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Underwater Museum of Art Expands

Underwater Museum of Art Expands

A submerged six-foot  diamond ring? A mermaid’s dream, for sure. And now, that dream has come true at the Underwater Museum of Art (UMA) in South Walton, Florida.

The Underwater Museum of Art

Last summer, the Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County (CAA), in partnership with the South Walton Artificial Reef Association (SWARA) and support from the National Endowment of the Arts, unveiled UMA  It’s the first permanent underwater sculpture exhibit in North America. It’s a perfect blend of South Walton’s most beloved attractions: the arts and the warm, crystal clear waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Located 55 feet underwater just offshore at Grayton Beach State Park, UMA is easily accessible to SCUBA divers.

New Additions

Now, the UMA has added 12 new large-scale sculptures. This is the museum’s first update. Among the new sculptures is “ I FOUND IT!”, created by Ingram Ober and Marisol Rendon. This 6-7’ tall diamond ring, composed of stainless steel and concrete, is an amazing addition. Other sculptures include a woman looking herself in a mirror with the words“Love Thyself” written above and a hand with a partially blown dandelion. Bling, quirk, beauty – it’s got all of that.

Ecotourism Reinvented

South Walton’s Underwater Museum of Art is not just about beautiful underwater art. Additionally, there’s an ecological component. Almost all of South Walton’s coastal waters are barren sand flats. So, adding sculpture as artificial reefs provides a source of biological replenishment and protective marine habitat where none exists. Soon, the UMA will become part of the natural aquatic landscape. It’s part of a larger project to construct artificial snorkeling, diving and fishing reefs throughout the area. In other words, say hello to an entirely new form of eco-tourism.

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