Local Artist Xavier Cortada unveils mural at United Way Miami

United Way Miami celebrated its own art installation on Tuesday morning with the unveiling of a hand-painted, 14-and-a-half-foot-long ceramic tile mural gifted by local eco-artist Xavier Cortada and the Xavier Cortada Foundation. (United Way Miami)

MIAMIUnited Way Miami celebrated its own art installation on Tuesday morning with the unveiling of a hand-painted, 14-and-a-half-foot-long ceramic tile mural gifted by local eco-artist Xavier Cortada and the Xavier Cortada Foundation.

According to event organizers, the larger-than-life bright and bold Octopus mural stands eight feet tall and is valued at $68,000.

The mural will be permanently installed in a breezeway at United Way Miami’s Ansin Building, which serves as a common outdoor gathering space for events and staff.

Xavier Cortada is a Miami-based Cuban American artist that has been involved in the community for more than 30 years. He was recently named the first-ever Artist-in-Residence for Miami-Dade County.

His work focuses on generating awareness and action around climate change, sea level rise and biodiversity loss.

According to a news release, Cortada has created art at the North and South Poles and across six continents, including more than 150 public artworks, installations, collaborative murals and socially engaged projects.

Cortada’s art can be seen at Miami-Dade Commission Chambers, Miami City Hall, Frost Art Museum, Port Everglades, several Florida Turnpike Travel Plazas and two dozen affordable housing sites.

“We are incredibly honored that Xavier and his foundation selected United Way Miami for this beautiful installation and for giving us an opportunity to be a part of Miami’s renowned art week as well as the conversation around art and philanthropy,” said Symeria Hudson, president & CEO of United Way Miami. “Art has a fascinating way of bringing people together and we look forward to the many conversations this piece will ignite on our campus and within our giving community.”

The news release also stated that the mural represents Cortada’s second donation to United Way Miami. Many of his signature paintings are displayed in the break room at the organization’s headquarters on Coral Way.

“I have lived in Miami since I was three years old and it is an honor to have my work showcased at United Way Miami, a beacon of hope for so many in our community for nearly 100 years,” added Cortada. “I hope it helps inspire more collectors and gallerists to give back and motivates people to take action for a brighter and more equitable Miami.”

Video courtesy: United Way Miami


About the Author:

Ryan Mackey is our newest digital journalist at WPLG. He is New York born and South Florida raised.