The nation’s first underwater museum expanded with 12 new sculptures. The Underwater Museum of Art (UMA) is located less than a mile off the shores of Grayton Beach and is 60 feet below the surface of the Gulf of Mexico.
The 2019 installation joined the seven sculptures installed in 2018 off the shores of Grayton Beach State Park. The Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County (CAA) and South Walton Artificial Reef Association (SWARA) revealed the 12 new sculptures that were chosen by a jury.
The sculptures included El Plastico designed by George Sabra, which is a large sculpture of a plastic bottle. El Plastico is sponsored by The 30A Company.
The sculpture is made from environmentally cast concrete and represents how something that harms marine life can play a direct role in helping it flourish.
Another sculpture to be installed is Depth of Decision designed by Gianna Stewart. It includes a series of doors with various openings in its structure to serve as an artificial reef for marine life. The series of doors represents a decision, which one to pass through if any.
Other 2019 sculptures include Buttery by Alys Beach Construction, To Replenish With Water by Beatriz Chachamovits, Saguaro by Ghazal Ghazo, Aspiration by Shohini Ghosh, Flamingle by Rachel Herring, Wave! by Benjamin Mefford, I Found It! by Ingram Ober and Marisol Rendon, Love Thyself by Maxine Orange, Let’s Not Blow This by Kevin Reilly, and X.Muta by Vince Tatum.
Anyone who wishes to view the exhibit must be a certified diver, comfortable in the open water. To learn more, visit Underwater Museum of Art.
SARAH O’BEIRNE is a summer intern with 30A. She is majoring in journalism at the University of Illinois and has vacationed here for many years.