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"City Hall Murals"
Miami, FL

Xavier Cortada presents his mural before Commissioner Sanchez, Commissioner Gonzalez, Mayor Diaz and Commissioner Winton in Miami City Hall at noon on July 28th, 2005, the City's 109th birthday. (Click here to read press release.)  Click on images below to see murals.

Xavier Cortada, First Encounter: 1566
96” x 78”, acrylic on canvas, 2005 (

“The First Encounter: 1566” depicts Pedro Menendez de Aviles landing at the edge of a mangrove forest on the north bank of the Miami River.  Upon spotting Menendez unfurl his flag, a young Tequesta releases leaves into the winds of change that have brought a Spanish galleon to his shores.  Between them a whirlwind of activity emerges: exchanges, education, friendship, disease, war, emotions surround the Miami Circle.  In 1566, a year after settling St. Augustine, Adelantado Menendez has arrived to establish the first of three Jesuit missions near the tip of the peninsula he governs for Spain, a spot that will be governed by four other flags and will eventually become Fort Dallas and the City of Miami.  

Donated to the City of Miami by the Goldman Family, the Mirmelli Family and the Kodsi Family.



Xavier Cortada, The Incorporators: 1896
96” x 78”, acrylic on canvas, 2005 ( 

“The Incorporators: 1896” depicts city founders Julia Tuttle and Henry Flagler surrounded by the incorporators and images of Miami’s birth:  Flagler’s railroad and its workers, the orange blossoms Julia Tuttle sent Flagler to persuade him to bring the railroad to frost-proof South Florida, and the old pool hall where 368 men –many of them from the black community - voted to create the City of Miami on July 28th, 1896.  The setting is Biscayne Bay with mangrove roots serving as a metaphor for the community they built and settled.  In the background, an ephemeral skyline begins to emerge from the clouds.  Their work is the precursor to building our magic city. 

Donated to the City of Miami by the Goldman Family, the Mirmelli Family and the Kodsi Family.


I believe that these City Hall murals will do more than imbue our seat of government with beauty and color; they will also serve to educate residents about their City’s history and its multicultural origins.  By learning about our past we can build a future filled with mutual respect and understanding.

                                            Xavier Cortada





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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 art for:

The White House
The World Bank
The Florida Capitol
The Florida Supreme Court
Miami City Hall
Miami-Dade County Commission Chambers Foyer
Miami-Dade County Juvenile Courthouse
Miami-Dade Art in Public Places
Miami Art Museum
World AIDS Conferences

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