Around The Bay Art

Arctic art: Xavier Cortada at Largo’s Creative Pinellas gallery

In the summer of 2008, Xavier Cortada used Arctic ice to create a series of Ice-paintings aboard a Russian Icebreaker as it made its way back from the North Pole (detail).
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Cortada’s “North Pole Installations” on view June 29 through the summer

Florida-based artist Xavier Cortada is known for his work in much colder climes: the North and South Poles, where he has created installations meant to draw attention to the dangers posed to the rest of the world by melting ice in the Arctic. Now, in one of the most unusual arts events of the summer, he’s showing over 400 of his interactive, immersive artworks in a venue that’s also newsworthy: the former home of the Gulf Coast Museum of Art. Located in the Pinewood Cultural Park alongside the Florida Botanical Gardens and Heritage Village, the building has found new life as the Gallery of Creative Pinellas under the leadership of the nonprofit arts agency’s executive director, Barbara St. Clair, whose offices are also headquartered in the park.

Florida-based Cortada sees “alarming” link between Arctic and Florida

Cortada’s goal is that his exhibitions, entitled90N: North Pole Installations” and “Florida Is Nature,” will open our eyes to unseen dangers. “I want people to see this work,” says the artist, “and to get a sense of the alarming connection between the Arctic and our peninsula.” Bonus: In addition to those two collections, Cortada is showing never-before exhibited Arctic ice paintings created during his 2008 North Pole expedition. Through 9/2. Opening reception Fri. June 29, 6-9 p.m. Free admission. Gallery hours Fri.-Sat. 10-5; Sun. 12-4; and by appointment. 12211 Walsingham Rd, Largo, 727-582-2242, creativepinellas.org/gallery.

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