Florida is…Native Trees

September 5 – October 3

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Xavier Cortada, “Native Trees: Satin Leaf,” 12″ x 18″, archival ink on paper, 2008.

About “Native Trees”

Native Flags was created as an urban reforestation project to help restore native habitats for plants and animals across South Florida. Launched in 2008, Native Flags now calls on individuals globally to join the effort. Fusing art, scientific knowledge, and civic engagement, Native Flags seeks to involve individuals directly in restoration efforts through the planting, maintaining and protection of native trees.

The restoration of native trees offsets the threat of global warming. This effect has turned urban reforestation effort into a top priority by planting drought-tolerant native plant species. These native plant species reduce the effects of carbon dioxide emissions that contribute to global warming and increase the amount of clean air present.


About the Artist

Xavier Cortada serves as Artist-in-Residence at FIU School of Environment, Arts and Society and the College of Communication, Architecture + The Arts.

Cortada often engages scientists in his art-making:

At CERN, Cortada and a particle physicist created a permanent digital-art piece to celebrate the Higgs boson discovery. Cortada has worked with scientists at Hubbard Brook LTER on a water cycle visualization project driven by real-time data collected at a watershed in New Hampshire’s White Mountains.

He has collaborated with a population geneticist to explore our ancestral journeys out of Africa 60,000-years ago, with a molecular biologist to synthesize a DNA strand from a sequence 400 museum visitors randomly generated, and with botanists to develop multi-year participatory eco-art efforts to reforest mangrovesnative trees, and wildflowers across Florida.

The Miami artist has created environmental installations (North Pole and South Pole) and eco-art (TaiwanHawaii and Hollandprojects, and painted community murals addressing peace (Cyprus and Northern Ireland), child welfare  (Bolivia and Panama), AIDS (Switzerlandand South Africa) and juvenile justice (Miami and Philadelphia) concerns.

His studio is located at Pinecrest Gardens.