The artist designed these flowers to create a warm welcome to all the residents of a new Miami-Dade Public Housing Authority public housing building in the Allapattah neighborhood. The building was constructed on 2013, during the 500th anniversary of Juan Ponce de Leon's arrival on Florida (which he named for "flor," the Spanish word for flower). The artist thought to mark this quincentennial by creating 500 flowers, one for each year of the anniversary to greet low income residents to their new home.
Like the residents of this building who immigrated here to Florida, Juan Ponce de Leon was a Hispanic immigrant, in fact the first. These 500 flowers were exhibited at the Biscayne Nature Preserve in 2013 to commemorate Ponce de Leon’s landing on that island 500 years ago. Later, they were exhibited at the Oldest House Museum in Key West, before being permanently installed here to honor Florida’s quincentennial. The project marks the importance of the moment when the history of our state changed forever and gives us a glimpse of what its landscape was like 500 years ago.
I have extensive experience working collaboratively with project team members. This is one of eight projects recently commissioned for the Miami-Dade Housing Authority. I collaborated with Related Urban, the developer, and the sites' architects, engineers, and contractors to create integrated works.
Cortada's flower installation will be transformed into 500 living gardens across the community:
Each flower sculpture comes with a packet of Florida wildflower seeds. Those purchasing the sculptures are asked to take both the sculpture and seeds home and plant a garden dedicated to one of 500 Floridians who helped shape Florida history during the past 500 years (or to a Floridian who is special in their lives). More on www.flor500.com.
Proceeds from sales benefit the Biscayne Nature Center and FIU College of Architecture + The Arts student scholarships. This project was completed in April 2014.
500 Flowers for Florida
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CODA: Collaboration of Design + Art
The global online community that celebrates design projects featuring commissioned artworks.
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Art matters. Attention to the details of our environment leads to love of place, which brings us to take responsibility for the spaces where we live and work. And by extension, the people with whom we live and work. And by extension, to our local communities, our cities, our nations, and our world.
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