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Miami Mangrove Forest

a volunteer-driven
public art project
 designed by

Xavier Cortada

and presented by
Hands on Miami

November 6, 2004
Miami, Florida 



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DowntownLittle Havana  | Allapattah



About the Project

During Hands on Miami Day, on November 6, 2004, more than 3,000 volunteers will participate in painting, planting trees and cleaning up the neighborhoods of Greater Miami.

The City of Miami asked Hands on Miami to have its volunteers paint the blighted areas underneath the I-95 and I-395; that is, the Interstate's underside as it crosses through Miami's streets (Biscayne Boulevard and 2nd Ave, and 8th Street).  The city also asked for help in beautifying the flyover at 17th Avenue in Allapattah.

Hands on Miami asked Xavier Cortada to design artwork for all the underpasses and columns in a way that would make the entire project a cohesive and uniform art piece. As he did for his murals in the Florida Capitol, Cortada chose mangroves as the centerpiece of the work.

Using stencils on the columns and walls they paint, hundreds of volunteers will reproduce Cortada's designs and transform the entire area into Miami's Mangrove Forest (read more below).

To learn more about other ways Cortada has explored Mangroves in his art, please click here.


On November 6, 2004, using 8 foot by 4 foot stencils designed by the Miami artist Xavier Cortada, Hands on Miami Volunteers painted three mangrove seedlings on each column at underpasses in three Miami neighborhoods.  Each column's three seedlings were painted with one of 18 predetermined colors, the areas surrounding it to look appear as sea and sky.  To see studies of seedlings scroll down or click on: magenta, red, orange, yellow, green and violet.

Students will then return to the site with black paint and reproduce images uniquely designed  by Xavier Cortada for each and every seedling.

At the conclusion of Phase 1 the project, the Miami Mangrove Forest will spread across three communities (
Allapattah, Downtown Miami, and Little Havana) and have a sea of 279 unique mangrove seedlings, each  "setting its roots" in our community


























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Xavier Cortada has exhibited his works in museums, galleries, and cultural venues around the world and has pioneered the use of the Internet in collaborative art-making. The Miami-based Cuban-American artist, attorney, and activist has worked collaboratively with diverse groups across the United States, Latin America, Europe and Africa to create pro-social community murals and participant-driven art projects. 

Cortada has created murals for:

The White House
The World Bank
The Florida Capitol
Global Health Council
World AIDS Conferences
Miami-Dade County Juvenile Courthouse
Miami-Dade Art in Public Places
Miami Art Museum

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Copyright © 1997-2004 by Xavier Cortada. All rights reserved.