Miami artist Xavier Cortada has created art installations around the world to raise awareness about issues like global climate change, deforestation and the plight of endangered species. Now, in the year designated by the United Nations as "The International Year of Biodiversity," Cortada has a brand new project. Endangered World: Biscayne National Park brings together South Floridians from all walks of life to become part of an outdoor installation on display at the park's Convoy Point Headquarters from Valentine's Day to May 1, 2010.
For over a mile, 360 brightly colored flags line the roads and trails at Convoy Point, each representing one degree of the planet's longitude. Individuals and organizations adopted an endangered or threatened animal that lives at that longitude and painted an image of that animal on one of the flags. At the same time, participants committed to an "eco-action" that directly or indirectly mitigates the plight of that animal. The eco-actions will be gathered and published in a blog online, and the flags will be on display for the 10 weeks leading up to BioBlitz, National Geographic's 24-hour species count of as many living things as possible in Biscayne National Park.
On May 1, immediately following BioBlitz, some flag creators will be invited to participate in the event's closing ceremonies. The flags will then become a part of an Endangered World traveling exhibit that will go to other national parks around the country.
Endangered World: 80.15
At the same time as the outdoor installation, Xavier Cortada has created drawings of the 17 threatened and endangered species that call Biscayne National Park home. These drawings will be on display in the park's Community Artists Gallery in the Dante Fascell Visitor Center from February 19 through May 16, 2010.
Although the opportunity to participate in Endangered World: Biscayne National Park has passed, you can learn more about the project at EndangeredWorld.org.