The Underwater Museum of Art recently became the first permanent underwater sculpture garden in the United States. Located in the Gulf of Mexico, off of Walton County, Florida, the museum lies at a depth of approximately 60-feet and at a distance of .7-miles from the shore of Grayton Beach State Park. Each year, a juried selection of sculptural works, drawn from artists throughout the world, will be installed in the underwater garden.
The sculptures quickly attract a wide variety of marine life and, over time, metamorphize into a living reef. This eco-tourism attraction not only entices art lovers and divers from around the country and around the globe, it provides a much-needed habitat for local marine life and fisheries as well as providing marine scientists, wildlife management professionals, ecologists, and students, with an opportunity to study marine life and measure the impact of artificial reef systems on the Gulf ecosystem.
On June 25, 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. Around 80 onlookers, including many of the artists and project partners, were on site to view the historic deployment.