Xavier Cortada has worked with groups across the world to produce numerous large-scale collaborative art projects, including eco-art installations on Miami Beach and the South Pole. In 2007, as a grant recipient of the National Science Foundation Antarctic Artists and Writers Program, he created art for permanent display in the continent's McMurdo and Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station. The Miami artist has been commissioned to create art for the White House, the Florida Supreme Court, Miami City Hall, the Miami Art Museum and the Museum of Florida History. Cortada's work is also in the permanent collection of The World Bank.
Through his art, he attempts to reclaim Florida's fertile past. The concrete columns that hold up I-95 through downtown Miami now bear Cortada's mark: in 2004, he led volunteers in painting colorful mangrove seedlings on columns across several neighborhoods, a metaphoric re-foresting of Miami.
In 2006, volunteers helped him implement The Reclamation Project, placing 2500 mangrove seedlings in clear water-filled cups across Miami Beach to remind us of what the community was like before all the concrete was poured. Through this installation, mangrove seedlings conceptually reclaimed an island where they thrived a few decades earlier. Their reforestation will create a mangrove colony on Biscayne Bay, eventually rebuilding natural ecosystems above and below the water line. Through this process Cortada explore our ability to coexist with the natural world.
Cortada has received numerous awards for his volunteer work, including the prestigious Millennium International Volunteer Award from the U.S. Department of State/USA Today and the National Champion for Children Award from the Child Welfare League of America.
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