The waters of South Walton just became even more beautiful. On June 25th, 2018 the Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County and South Walton Artificial Reef Association installed the first underwater museum in North America right off the coast of Grayton Beach State Park. This eco tourist attraction will unite art lovers and underwater divers and serve as a symbol of environmental awareness for the community. The unique sculptures were designed by talented local & international artists as a way to create artificial reefs that will help replenish and protect marine life. The Underwater Museum of Art‘s (UMA) goal is to create a marine habitat full of life where otherwise none would exist.
(Photo above – Before deployment – Photo by Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County)
The artists include the following structures; “Propeller in Motion” by Marek Anthony, “Self Portrait” by Justin Gaffrey, “The Great Pineapple” by Rachel Herring, “JYC’s Dream” by Kevin Reilly in a collaboration with South Walton Montessori Academy, “SWARA Skull” by Vince Tatum, “Concrete Rope Reef Spheres” by Evelyn Tickle and “Anamorphous Octopus” by Allison Wickey. The seven sculptures were placed 25 feet apart in a circular formation on a one acre patch of seabed. They were taken out on barges .7 miles off the coast and permanently installed for the community to enjoy for generations. The organization plans to deploy sculptures annually, adding to the reef and its ecological impact. Artists can submit their work to be considered for future exhibits HERE.
If you would like to get involved with the Underwater Museum of Arts and their mission, visit their website at umafl.org.
“JYC’s Dream” by Kevin Reilly in a collaboration with South Walton Montessori Academy
“SWARA Skull” by Vince Tatum
“The Great Pineapple” by Rachel Herring
(Photos above by Spring Run Media)