Monday, May 27, 2024

Underwater Museum of Art Receives 2023 CODAaward


The Underwater Museum of Art recently won the 2023 CODAaward for “Collaboration of the Year.”

Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County Executive Director Jennifer Steele said:

“It is an honor that CODAworx created a category that represents the heart and soul of the Underwater Museum of Art and recognizes its true collaborative nature. The CAA is grateful to work alongside co-founders Allison Wickey and SWARA [the South Walton Artificial Reef Association], Walton County, The Reefmaker and our supportive partners to bring the UMA to life and ensure its long term success. It would not happen without each partner’s diligence, creative spirit, technical knowledge and passion for the project.”

While SWARA President Walt Hartley said:

“The experience of swimming through the Underwater Museum, seeing all these amazing works of art and the thriving marine ecosystem they’ve become, is truly inspirational. But what’s left the deepest impression is the collective passion, creativity, determination, and teamwork that have built the UMA since the start. SWARA is proud and grateful to work in partnership with the CAA, our community, and our supporters to Create Living Reefs for Generations. The CODAworx ‘Collaboration of the Year’ award is a true honor, and a real testament to the UMA’s continued growth and success. Credit is also due to the tremendous marine life populating the UMA site — even underwater, the collaboration continues!”

The CODAawards: Collaboration of Design + Art recognizes outstanding projects that integrate commissioned art into interior, architectural or public spaces. The 11th annual international design competition recently announced winners across 10 categories, as well as two People’s Choice Award winners and the new Collaboration Award. This year’s 411 submissions came from 24 countries around the globe, celebrating innovation and artistic excellence.

The new Collaboration of the Year Award goes to a project that demonstrates the importance of the collaborative process among creative teams, commissioners and industry resources.

Toni Sikes, CEO of CODAworx, said:

“The Collaboration of the Year Award recognizes the collective imagination of many professionals who work together to create spaces that are transformed through artwork. The end result is pure magic.”

To learn more about the museum, go to

John Liang
John Liang
John Liang is the News Editor at He first got the diving bug while in High School in Cairo, Egypt, where he earned his PADI Open Water Diver certification in the Red Sea off the Sinai Peninsula. Since then, John has dived in a volcanic lake in Guatemala, among white-tipped sharks off the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, and other places including a pool in Las Vegas helping to break the world record for the largest underwater press conference.