The College of Architecture + The Arts’ Artist-in-Residence, Xavier Cortada, is currently participating in an exhibition at the Studios of Key West in Key West, Florida, that serves as the first US-Cuba museum exchange in 5 decades. The show, entitled “One Race, The Human Race,” was originally created in Havana at the National Museum of Fine Arts. When the exhibit moved to Key West Cortada, the son of Cuban immigrants, was asked to contribute pieces. At the opening of the exhibition on Thursday, February 20th, Cortada told fellow artist Sandra Ramos (who was among those featured in “One Race, The Human Race) “I suffered. I didn’t have a homeland. I had parents who lost everything.”
Cortada has long been creating pieces and projects that merge his experience as a Cuban-American with his life as an artist. His participatory art project called “Flower Power: Cultivando | Flowers for Cuba” is based out of the Oldest House & Garden Museum in Key West, FL. The purpose of the project is to ask Americans to draw pictures of flowers, write messages on the back of the drawings, and “plant” the pictures in the garden. Cortada will also provide project participants with a packet containing Florida wildflower seeds. Participants are asked to plant those seeds at home and dedicate their garden to kids in Cuba. The original flower drawings and messages will be distributed to kids in Cuba. “Each flower-drawing displayed on the museum lawn represents one garden an American is planting at home and dedicating to a child in Cuba. I want kids in Cuba to know that Americans love them and are thinking about them,” stated Cortada. “I want Americans to think about the kids in Cuba every time they see their flowers in bloom.”
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Photo by Christine Amario, AP.
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