Revisiting & Repurposing Art and Art Projects

Hurricane Ivan Plywood - The Artists and The Gnomes

The mystical Green Garden Guardian Gnome in the photo that accompanies this post has become a mascot for much of my personal story. This character, along with 18 additional very unique ‘hurricane plywood’ gnomes allowed me to connect with the Miami art and business communities in ways I would not have expected. It was a delightful project involving 17 artists, the Neighbors for Neighbors organization, television stations, the Miami Herald, Miami Arts & Business Council, Pinecrest Gardens, the Coral Gables Annual Christmas event and much more.

- Debra Cortese, artist/curator Gallery Number Nine 


What to do with 17, 4x8 foot sheets of leftover plywood once the hurricane has finally subsided? Miami artist, Debra Cortese - with a lot of help from here friends and fellow artists, turned the plywood into delightful 4foot tall garden gnomes. No two gnomes looked the same except for all had the same wooden template. Read the cover story from the Miami Herald’s Tropical Life magazine article that published February 7, 2005.
The Gnomes were quite well known that year and Cortese regrets not keeping at least one for her art collection. She does however have many photos and still enjoys seeing this article every few years.