Call Detail
2019 Underwater Museum of Art
Entry Deadline: 2/3/19
Application Closed
Number of Applications Allowed: 2

Entry Fee (Additional maximum entry): $5.00
Entry Fee (Entry Fee): $10.00
Work Sample Requirements
Images | Minimum:Min. 6, Maximum:Max. 6
Video | Minimum:Min. 0, Maximum:Max. 1
Total Samples | Minimum:Min. 6, Maximum:Max. 7
Call Type: Public Art
Eligibility: International
State: Florida

PROJECT DETAILS                                                                                                     

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), 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.

About UMA (

Recently named by TIME Magazine as one of 100 “World’s Greatest Places,” the UMA is an ongoing collaborative project between the CAA and SWARA. 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.

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 over time, 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.
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 six pieces of sculpture created especially for the UMA and installed in June 2018. The second installation will take place in the summer of 2019.


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.

GUIDELINES AND CRITERIA                                                                                     
Artist Eligibility

This opportunity is open to artists and artist teams with a demonstrated history of completing large-scale public art projects. Artist teams must have a demonstrated history of collaboration. Following the application deadline, the CAA will convene a panel of arts and marine environment specialists to review the applications and select four to eight proposals for completion and installation.

Once selections are made, artists will be notified and have approximately three months to complete and deliver work to Walton County, FL where it will be exhibited on land before being transported to Walter Marine in Orange Beach, AL to be attached to its custom pedestal. (see attachment for details). Sculptures will then be transported by barge to the Gulf and carefully submerged around 60 feet to the floor.

Artwork considerations and criteria

Work must be the artist’s own creation, not a copy or replica, and adhere to the following:


There is no one-size-fits-all rule, but artists should keep in mind that at 60’ water depths, bigger/taller/heavier/less detailed sculptures will fare better. If a piece is too short or small, it will not be noticeable or sustainable in these waters.

Dimensions (may vary slightly with approval)

Minimum dimensions: 5 feet x 5 feet

Maximum dimensions: 12 feet x 12 feet

Minimum weight: 500 lbs

Max weight: 3,000lbs

*also see flange requirement below

Note: If sculpture is, for example, 8 feet wide x 4 feet tall, it can still be mounted as long as it has a substantial flange. All sculptures will be embedded into the pedestal about 6 inches so they need some sort of flange on bottom (the bottom 6 inches will be lost to sight in the pedestal system). This will ensure there is enough material to embed into the pedestal so the unit will stay attached and upright.

Approved materials

Clean concrete and limestone are the only approved materials to be used for the bulk of the sculpture. Stainless steel and aluminum may be incorporated into the design, but it must be ½” gauge or greater. All materials will be vetted to conform to permit. Artists should take into account the presence of boat anchors in and around the UMA site and should make their best effort in the design to mitigate risk of damage to artwork by anchors.


Each sculpture will be permanently affixed to a pedestal that weighs approximately 3,000 lbs and measures 8 inches tall. The dimensions of the base will conform to the design of each piece of work. After the sculpture is attached, the pedestal top is embedded with limestone to attract corals.  

Turtle Escape

Hollow, voluminous designs must include a top-side turtle escape of 36 inches or greater in size.


There is no design theme to which your proposal should conform. However, no political, religious, or discriminatory designs will be considered.

Link to images and more info:


The UMA is located in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Northwest Florida, specifically in Walton County .7 miles from the shore of Grayton Beach State Park.


Center of Patch Reef Area #3: 30* 18.754’N / 86* 09.562’W (see attached map)

Distance from the Grayton Beach State Park

coordinates above are .71 nautical miles at 198° heading.


about 57 feet (+/- 3 feet)


Visibility depends on local weather conditions but average 10-50 feet most of the year.

Average water temp

At nearest NOAA buoy is 76.7 F (high is 88.2 F in August, low is 62.4 F in February)


Request for Proposals: December 5, 2018 - January 31, 2019 (8 weeks)

Panel Review: February 4 - 7, 2019

Notification: February 8, 2019

Progress Report 1: March 8, 2019

Progress Report 2: April 12, 2019

Sculpture due onsite: May 6, 2019 mandatory

Public exhibition: May 7 – May 12, 2019

Installation: Summer/Fall 2019* weather permitting


SUBMISSION PROCESS                                                                                              


Application is available via (CaFE). Interested applicants should register with CaFE in order to view the application. Deadline for submissions is January 31, 2019 at 11:59 pm MST.



WHAT TO SUBMIT                                                                                                    

Complete a separate online application for each submission.

1.     Schematic drawing or scale model of design concept OR image of proposed constructed piece, including title of proposed piece, concept, artist statement, height, weight, and materials to be used.

2.     Six (6) digital high-resolution images of completed work by the Artist, including any commissioned pieces that have been completed. Please include any past large-scale public art projects by the artist or the artist team’s lead artist(s).

3.    One (1) video, edited to no more than two (2) minutes in length, may also be submitted, but is not required.

4.   Annotated Image List: An annotated image list that includes the title, media, year completed, dimensions, location (if site-specific), project budget (if applicable), timeline, and client or commissioning entity for each corresponding image.  

5.   Artist’s resume or curriculum vitae (CV)

6.   If applying as an artist team, a list of key team members and their roles/affiliations, including fabricators. Please include the physical address of where the sculpture will be constructed.

7.  A one - (1) page letter of interest stating the artist’s or artist team’s specific interest.

Application Requirements

Eligibility Criteria