Xavier Cortada

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Xavier Cortada
Xavier Cortada 2007 artist headshot.jpg
Xavier Cortada, 2007
Born 1964
Albany, New York US
Residence Miami, Florida
Nationality United States
Education University of Miami (B.A./M.A. in Public Administration/Juris Doctor)
Occupation Artist
Years active Since 2000
Known for Environmentally-oriented artwork
Awards Millennium International Volunteer Award
Outstanding Achievement Award
Website Xavier Cortada website

Xavier Cortada (born 1964 in Albany, New York) is an American painter who now resides in Miami, Florida. His work has been exhibited in museums, galleries and cultural venues across the Americas, Europe, and Africa.

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

Cortada has developed participatory art projects to engage communities in local action. 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 (The Florida Botanical Gardens, 2009), and coral reef preservation efforts in Hawaii (Bishop Museum, 2010).

Cortada has worked with groups internationally to produce art projects and installations, such as environmental works in the Netherlands (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 been commissioned to create art for the White House (2002), the World Bank (2003), the Florida Supreme Court, and the Museum of Florida History (2003), the Miami Art Museum (2001),the Miami Children’s Museum (2004], the Miami Science Museum (2007) and the Frost Art Museum (2008). Cortada’s work hangs in the Miami City Hall (2005), the Miami-Dade County Hall (2004), inside the Miami Drug Court, and on the façade of the Miami Juvenile Courthouse (1999).

Cortada holds three degrees from the University of Miami— Bachelor of Arts, Master of Public Administration and Juris Doctor. The artist's work and writings are preserved in the Xavier Cortada Collection of the University of Miami Libraries Cuban Heritage Collection. He has been honored in the Congressional Record and with "Xavier Cortada Day" proclamations by the City of Miami, Miami Beach, and Miami-Dade County. Corporations such as General Mills, Nike, Heineken and Hershey's have commissioned Cortada’s art. Publishers McDougal and Random House have featured examples of his art in school textbooks and publications. His work has also been featured in National Geographic TV and the Discovery Channel.

Cortada has received awards for his volunteer work, including the "Millennium International Volunteer Award" from the United States Department of State/USA Today (for his work in Spain, Portugal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Mauritius, Kenya Tanzania, Colombia, Bolivia, Honduras and Guatemala) and the Florida International Volunteer Corps 1999 "Outstanding Achievement Award" (for his work in Costa Rica and Panama).

In February 2000 the Holy See invited Cortada to participate in the Vatican’s "Jubilee Day for Artists", where he met Pope John Paul II. In 2004 Cortada, a former altar boy, announced that he would no longer attend Mass until the Catholic Church changed its position on homosexuality, since he felt he could no longer attend a church that discriminated against him.[1]

Cortada has worked with groups across the world to produce large-scale murals and community art projects. In 2006 he received the "National Champion for Children Award" from the Child Welfare League of America.

In 2007, as a recipient of the National Science Foundation Antarctic Artists and Writers Program, he created site-specific installations at the South Pole.[2]


  1. ^ Alter, Alexandra (11 October 2004). "Gay Christians Becoming More Active in Liberal, Conservative Churches". Miami Herald. Archived from the original on 28 September 2007. Retrieved 20 May 2007. 
  2. ^ De Jesus, Carlos Suarez. "Bold as Ice". Miami New Times. Archived from the original on May 27, 2009. Retrieved 3 December 2009. 
  • Global Warnings, by Suzaan Boettger, Art in America, Issue No. 6, pp. 154–161, 206-207, June/July 2008
  • Bold as Ice, By Carlos Suarez de Jesus, Miami New Times, March 29, 2007

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