Monday, September 10, 2012

OUR Artist of the Week: Xavier Cortada

Many artists care about the environment, but few would actually hike to both the North & South Poles, which Xavier Cortada did in 2007 and 8.   It was at the top (and bottom) of the world that Cortada planted a green flag to reclaim it for nature and to launch a global reforestation eco-art effort.   Born in 1964 in Albany New York, Xavier now resides in Miami.   His work has been exhibited in museums, galleries and cultural venues across the Americas, Europe, and Africa.
Cortada has worked with groups internationally to produce art projects and installations, such as 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).
Holding three degrees from the University of Miami, a 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.
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.
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.



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