The First Underwater Museum of Art Is About to Open off Grayton Beach, Florida
Opening this month, the first installation of the Underwater Museum of Art features seven sculptures, designed to facilitate and encourage responsible tourism, environmentalism, and creativity.
The sculptures will be installed approximately 60 feet / 18 meters deep about a mile / 1.6 km off Grayton Beach State Park in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida. Although, the experience is best suited for scuba divers, snorkelers will also be able to enjoy the submerged journey on clear days. The admission to the Underwater Museum of Art is free with no ticket or reservation required.
The creations resting on the Gulf’s floor will include “Propeller in Motion” by Marek Anthony, “Self Portrait” by Justin Gaffrey, “The Grayt Pineapple” by Rachel Herring, “JYC’s Dream” by Kevin Reilly in collaboration with students from South Walton Montessori School, “SWARA Skull” by Vince Tatum, “Concrete Rope Reef Spheres” by Evelyn Tickle, and “Anamorphous Octopus” by Allison Wickey.
All of the UMA’s sculptures are set in 3,500 to 5,000 pounds of concrete and contain no plastics or other toxic materials. It is anticipated that they will pull double duty as protective marine habitats.
The “JYC’s Dream” by Kevin Reilly, for instance, is a model of the “Aqua Lung,” a scuba mask invented by underwater explorer Jacques-Yves Cousteau and engineer Emile Gagnan in the 1940s. The sculpture features a trail of bubbles rising up from the mask’s mouthpiece, which will “function as fish habitats,” according to the CAA. An 8-foot-tall, stainless-steel skull, designed by Vince Tatum, will be embedded with limestone to attract corals.
You can find more info about the Underwater Museum of Art on their website.