The pineapple is a traditional expression of Welcome and Friendship, and the sun represents Life. So when the Underwater Museum of Art (UMA) in South Walton announced a competition and invited artists to participate, Rachel Herring felt inspired to get her feet wet and create something that would celebrate fish and marine life.
From above, the leaves of the pineapple are made to look like a sun. What better way to represent the beaches of 30A than with a symbol that represents warmth, welcome, friendship and hospitality?
Herring’s sculpture ‘The Grayt Pineapple’ is one of seven sculptures selected by a jury for permanent exhibition in the first installation of the Underwater Museum of Art.
Made from stainless steel, the 8-foot-tall sculpture, designed for smaller fish, is sponsored by The 30A Company.
“This is something that is going to be serving our community for generations to come,” said Mike Ragsdale, 30A Company founder. The 30A company is a proud sponsor of The Grayt Pineapple. The company’s blue dot logo will also be a permanent part of the statue as it is put in place sixty feet underwater.
“When I saw this pineapple sculpture, it just said 30A to me,” said JoAnn Ribaudo, 30A’s Chief Operating Officer. “It’s a symbol of welcome with the sunshine at the top, and I just said you know what, we need to be a part of this.”
Check out this video of the 30A Team talking about the project that they have proudly sponsored:
30A proudly sponsored this extraordinary stainless steel 🍍sculpture by Rachel Herring of Herring Design Co. …. it will soon be deployed 🐠UNDERWATER🦈 as part of the FIRST Underwater Museum of Art in the U.S…. right here along 30A! CHECK THIS OUT:
Posted by 30A on Thursday, 24 May 2018
Herring, a Dothan, Alabama, native, who moved to Santa Rosa Beach almost two years ago studied interior design and business administration at Auburn University. Her graphic design business eventually grew and she began adding string art, paintings and woodwork to her portfolio.
When she artist saw the opportunity for new work with the Underwater Museum, she dove in. She created ‘The Grayt Pineapple’ with the help of her dad, who owns a metal fabricating shop in Dothan, and his shop manager.
The Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County (CAA) and South Walton Artificial Reef Association (SWARA) collaborated in CAA’s “Art in Public Spaces” program with support from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Alys Foundation and Visit Florida.
According to Alliance’s website, The Underwater Museum of Art’s mission is to create marine habitats and expand fishery populations while providing enhanced creative, cultural, economic and educational opportunities for the benefit, education and enjoyment of residents, students and visitors in South Walton.
Updated Info: The UMA is the first of its kind in North America and launched in the summer of 2018. It is located approximately 0.7 miles off the shore of Grayton Beach and 60 feet deep.
Herring plans to continue working on projects like “The Grayt Pineapple and applying for the UMA’s call to artists again in the future, “I’ll be getting my scuba license soon to go visit them under the sea.”
30A celebrates small town beach life and has a line of recycled shirts and sweatshirts made from recycled water bottles. Subscribe to the 30A YouTube Channel for great beach videos and content.
SUMMER GEORGE is a former summer intern with the 30A Company.