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2019 UMA Call To Artists Released

Updated: Jun 11, 2022


Artists Called to Submit Design Proposals for UMA, one of TIME Magazine’s “World Greatest Places”

SANTA ROSA BEACH, FL (December 6, 2018) – The Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County (CAA) in partnership with the South Walton Artificial Reef Association (SWARA) join two of South Walton, Florida’s most cherished resources, the arts and the Gulf of Mexico, with the Underwater Museum of Art (UMA). Recently named by TIME Magazine as one of 100 “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 second art installation to be deployed Summer 2019. The UMA is located off the coast of Northwest Florida, specifically .7 miles off the coast of Grayton Beach State Park in South Walton, Florida.

The UMA has been featured in online and print publications including National GeographicLonely PlanetTravel & LeisureNewsweekThe New York Times, and more. 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, The Alys Foundation, and Florida Department of State Cultural Affairs Division.

Currently, Gulf coastal waters off Walton County are 95% barren sand flats. Deployment of sculpture as artificial reefs provides a source of biological replenishment and protective marine habitat. The sculptures quickly attract a wide variety of marine life, and overtime, metamorphize into a living reef. This eco/arts-tourism attraction not only entices art lovers and divers from around the world; it also provides a much-needed habitat for local marine life and fisheries and an opportunity for marine scientists, wildlife management professionals, ecologists, and students to study marine life and measure the impact of artificial reef systems on the Gulf ecosystem.

This opportunity is open to artists and artist teams with a demonstrated history of collaboration completing large-scale public art projects. 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. Nine 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 $5,500 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 three months to complete and deliver work to Walton County, FL where the completed sculptures will be exhibited on land before being transported to Walter Marine in Orange Beach, AL 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. A one-acre permit patch of seabed off the shore of Grayton Beach State Park has been dedicated for the purpose of a permanent underwater sculpture exhibit. The first phase of the UMA project included seven pieces of sculpture created especially for the UMA and installed in June 2018.

Artists may learn more about the project, see photos and video of the 2018 installation, and submit online proposals through January 31, 2019 at Interested artists must be registered with (CaFÉ) where the artist call and details are posted. For project sponsorship information, visit


Photography credit to Spring Run Media

ABOUT THE CULTURAL ARTS ALLIANCE OF WALTON COUNTY As the creative core of Walton County, the Cultural Arts Alliance (CAA) of Walton County offers support, connection and access opportunities for all forms of art, every variety of maker, all levels of learners, and especially, art lovers. Through sponsorship, performance, and educational programs, the 501(c)(3) organization directly connects the people of Walton County with the broader view, the critical exploration, and the answers only the Arts have the power to provide. For more information, visit

ABOUT SWARA SWARA is a grass-roots, 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to raising funds to build permitted, beach accessible, artificial reefs in the gulf coastal waters of South Walton County Florida for the benefit and health of environment and community. To join SWARA in making a difference, visit

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