About the Artist

Xavier Cortada

“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 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 atNorth 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) andSouth 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 www.cortada.com