This summer, ten new sculptures were added to the nation’s first permanent Underwater Museum of Art (UMA) off the coast of Grayton Beach State Park. Recently named by TIME Magazine as one of 100 “World’s Greatest Places,” the UMA is the first presentation of the Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County (CAA)’s Art In Public Spaces Program and is produced in collaboration with the South Walton Artificial Reef Association (SWARA). The 2019 installation includes the following sculpture: To Replenish With Water by Beatriz Chachamovits (São Paulo, Brazil), Saguaro by Ghazal Ghazi, Bill Baron, and Michael Ramirez (Tucson, AZ), Aspiration by Shohini Ghosh (Highlands Ranch, CO), Let’s Flamingle by Rachel Herring (Santa Rosa Beach, FL), Wave! by Benjamin Mefford (Wilsonville, OR), I Found It! by Ingram Ober and Marisol Rendon (San Diego, CA), Love Thyself by Maxine Orange (Destin, FL), Let’s Not Blow This by Kevin Reilly (Montgomery, AL), Depth of Decision by Gianna Stewart (Dorchester, MA), and X.Muta by Vince Tatum (Santa Rosa Beach, FL).
“It was a beautiful thing to watch the second year sculpture deployment to expand the UMA. SWARA couldn’t be more proud to continue to collaborate with the CAA,” said SWARA President Andy McAlexander. “Through this unique partnership, our ability to raise awareness for both the arts and marine resources is unmatched. We’re already looking forward to next year as well as many more to come.”
Admission to the UMA is free. No ticket or reservation is required. However, the UMA is only accessible in person as a dive location. Divers who wish to visit the site can take a dive boat .93 miles off the coast of Grayton Beach State Park. The coordinates for the center sculpture (SWARA Skull) are N 30*18.754 W 30*09.562. Out of respect for the art, boaters are asked to find the center location and then move away from the park to anchor in order to avoid damage to the artwork. Visit UMAFL.org for more information about dive shops, tours and obtaining your certification while visiting South Walton. Photos and videos of the sculptures will continue to be updated online periodically to document the marine growth on each sculpture.
Artists interested in submitting artwork for consideration to the 2020 UMA installation can visit UMAFL.org to complete a pre-application in anticipation of an Artist Call announcement in August.