miami-Dade County Hall (2004), Miami Art Museum (2001), the Museum of Florida History (2003) and the Frost Art Museum (2008).


Corporations such as General Mills, Nike, Heineken and Hershey's have commissioned Cortada’s art. Publishers like McDougal and Random House have featured it in school textbooks and publications.  His work has also been featured in National Geographic TV and the Discovery Channel.  Cortada, who was born in Albany, New York and grew up in Miami, holds degrees from the University of Miami College of Arts and Sciences, Graduate School of Business and School of Law.

For more information visit



2010     Sequentia, Frost Art Museum, Miami, FL.

2010     North Pole/South Pole (90n/90s) Installations, Miami Science Museum, Miami, FL. 

2010     Endangered World: 80.15 / Installation, Biscayne National Park, Homestead, FL.

2009     Native Flags: North Pole, ecoartspace, Verge Art Fair, Miami Beach, FL.

2009     The Reclamation Project, Martin County Courthouse Cultural Center, Stuart, FL.

2008     Ancestral Dinner Party (The Genographic Project), Miami Science Museum, Miami, FL.

2007    South Pole Installations, Centre Gallery, Miami Dade College Wolfson Campus, Miami, FL.

2007    Native Flags and The Reclamation Project, Miami Science Museum, Miami, FL.

2007     Antarctica, Kunsthaus Miami Contemporary Art Space, Wynwood Arts District, Miami, FL.

2006      The Reclamation Project, Bass Museum of Art, Miami Beach, FL.


2010    The Liberators Project/Liberadores (Denver Biennale of the Americas), Museo de las Americas,  Denver, CO.

2010    Adaptation, Art and Culture Center of Hollywood, Hollywood, FL.

2009    Water: Three States, Auburn University Art Gallery, Auburn, AL.

2009    Polar Identity, Works Gallery, San Jose, CA.

2009    Antarctica: Collection from the Bottom of the World, Maryland Science Center, Baltimore, MD.

2009    Sustainable?, Central Connecticut State University Gallery, New Britain, CT.

2008    The Green Project presented by the Claire Oliver Gallery, Miami, FL.

2008    Polar Attractions, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA.

2008    EPA (Environmental Performance Actions), EXIT ART, New York, NY.

2007    Weather Report, Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, Boulder, CO -- curated by Lucy Lippard.

2007     Envisioning Change, presented by the Natural World Museum and the United Nations Environment Programme at the Nobel Peace Center, Oslo, Norway (June-August), and the BOZAR Center for Fine Arts, Brussels, Belgium (October- December), and the Ministry of Culture in Monaco (in February 2008).

2006     Miami in Transition, Miami Art Museum, Miami, FL.


  • Green Museum, by Allison Compton, Public Art Review, Issue 40, pp 52-55 (Spring/Summer 2009).
  • Global Warnings, by Suzaan Boettger, Art in America, Issue No. 6, pp. 154-161, 206-207, June/July 2008.
  • The Arts: "The Longitudinal Installation: Representing those affected by climate change," Resurgence,  edition 243, page 32-33 (July/August 2007).
  • Kunsthaus Miami exhibit. Review by Milagros Bello.  Published in arte al día (International Magazine of Contemporary Latin American Art), edition 119, (July 2007).



  • Paths and Traces/Chemins et Tracés, Fondation Derouin – Symposium 2009, Les Jardins du Précambrien, Val-David, Quebec, Canada, 2009.
  • Kunst- en natuurwandeling OverLeven, Foundation Nature Art Drenthe (Stichting Natuurkunst Drenthe), Drenthe, the Netherlands, 2009.
  • 90N (North Pole) Installations, New York Foundation for the Arts, NYFA sponsored artist, 2008.
  • Art in Antarctica (South Pole Installations), National Science Foundation Antarctic Artists and Writers Program, 2006-2007.
  • Prior grantors include: U.S. State Department, USAID, State of Florida Division of Cultural Affairs, Miami-Dade Cultural Affairs Council, Miami-Dade Art in Public Places.



2008   Art in State Buildings, Frost Art Museum, Miami, FL. 

2008   Monroe County Art in Public Places, Upper Keys Government Center,  FL.

2008   Pinellas County Art in Public Places, Florida Botanical Gardens, Largo, FL.

2007   Monroe County Art in Public Places North Key Largo Fire Station, Key Largo, FL.


December 1991                        Juris Doctor University of Miami School of Law Coral Gables, Florida.

December 1991                        Master of Public Administration University of Miami Graduate School.

December 1986                        Bachelor of Arts in Psychology University of Miami College of Arts and Sciences.


 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