Every year we invite a Miami-based artist to help design the neck ribbon for the Miami Marathon. Congratulations, to our 2017 medal neck ribbon artist, Xavier Cortada! Learn more about each artist and view their creations below.
2017 | Xavier Cortada
“The mangrove roots symbolize the residents who have set roots in their neighborhood and built community. By reaching out to others, we build a stronger community, much like the walking feet of mangrove roots do to build formidable structures and nurture new life.” – Cortada
Xavier Cortada serves as Artist-in-Residence at FIU School of Environment, Arts and Society – College of Arts, Sciences & Education and the College of Communication, Architecture & The Arts. He has created environmental installations (North Pole and South Pole) and eco-art projects (Taiwan, Hawaii and Holland), and painted community murals addressing peace (Cyprus and Northern Ireland), child welfare (Bolivia and Panama), AIDS (Switzerland and South Africa) and juvenile justice concerns (Miami and Philadelphia). Locally, Cortada has created public art for the Miami City Hall, the Frost Art Museum, Florida’s Turnpike, Port Everglades and several public housing sites. More information: www.cortada.com.
2016 | Jenny Perez
Jenny Perez is a culturally-influenced, female-empowering, visual pop artist from Miami, Florida. Leading today’s art millennial generation, Perez’ works feature fresh perspectives to many personal experiences, topics and movements with strong messages that tie into her work, and captivate her audiences.
Jenny Perez began her career as a visual artist, primarily using canvases and acrylic paint as her medium. Throughout the past seven years, Perez has grown to include several other mediums to accompany her canvas works, as her art has often been incorporated to set a powerful ambiance to venues, stores and even street art – with murals and festivals.
This special piece was created specifically for the runners. I wanted to paint something that would uplift their spirits and motivate them to continue on their race! The theme of the race is “Miami Famous,” so I decided to create a Miami scene of our iconic buildings, and of course integrated into all those tall skyscrapers a house, because it’s home, our home! In addition to that, hearts float whimsically above in the sky alongside abstract flowers, both representing life. My female character is essentially the embodiment of all of those runners out there. She is strong, vivacious and grounded, she is the mother, the reflection and the extension to the city. She is Miami Famous.
2015 | Romero Britto
Internationally renowned pop artist Romero Britto uses vibrant colors and bold patterns as a visual language of hope and happiness, reflecting his optimistic faith in the world around him. Born in Recife, Brazil in 1963, Britto lived an extremely modest lifestyle while growing up amongst eight brothers and sisters. However, his innate creativity allowed Britto to fill his life with images of a bigger and more beautiful world beyond his own.
Self-taught at an early age, he painted what he saw and what he imagined on surfaces such as newspapers, cardboard or any scraps that he could find. Britto’s artistic nature eventually led him to seek experiences outside the classroom. In 1983, Britto traveled to Paris where he was introduced to the works of Matisse and Picasso. After exhibiting in a few galleries and private shows, Britto was encouraged to travel to the United States where Pop Art was flourishing. Britto moved to Miami and set up a studio open to the public.
With an unshakable resolve and belief in his art, Britto spent the next few years exhibiting and attracting the attention of many. In 1988, he was selected alongside Andy Warhol and Keith Haring for Absolut Vodka’s “Absolut Art” campaign. His work has been exhibited in galleries and museums in over 100 countries, including the Salon de la Soci?t? Nationale des Beaux Arts exhibition at the Carrousel du Louvre in 2008 and 2010. He has created public art installations for the 02 Dome (Berlin), John F. Kennedy Airport (New York), Cirque Du Soleil at Super Bowl XLI, and has been credited with the largest monumental sculpture in Hyde Park (London) history. He served as an official artist for the 2010 World Cup and was recently appointed Ambassador to the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil. Britto’s pop sensibility has since leant itself to many collaborations with such brands as Audi, Bentley, Coca-Cola, Disney, Evian, Hublot, Mattel, and Technomarine to name a few. Romero Britto?s art appeals to all!
Romero Britto is an artistic activist for charitable organizations worldwide and most of all an artist who believes “art is too important not to share.” He serves as a benefactor, donating time, art and resources to over 250 charitable organizations and on several boards such as Best Buddies International, and St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. Britto was named an inaugural founding benefactor of the Harvard International Negotiation Program by Daniel Shapiro, a program that seeks peaceful resolution to modern conflict. Not a silent advocate, Britto has been selected several times to be a speaker for the arts at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. A firm believer in the role of an artist as an agent of positive change, Romero Britto is committed to developing and supporting the powerful role art plays in world issues.
