Miami artist Xavier Cortada will serve as founding director of the Office of Engaged Teaching, Scholarship, and Creative Activities (ETSCA) at Florida International University’s College of Architecture + The Arts.
ETSCA will be located at FIU’s new space at 420 Lincoln Road, on South Beach and will offer an extraordinary level of hands-on experience for FIU students. FIU on Lincoln Road will open this fall.
“Xavier Cortada has deep roots in this community and a rich artistic background, which he will put to work for our dynamic students,” said FIU President Mark B. Rosenberg.
Cortada is a Cuban-American painter, whose works have been exhibited in museums and other venues throughout the Americas, Europe and Africa. Cortada also is responsible for the creation of art installations at the North Pole and South Pole addressing environmental concerns. He has developed numerous collaborative art projects globally, including peace murals in Cyprus and Northern Ireland; child welfare murals in Bolivia and Panama; AIDS murals in Switzerland and South Africa; and eco-art projects in Holland, Hawaii and Latvia.
Cortada has been commissioned to create art for the White House, the World Bank, Miami City Hall, Miami-Dade County Hall, Florida Botanical Gardens, the Miami Art Museum, Museum of Florida History, Miami Science Museum and the Frost Art Museum at FIU.
“Art has the power to transform society,” said Cortada. “Because our community’s future is so dependent on the success of this public university, FIU’s College of Architecture + the Arts is the perfect place to continue developing my participatory art practice. I am thrilled to join the FIU family and look forward to working with students and faculty to harness the energy of South Beach and use art to build community.”
ETSCA was created by Dean of the FIU College of Architecture + The Arts Brian Schriner and will bring together various FIU offices, local governments, business leaders, students, alumni and faculty to further FIU’s commitment to cutting edge research and creative activities that will impact the health and sustainability of local and global communities. The new office is tasked with fully utilizing the talents of the faculty and students in the visual arts, performing arts, and design specialties to engage with the local South Florida community in collaborative problem-solving initiatives.
“The establishment of ETSCA will certainly prove to be of great benefit to not only FIU, but the entire local community,” said Dean Schriner. “Working with the City of Miami Beach and other partners in the area, Cortada will lead the College into a new area of full engagement with the community.”