Xavier Cortada… Visionary, artist in residence at Pinecrest Gardens and Renaissance Man


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Xavier Cortada’s participatory artistic practice is based at Pinecrest Gardens. Through exhibitions at the Hibiscus Gallery, installations along the colonnade in the gardens, and programs at the weekly Farmer’s Market, Cortada Projects uses the power of art to engage the public in learning and solving environmental problems. . Cortada’s hope is that by bringing his committed practice to Pinecrest Gardens, he can raise awareness of pressing environmental issues, encouraging citizens to do what they can to protect life on the planet today, as well as future generations. who will inherit what is left. behind.

As the artist in residence of Pinecrest Gardens, Cortada aims to bring the community together through her participatory art projects. By facilitating experiential learning, Cortada projects allow people to reframe the way they see themselves and their relationship to the natural world. Not only are participants encouraged to explore and become curious about their local surroundings, but they are also motivated to protect and live in harmony with nature.

Xavier is an eco-artist. Ecological art is a genre of art and artistic practice that seeks to preserve, repair and / or revitalize the life forms, resources and ecology of the Earth, by applying the principles of ecosystems to living species and to their habitats in the lithosphere, atmosphere, biosphere and hydrosphere, including wild, rural, suburban and urban regions. It is a genre distinct from environmental art in that it involves the restoration of functioning ecological systems, as well as activist and socially engaged community interventions.

Xavier’s latest installation Eco-art Colonnade, a 200-foot-long interactive eco-art exhibit that will be on permanent display at Pinecrest Gardens. The Eco-art Colonnade features a collection of Cortada’s most important projects so visitors can learn about critical environmental issues impacting South Florida, participate in a range of eco-art initiatives in courses and find out how they can help protect people and the planet.

Among the nine participatory art projects featured are the ‘Underwater HOA’ (the internationally renowned effort bringing neighbors together to plan for sea level rise), ‘Seahorse Society’ (where participants pledge to protect Biscayne Bay and its seagrass) and “Native Flags” (the urban reforestation campaign that Cortada launched at the North Pole in 2008). Each of the projects along the Colonnade provides an overview of the problem it is trying to solve, the history of the project, and a way for visitors to participate on site or at home.

“At a time when our environmental future looks so bleak, it is heartening to share ways in which we can each take individual action to make a difference,” Cortada said. “These participatory eco-art projects aim to inspire and engage members of our community to become protagonists in the fight against global climate change and rising seas.”

Since his first participatory eco-art project in 2006, the “Recovery Project”, Cortada has inspired tens of thousands of people to become curious about the natural world that captivated him as a child. Other projects featured in the Eco-art Colonnade include “Florida is… nature”, “Endangered World”, “Plan (T)” and “Letters for the Future”, all of which attempt to raise awareness and to motivate action towards the threats of climate change, environmental degradation and biodiversity loss.

“What a pleasure to learn that the EcoArt Colonnade at Pinecrest Gardens in Miami honors the exceptional work of Xavier Cortada, one of the first South Florida artists to engage in ecological art as a practice,” said art historian Mary Jo Aagerstoun. “I believe that the EcoArt continuum of Cortada will soon exceed the 200 feet that the next colonnade will embrace. And he should.

The Eco-art Colonnade will serve as a platform for community members, families and children to discuss and engage in protecting Florida’s natural beauty.

Cortada asks visitors to participate in its nine eco-art projects by having them adopt endangered animals, plant native wildflower gardens, initiate eco-actions, mark the elevation of their homes above from sea level, plant salt tolerant native trees and write short letters to someone in the future.

According to Cortada, “By working and learning together, we can all solve problems to make our world more just, more loving and more beautiful. “

We at Pinecrest Gardens are very honored to host this extraordinary eco-artist as Artist in Residence domiciled in our Gardens and Cultural Arts Park. This lively, innovative and interactive exhibition is a real gift for our community, for visitors from here and elsewhere and for those who, tomorrow, will benefit from the eco-actions it will generate.

The Eco-art Colonnade will join Cortada’s other public art gems in the garden, including Pinecrest Mangrove Forest (Miami’s first urban mangrove garden), Diatom Court (commemorating FCE LTER scientists studying the Everglades) and the longitudinal installation (a replica of the work the artist installed at the South Pole in 2007 to raise awareness of global climate change).

In conjunction with the Eco-art Colonnade is the new digital corridor of Pinecrest Gardens, a centralized hub designed to help visitors discover Cortada’s works of art through the gardens, showcase works of art created by Cortada across the community and provide an online gallery of Cortada’s limited editions. prints available in the Hibiscus gallery in the garden.
Xavier Cortada… a visionary, a Renaissance man and a treasure from the Pinecrest gardens.

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