Xavier Cortada created art at the Earth Poles to generate environmental at point in between: In 2007, the artist used the moving ice sheet beneath the South Poleas an instrument to mark time; the art piece will be completed in 150,000 years. In 2008, Cortada planted a green flag atNorth Pole to encourage reforestation in the world below.
The Miami artist has worked with groups globally to produce numerous collaborative art projects, including peace murals in Cyprus and Northern Ireland, child welfare murals in Bolivia andPanama, AIDS murals in Switzerland and South Africa, and eco-art projects inTaiwan, Hawaii, Holland and Latvia.
Cortada often collaborates with scientists in his art-making: Cortada used samples (and inspiration) provided by researchers in Antarctica to create his National Science Foundation-sponsored works there. He has also worked with a population geneticist on a project exploring our ancestral journeys out of Africa 60,000 years ago, and with a molecular biologist to synthesize an actual DNA strand made from a sequence randomly generated by participants visiting his museum exhibit.
Cortada has also been commissioned to create art for the White House, theWorld Bank, the Florida Supreme Court, the Florida Governor's Mansion,Florida Botanical Gardens, Miami City Hall, Miami-Dade County Hall, the Miami Art Museum, the Miami Science Museum, Museum of Florida History, and the Frost Art Museum. Corporations such as General Mills, Nike, Heineken and Hershey's have commissioned his 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. Cortada serves as Artist-in-Residence and heads the Office of Engaged Creativity at Florida International University's (FIU) College of Architecture + The Arts (CARTA).
Juan Carlos Espinosa is a composer/sound artist who has written over 75 solo, chamber, choral and electro-acoustic works. The Miami-based composer's work is informed by his concerns about the environment and the withering of human and cultural memory. Espinosa has created several soundscapes and installations in collaboration with artist Xavier Cortada, who he joined on a 2006-2007 National Science Foundation residency in Antarctica (McMurdo Station and the South Pole) and at the Kunst- en Natuurwandeling OverLeven, Foundation Nature Art Drenthe in the Netherlands in 2009.
The Cuban-born sound artist has collaborated with NEA award winning choreographer Jimmy Gamonet and most recently worked with choreographer Heather Maloney on an evening length work titled Vertical Sprawl. Espinosa just completed a collaboration with Greek visual artist Dimitrios Fotiou and Greek-British writer Maria Tranou in a two minute and 40 second opera titled This is your home nowand provided the music for Mal de horror, a short by filmmaker Juan Carlos Zaldivar. He is currently working on a piece for flute and chamber ensemble inspired by the poetry of Wallace Stevens. Espinosa is Associate Dean & Fellow at the Honors College at Florida International University in Miami.
Brian Chu, an Associate Professor of Art at the University of New Hampshire, works in the fields of painting, drawing, and printmaking.