Pack Your Snorkel: Florida’s Getting an Underwater Sculpture Museum

The exhibits will also serve as artificial reefs

January 2, 2018 9:00 am

To feast your eyes on the seven sculptures that a new Florida museum will be unveiling at some point later this year, you won’t need a membership card — just a scuba certification.

Created as a joint effort between the Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County and the South Walton Artificial Reef Association, the Underwater Museum of Art under the waves in the Gulf of Mexico will be the first permanent underwater sculpture exhibit in the United States.

Slated to sit in a one-acre seabed patch about 50 feet below the surface in Grayton Beach State Park, the Underwater Museum of Art will enhance the area culturally as well as improve the environment, at least in theory.

The reason for this is that the sculptures in the museum will double as artificial reefs and hopefully help attract fish and act as anchors for marine plants in the coastal waters. This would be a big help because, as it stands, the Walton County’s waters are 95% barren sand flats.

“It’s so fresh and creative,” reef association president Andy McAlexander said in a press release. “We will be raising awareness of our marine ecosystems through art.”

Opening to divers later this year, the first works at the underwater installation include “Propeller in Motion” by Marek Anthony, “Self Portrait” by Justin Gaffrey and “SWARA Skull” by Vince Tatum (pictured above).

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