Underwater Museum of Art, Grayton Beach State Park
The first US permanent Underwater Sculpture Garden
Did you know that Grayton Beach State Park is home to the first permanent underwater sculpture garden in the United States? The Underwater Museum of Art is in the Gulf of Mexico, lying at a depth of 58-feet, just one nautical mile from the State Park shore. Each year, a juried selection of sculptural works, drawn from artists throughout the world, is installed in the underwater garden.
The sculptures attract a wide variety of marine life and over time, metamorphize into a living reef! This eco-tourism attraction entices not only art lovers and divers from around the globe, but also provides a much-needed habitat for local marine life and an opportunity to study and measure the impact of artificial reef systems. Currently, Gulf coastal waters off Walton County are 95% barren sand flats. Deployment of sculpture as artificial reefs provide a source of biological replenishment and protective marine habitat where none exists. A one-acre permit patch of seabed has been dedicated to the CAA for the purpose of a permanent underwater sculpture exhibit. The project includes nine nearshore reefs located within one nautical mile of the shore in 58-feet of water.
The Underwater Museum of Art was listed on National Geographic’s Best Trips in 2019, and was named to TIME’s World’s Greatest Places in 2018!
The Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County (CAA) and South Walton Artificial Reef Association (SWARA) are proud to reveal the seven new sculpture designs, chosen by jury for permanent exhibition in the fifth installation of the Underwater Museum of Art scheduled for Summer 2023!