Published on : Tuesday, August 5, 2014
Coral Morphologic, the newest exhibit at Miami International Airport, takes passengers “underwater” to the world of coral reefs with 11 unedited, large-scale color prints by South Florida marine biologist Colin Foord and collaborator Jared McKay from their “Flower Animal” collection.
The prints feature fluorescent corals, which are native to the warm Atlantic waters in and around Miami, the only mainland U.S. city to have coral reefs. The exhibit is on display through the rest of the year near Gate D-31 in MIA’s North Terminal.
Foord and McKay founded the Coral Morphologic project in 2007 and a few years later opened their coral aquaculture laboratory along the Miami River, which specializes in documenting marine life in South Florida. Since they began documenting the diversity of corals, they have uncovered two species of soft coral new to science, and a rare hybrid coral that displays exceptional qualities for coral reef restoration purposes. Recently, Foord and McKay along with marine biology students from the University of Miami created quite a buzz by transplanting hundreds of corals from the Government Cut channel before “the Deep Dredge,” which would have destroyed the corals and scoured them away to make way for a deeper shipping channel.
Foord and McKay were born and raised in New Hampshire, where they have been friends and collaborators since middle school. Together they present site-specific artwork and short films of coral reef organisms, with McKay scoring the soundtracks. The recipients of grants and awards, they have been included in numerous publications for their work. Most recently, the art installation Coral Reef City at PortMiami was recognized among the best public art projects in the nation by Americans for the Arts as part of their Public Art 2014 Year in Review.
“Coral Morphologic brings attention to Miami’s subtropical coral reefs and shares an important aspect of our local environment with the traveling public,” states Yolanda Sanchez, Ph.D., Miami-Dade Aviation Department Division Director of Fine Arts and Cultural Affairs. “This installation is sure to engage and entrance passengers of all ages, and the Aviation Department is delighted to work with local talent to raise awareness for the amazing marine life at our shores.”