WALTON COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - An Underwater Museum of Art is coming to Walton County and Thursday some people got a sneak peek at some of the sculptures that will soon be deployed.
Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County
"We've been working on this project for about a year and a half, almost two years, so to see it actually come to fruition when it was totally a pipe dream is so exciting," Cultural Arts Alliance President for Board of Directors and artist, Allison Wickey said.
In roughly two months, seven sculptures will be just off the coast of Grayton Beach, but for now, they are being displayed at Grand Park in Grand Boulevard.
Thursday, The Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County, partnered with the South Walton Artificial Reef Association hosted a special event where people will be able to see some of the sculpture for the first time.
"I’m not sure people really understand what’s happening and I don’t know if they still do know what’s happening, that we have these huge sculptures and we’re going to put them under, so the buzz is already there. It was already there before anyone had seen anyone sculptures, so when they really do see it I think it’s going to be super exciting and blow some minds hopefully," Wickey said.
"What’s going to be unique about it is that there’s going to be art on the seafloor and that’s going to make your dive all that more exciting, not only with the marine life that you were potentially going to see but to be able to go and say, 'Oh, I was at the pineapple,' or 'Is that the SWARA skull?' and all this other stuff, it just makes it more unique or creative and more fun," SWARA's Andy McAlexander said.
From a pineapple to a deer and even a skull, many of the artists appeared for a meet and greet as they showcase their work.
"It's amazing how creative these artists are in the process to build these things what they put into them you can see the passion and the work and it's just going to be exciting to see the habitat that they create," McAlexander added.
"I love the idea of perspective and taking things out of context. Like seeing a giant deer underwater, we’re seeing a giant pineapple underwater. Mine's going to be a huge octopus. It just makes people’s minds work in a different way and things are totally different underwater and just opens up parts of your brain that just and you didn’t know where there," Wickey said.
The event included food, drinks, and an auction to continue raising funds for the project.
This project is part of the CAA's Art in Public Spaces program and will be the first underwater museum of art in the United States.
"It brings awareness to marine resources through art. You’ve got a certain part of the population that is all geared towards marine activities and then there’s another part of the population who could care less and they're potentially more into art. Well, this is a marriage of the two which can bring everyone together for the same common good," McAlexander said.
"[We] would love to set the tone for this and get more sculptures and all and it will bring more artist and sculptor to the area and just add another level of culture and sophistication to our beautiful area," Wickey added.
If you didn't get tickets to the special event, the sculptures will still be on display at Grand Boulevard's Grand Park for Art Quest Saturday and Sunday.