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About the Artist: Biography
Xavier Cortada

Xavier Cortada at the North Pole, see

About the artist

Click here to download Artist's Bio PDF 

Xavier Cortada has created art installations in 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, including: coastal reforestation efforts in Miami (2006) and an urban reforestation campaign in St. Petersburg (2009).

Cortada has also worked with groups across the world to produce numerous collaborative art projects, including peace murals in Cyprus (2000) and Northern Ireland (2000), child welfare murals in Bolivia (1997) and Panama (1999), AIDS 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), the Florida Supreme Court (2004), the Florida Governor's Mansion (2007), 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 his art. Publishers like McDougal and Random House have featured it in school textbooks and publications.

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


  • 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.


  • 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.
  • 2007 Envisioning Change, an international touring exhibit presented by the UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme) and the Natural World Museum:
Nobel Peace Center, Oslo, Norway,
Bozar Centre for Fine Arts, Brussels, Belgium, and
Ministry of Culture, Monaco (2008).

2006 Miami in Transition, Miami Art Museum, Miami, 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, , Wolfson Center Gallery, MDC Art Galleries, Miami, FL.
    • 2007 Antarctica, Kunsthaus Contemporary Art Space, Miami, FL.
    • 2006 The Reclamation Project, Bass Museum of Art, Miami Beach, FL.


    • 2008 Florida Art in State Buildings, Frost Art Museum, Miami, FL.
    • 2008 Monroe County Art in Public Places, Upper Keys Government and Cultural Center, FL.
    • 2008 Pinellas County Public Art and Design Program, Florida Botanical Gardens, Largo, 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).
    • Kunsthaus Miami exhibit. Review by Milagros Bello. Published in arte al día (International Magazine of Contemporary Latin American Art), edition 119, (July 2007).

    State of Florida Division of Cultural Affairs, Florida Arts Council, board member, 2008-present

    City of Miami Green Commission, member, 2007-present

    Miami-Dade Cultural Affairs Council, Councilor, 2005-present

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

    December 1991  Master of Public Administration
    University of Miami Graduate School, Coral Gables, Florida.

    December 1986  Bachelor of Arts
    University of Miami College of Arts and Sciences, Coral Gables, Florida.

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