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Contact: Gary Bremen, 305-230-1144, x007
Miami artist Xavier Cortada will mount a major installation at Biscayne National Park’s Convoy Point this winter and spring, part of the park’s celebration of the United Nations’ “International Year of Biodiversity.” Endangered World: Biscayne National Park will feature 360 brightly colored flags lining the roads and trails at Convoy Point for over a mile, each representing one degree of the planet's longitude. Individuals and organizations will adopt an endangered or threatened animal that lives at that longitude and paint an image of that animal on one of the flags. At the same time, participants will commit to an "eco-action" that directly or indirectly mitigates the plight of that animal.
South Floridians from all walks of life are being recruited to take part in the project, either as individuals or as part of community organizations. Participants can create flags and commit to actions on their own, or they can take part in flag-painting workshops that will be held during December and January in various Miami-area locations. The flags will be on display from February 14 to May 1, 2010 for the 10 weeks leading up to BioBlitz, National Geographic's 24-hour project to count as many living things as possible in Biscayne National Park. On May 1, immediately following BioBlitz, 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. Details, including lists of available species, instructions for participation and applications are available by clicking the “Endangered World” link at the artist’s website: www.xaviercortada.com
Cortada has created art installations around the world to raise awareness about issues like global climate change, deforestation and the plight of endangered species. In 2008, he traveled by icebreaker to the North Pole to create an installation to generate awareness about the imminent threat climate change poses to the planet’s biodiversity. In 2006, Cortada’s Reclamation Project sought to remind Miami Beach residents and visitors of the island’s origins as a mangrove forest by having over 2500 mangrove seedlings displayed in shop windows across the island. He has created collaborative works at universities and cultural institutions around the world, including those in Cyprus, Bolivia, Ireland, Panama, Switzerland, South Africa, as well as National Science Foundation's research station in the South Pole.
"I am honored to bring this participatory eco-art work to a national park that serves as a refuge for 17 threatened and endangered species in my community," says Cortada. "The Endangered World: Biscayne National Park installation will do more than generate awareness about global biodiversity loss, it will engage participants — artists, teachers, business owners, community organizers, concerned citizens — in local action.
For more details on the project, visit the park’s website at www.nps.gov/bisc or contact park ranger Gary Bremen at 305-230-1144, x007, or Project Manager Arielle Angel by e-mail. For regular updates from the park, follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/BiscayneNPS.