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The "500" Exhibit
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An art installation by Miami artist Xavier Cortada 
From December 1st 2013 through January 19th, 2014.

Miami Herald

November 16, 2013


Xavier Cortada, who has traveled as far as the South Pole to further his art, will be exhibiting next. His show will commemorate the 500th anniversary of Spanish explorer Ponce de Leon’s discovery of Florida. (The setting is especially apt because historical records indicate the explorer actually visited Key Biscayne.) Working with artists and scientists, Cortada plans to fill the gallery with 500 ceramic wildflowers that represent plants that were around in Ponce de Leon’s time. The opening is set for Dec.1.



500:  An art installation by Xavier Cortada commemorating the 500th anniversary of Juan Ponce de Leon's journey to Florida.  In 1513, the Spanish explorer visited Key Biscayne and named it Santa Marta. It is the only location on our peninsula we know with certainty as having hosted Ponce de Leon.

Cortada's "500" exhibit at Key Biscayne's Marjory Stoneman Douglas Biscayne Nature Preserve will include an installation of 500 porcelain sculptures depicting Florida's native wildflowers-- the same ones that grew in our state when Juan Ponce de Leon landed in 1513 and named it "La Florida”–from "flor," the Spanish word for flower.

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FIU College of Architecture + The Arts

Xavier Cortada
Florida International University
College of Architecture + The Arts
420 Lincoln Road, Suite 430
Miami Beach, FL 33139

Xavier Cortada's participatory art practice is based at Florida International University.


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