Whenever people head of Florida's beaches, they usually think of it as just the perfect spot for a beach getaway. However, it has proven to be the perfect spot to house the first Underwater Museum Art in the country.
Located three-quarter miles off the Florida panhandle, the pristine white sands of Grayton Beach in Walton County will be home to the museum that is set to open this June 2018.
The said museum is part of the Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County's Art in Public Spaces Program in partnership with South Walton Artificial Reef Association. While aiming to raise the number of fisheries in the location, the site also wishes to inspire creativity.
The sculptures that will be displayed in the museum will not only serve as displays but also artificial reefs to house sea creatures in what used to be a 95 percent barren ocean floor. The one-acre museum will span across the Gulf of Mexico.
Underwater Museum Artworks
Chosen by a jury for permanent exhibition, the 7 sculptures will lie 60 feet below the water for adventure seekers to see. The sculptures are set in 3,500 to 5,000 pounds of concrete, do not contain any plastic or toxic materials, and are very safe to serve as a sanctuary for animals.
With displays from contemporary artists, the museum will not only provide great sights to its visitors but will also evoke a sense of environmentalism to make its visitors realize the importance of sustainability.
According to Cultural Arts Alliance, the 2018 Spring/Summer installation 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.
"When you dive down and view the exhibit and see the marine life clustered around the structures you gain appreciation," said SWARA's board of directors Andy McAlexander.
"When you see small fish taking refuge inside a piece of art you see more than just the beauty of the Art, you experience the beauty of life in general and how each of us has a part to play in preserving something so fragile," he added.
The collection will be shuttled and gently lowered into its final location with the help of a barge when the weather window is right. A great addition to the places people should see in Florida, the museum also plans to add new set of pieces annually.
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