Tell us about the social innovator behind this idea.
Xavier Cortada is the founder and artistic director of the Reclamation Project.
The artist has created art installations at the Earth's poles to generate awareness about global climate change: In 2007, the artist 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, he planted a green flag at North Pole to reclaim it for nature and in so doing launch a global reforestation eco-art effort.
Cortada has also developed participatory art projects to engage communities in local action at points in between. 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 (Florida Botanical Gardens, 2009), and coral reef preservation efforts in Hawaii (Bishop Museum, 2010).
Cortada has also worked with groups internationally to produce numerous art projects and installations, including 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).
The Miami artist has also been commissioned to create art for the White House (2002), the World Bank (2003), Miami City Hall (2005), Miami-Dade County Hall (2004), Miami Art Museum (2001), the Museum of Florida History (2003) and the Frost Art Museum (2008).
Corporations such as General Mills, Nike, Heineken and Hershey's have commissioned Cortada’s art. Publishers like McDougal and Random House have featured it in school textbooks and publications. His work has also been featured in National Geographic TV and the Discovery Channel. Cortada, who was born in Albany, New York and grew up in Miami, holds degrees from the University of Miami College of Arts and Sciences, Graduate School of Business and School of Law.
For more information visit www.xaviercortada.com