2014 | Alexander Mijares
Alexander Mijares has established himself as one of South Florida’s most vibrant artistic talents. A Miami native with Cuban and Spanish roots, Mijares finds inspiration in the colorful energy of both his city and heritage. He has headlined large-scale events at Art Basel Miami Beach, ART Santa Fe, and Art Wynwood, where he debuted a new collection of work at his solo pop-up gallery, in conjunction with Details Magazine. He has participated in prestigious exhibitions around the country, in events at NYC’s Times Square, the Hamptons and Los Angeles. His collaborations with renowned international artists, such as Pez, Desire Obtain Cherish, and Kenor, have caught the attention of esteemed brands such as SAVEUR Magazine, Heineken, The SLS Hotel and, Brioni, who have expressed a vested interest in working with Mijares.
2013 | David ‘LEBO’ Le Batard
David Le Batard, better known in the art world as Lebo, is recognized for working in a wide spectrum of creative mediums including murals, paintings and sculptures. Lebo is the innovator of Postmodern Cartoon Expressionism – a combination of cartoon imagery, richly saturated balances of color and unique linear composition brought together in a narrative style to inspire emotion and create layers of meaning.
Lebo’s visual storytelling method pulls from classic American cartooning and fine art, every form of indigenous art and Egyptian hieroglyphics to create a unique visual language – one that strives to have a wide point of entry for the viewer with endless layers of meaning within. It is a world where mythology, history, metaphysics and illustration all join seamlessly.
Born to Cuban immigrant parents and raised in South Florida, Lebo has become one of the most well-respected muralists in Miami. With a showroom in Wynwood and a studio in Miami Beach, Lebo’s art can be found all over the world, in private collections and in corporate partnerships including Norwegian Cruise Lines, Lulu Lemon, Harley Davidson, Audi, Google, Microsoft, Redbull, Ketel One, Bacardi and Ferrari.
‘My aim in creating is to explore the purest, most spiritual elements of the arts and sciences (from astronomy to history, from music to physics) and to interpret them through the language of cartoons, giving them a unique and vibrant voice. After all, cartoons are a primordial form of expression that have always combined images in order to tell stories. We have only to think of rock paintings, hieroglyphics or religious iconography for our proof. In reality, even when we look at Picasso’s work after 1905, it all becomes very hard edged yet organic. The very essence of cartooning.? – David ‘LEBO’ Le Batard
2012 | Stephen Gamson
Stephen Gamson, an Artist from the communication age, has a unique style that is easily recognized for its bold colors, iconic symbols and mass appeal. His work is collected by A-list celebrities, corporations and art enthusiasts in Europe and the United States. Gamson is an official Artist for brands such as Cafe Bustelo, The Intercontinental Miami, The Bacardi Cup, The Miami City Ballet, Epicure Gourmet Market, The New World Symphony, Miami Beach Polo World Cup, Select Vodka, and many others.
Last year, Gamson was selected to represent the United States in a group Museum show at El Museo Casa Turquesta in Mexico. His painting titled “At the Museum” found a home in their permanent collection. In Europe, he was commissioned to create artwork for the 67th Monaco Grand Prix, and the Princess Grace Foundation. Also, his art was included on the red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival. He is proud to have designed an official Lamborghini Art Car in his trademark style and is currently working on an aircraft project. Gamson was tapped to be the official Artist for the City of Miami’s Birthday Celebration. He is also affiliated with charities such as Project Sunshine, The Ronald McDonald House. Down Syndrome Association of Miami, Pink and Blue for Two. Step by Step Foundation, Kristi House, American Cancer Society and The Special Olympics. He also volunteers his time and donates countless pieces in the name of philanthropy.
MIAMI’S PERPETUAL PALM| Gary Traczyk
Gary Traczyk’s stainless steel kinetic sculptures are delicately balanced works of art inspired by spiritual emotion and expression. Each piece of art is one of a kind and challenges the mind to wander in a meditative state of discovery.
Gary, a native South Floridian, attended New World School of the Arts and received two degrees from Florida State University. He was recently featured and opened the new season of HGTV’s television show “Clever Ideas.”
His work has been shown in Miami, Palm Springs, Laguna Beach, Brentwood, Beverly Hills, Malibu, La Jolla and other cities across the U.S. Gary’s commitment to charity includes: National Foundation for Advancement In the Arts, Mother’s Voices, Operation Smile, Escondido Childrens Museum, and Miami Children’s Museum.