Environmental art on display at Creative Pinellas

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A Florida artist is using his creative skills to make a bold statement about our environment.

He's on a mission to help us better understand what's happening.

"I stood on it and I called the name of 360 animals every longitude that they lived," Xavier Cortada explained.

He has traveled the world making a case, through his art, for saving the environment.

"In order for me to make a beautiful world, it's not about depicting it with a paintbrush. It's about mobilizing communities to take care of themselves, to take care of each other. That's true beauty," Cortada said.

The environmental artist has 408 pieces from the North Pole on display at Creative Pinellas, which is the public arts agency in Pinellas County.  

"It's a series of art projects that allows people to understand their role in protecting their world," Cortada said.

The exhibit features paintings and drawings of natural habitats. He combines water from melted Arctic ice to watercolor and ceramic paint to emphasize how climate change is impacting the earth.

Cortada believes that art should do more than look beautiful.

"Beauty isn't about shape or color. Beauty is about purpose and action," he explained.

His message has many layers: "That's 21st-century art. That's conceptual art. That's social engaging art. That's purposeful art. That's art with a job to do."

The exhibit will be at Creative Pinellas until September 2.