SANTA ROSA BEACH, FL (August 24, 2018) – Yesterday, TIME revealed its first annual list of the World’s Greatest Places, which highlights 100 destinations that are breaking new ground, leading industry trends and offering visitors an extraordinary experience.
The Underwater Museum of Art (UMA) was included in the list of World’s Greatest Places in the Visit category. The UMA is the first presentation of the Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County’s (CAA) Art In Public Spaces Program and was produced in collaboration with the South Walton Artificial Reef Association (SWARA) with a purpose to create art that becomes marine habitat, expanding fishery populations and providing enhanced creative, cultural, economic and educational opportunities for the benefit, education and enjoyment of residents, students and visitors in South Walton.
The UMA opened in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Grayton Beach State Park in South Walton, Fla. on June 25, 2018. Seven sculptures became part of the inaugural UMA installation: “Propeller in Motion” by Marek Anthony, “Self-Portrait” by Justin Gaffrey, “The Grayt Pineapple” by Rachel Herring, “JYC’s Dream” by Kevin Reilly, “SWARA Skull” by Vince Tatum, “Concrete Rope Reef Spheres” by Evelyn Tickle and “Anamorphous Octopus” by Allison Wickey. A one-acre permit patch of seabed off Grayton Beach State Park has been dedicated for the purpose of a permanent underwater sculpture exhibit. The UMA patch will continue to be filled with several sculptures annually.
Admission to the UMA is free. No ticket or reservation is required. However, there is a fee to enter Grayton Beach State Park. The UMA is only accessible in person as a dive location. Divers who wish to visit the site can take a dive boat .7 miles off the coast of Grayton Beach State Park. The coordinates for the center sculpture (SWARA Skull) are Latitude N 30 18.754 Longitude W 86 09.522. 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. For non-divers, there are photos and videos of the sculptures online, which will be updated periodically to document the marine growth on each sculpture.
Artists interested in submitting artwork for consideration to the 2019 UMA installation can visit UMAFL.org to complete a pre-application.