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Underwater Museum of Art
DescriptionLocated less than a mile from the sugar-white sand of Grayton Beach State Park lies North America’s first permanent underwater sculpture park, The Underwater Museum of Art (UMA).
The museum, which came to life through a partnership between the Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County (CAA), the South Walton Artificial Reef Association (SWARA) and Visit South Walton combines art, education and ecosystems – three passions of the South Walton community – in a truly unique way, creating a source of biological replenishment and protective marine habitats where one does not exist.
Divers who wish to visit the site can take a dive boat .7 miles off the coast of Grayton Beach State Park. The coordinates for the center sculpture (SWARA Skull) are Latitude N30 18 45.262 Longitude W086 09 33.722.
In addition to providing a site for SCUBA diving that will be unique to the world, the sculptures are designed and selected with their suitability as marine habitat in mind, so even in the absence of SCUBA divers, the Underwater Museum of Art is certain to have many visitors, including schools of bait fish, grouper, sea turtles and dolphins!
Annually, the CAA and SWARA will select a variety of works – from both local, regional and national artists – for deployment as part of the Underwater Museum of Art. Those who explore the museum will find sculptures ranging from an 8-foot tall deer and a giant pineapple to a massive skull and an anamorphous octopus.
To date, the CAA and SWARA have completed two deployments, with a third slated to take place in early 2021. The inaugural UMA deployment, which took place in 2018, saw seven sculptures added to the museum, including works by former South Walton Artists of the Year Justin Gaffrey and Allison Wickey.
Explore Santa Rosa Beach
Santa Rosa Beach is the spot for those who can’t get enough of everything South Walton offers. Variety is at the heart of this beach neighborhood – lush parks, sugar-white sand, craft breweries and amazing eats - and it was recently named one of Travel + Leisure’s Top 5 Favorite Towns in America.