FLOR500 is a participatory art, nature, and history project created by Miami artist Xavier Cortada to commemorate Florida’s quincentennial in 2013. On Monday, March 4, the Flor500 Native Wildflower Art Exhibition opens at the Collier County South Regional Library in Naples, with an opening reception from 6:30-8:00 p.m.
A number of local artists are participating in the exhibit, which has been curated by Raymond Hernandez and includes botanical paintings and photographs rendered by Celeste Borah, Andy Brown, Pat Collins, Veron Ennis, Patricia Esposito, Lydia Fogaras MD, Muffy Clark Gill, David Hatchett, Lily Hatchett, Raymond Hernandez, Doug Heslep, Connie Killebrew, Megan Kissinger, Matt Lackey, Ann McCarty, Renee Rey, Carl Schwartz, Mary Voytex and Anita Wexler.
Xavier Cortada starts the evening off at 5:45 p.m. with the dedication of an onsite FLOR garden followed by a FLOR500 presentation. Afterwards Cortada will invite participants to transform his original drawing of a Florida wildflower on exhibit at the library into 100 living gardens. Toward that end, his drawing was cut into 100 tiled pieces, with each tile coming with a packet of Florida wildflower seeds. Participants are asked to take the drawing and seeds home and plant a garden dedicated to a Floridian that is special to them. In the process not only will they pay tribute to someone special in their lives, but they will also help improve Florida’s biodiversity by growing native plants.
The exhibit runs through Friday, March 29 during regular hours.
FLOR500 is a participatory art, nature, and history project created by Miami artist Xavier Cortada to commemorate Florida’s quincentennial in 2013. The project thus 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.
Five hundred Floridians have been invited to depict 500 native wildflowers – the same ones that grew in our state when Juan Ponce de Leon landed in 1513 and named it “La Florida”–from “flor,” the Spanish word for flower. They’ve been assisted in identifying those flowers by a team of scientists from across the state, who selected 500 flowers that were native to Florida 500 years ago, broken down into eight regions that include the state’s 67 counties. The artwork, along with information about each flower, is posted on the project website (www.FLOR500.com).
The project also calls for students from Florida 500 schools to plant 500 wildflower gardens, dedicating them to one of 500 important Floridians selected by a team of historians. These 500 new native habitats will help support Florida’s biodiversity. The Naples Botanical Gardens is installing a native wildflower garden at the South Regional Library for the 500 gardens part of this project.
FLOR500 is also collaborating with Roberto Rovira, Chair of FIU Landscape Architecture. The Flor500 wildflowers will be featured as part of his Ecological Atlas Project, an intuitive design tool to visualize how ecosystems change over time.
Based at the FIU | College of Architecture + The Arts | Office of Engaged Creativity where he serves as artist-in-residence, the effort furthers Xavier Cortada’s long-standing commitment to eco-art projects that engage community and expose human impact on the environment.
For directions or information, please call Patricia DeGroot at 239-252-7542 or visit www.colliergov.net/library.