The Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County (CAA), in partnership with the South Walton Artificial Reef Association (SWARA), join two of South Walton’s most cherished resources, the arts and the Gulf of Mexico, with the Underwater Museum of Art (UMA).
Named by TIME Magazine as one of “100 of the World’s Greatest Places,” the UMA is the first and only permanent underwater sculpture museum in the United States. Artists are invited to submit proposals for the third art installation to be deployed in summer 2020. The UMA is located off the coast of Northwest Florida, less than one mile off the coast of Grayton Beach State Park.
The UMA has been featured in online and print publications including National Geographic, Lonely Planet, Travel & Leisure, Newsweek, and The New York Times. As part of the CAA’s Art in Public Spaces program, the UMA also augments SWARA’s mission of creating marine habitat and expanding fishery populations while providing enhanced cultural, economic and educational opportunities for the benefit, education, and enjoyment of Walton County residents, including students and visitors.
The project is supported by Visit South Walton, the National Endowment for the Arts, Visit Florida, The Alys Foundation, and the Florida Department of State Cultural Affairs Division.
This opportunity is open to artists and artist teams. While a demonstrated history of collaboration completing large- and small-scale public art projects is preferred, all artist applications will be considered. Following the application deadline, the CAA will convene a panel of arts and marine environment specialists to review the applications and select proposals for completion and installation.
Seven artists will be commissioned to develop design proposals and create a 3D piece of original artwork to be permanently installed in the Underwater Museum of Art. Each artist will receive a $6,500 stipend inclusive of design fees, materials, labor, fabrication, construction, packing materials, shipping, and transportation.
Once selections are made, artists will be notified and have approximately five months to complete and deliver work to Walton County, where the completed sculptures will be exhibited on land before being transported to Walter Marine in Orange Beach, Alabama, to be attached to custom pedestals. Sculptures will then be taken by barge to the Gulf and carefully submerged around 60 feet to the floor of the Gulf of Mexico.
The UMA is produced in conjunction with SWARA’s existing USACOE and FDEP permitted artificial reef project that includes nine nearshore reefs located within one nautical mile of the shore in approximately 60 feet of water. The first phase of the UMA project included seven pieces of sculpture installed in June 2018 with the second phase of ten more sculptures deployed in June 2019.
Artists may learn more about the project, see photos and video of the 2019 installation, and submit online proposals through Nov. 8, 2019, at UMAFL.org. Interested artists must be registered with Submittable, where the artist call and details are posted.