Check out this video from the Lower Keys Underwater Music Festival held last weekend.
There are a ton of YouTube videos about the 33 year old fest, and here’s an article about it.
Watch An Underwater Music Festival ‘Make Waves’ for Reef Protection (Florida Keys News Bureau)
You might think that this event is pretty unique, but it turns out that there are lots of divers who are also fans of the arts, so “arts under the sea” is not nearly as rare as you might think. While the mermaid profession and conventions (YouTube) may or may not count in your book (yes, that’s a “thing”), there is a YouTube channel for Underwater Dance and Ballet.
Underwater visual art forms also have a thriving history and practice. For example, here’s a short video about an underwater museum in Cape Tarkhankut at the western point of the Crimean peninsula in the Ukraine that’s been around since 1992.
Better yet, there are even two other underwater museums in Odessa and Dnepropetrovsk in the Ukraine, and here’s a tourist blurb about all three.
Underwater museums as tourist destinations in Ukraine
If you’re a diver, but aren’t likely to make a trip to the Ukraine soon, perhaps the Museo Subacuático de Arte (MUSA) in Cancun is a more likely destination.
There are even some visual artists who are specifically known for exhibiting underwater. The photographer Andreas Franke once made news by staging an art exhibit on the Vandenberg battleship that was deliberately sunk off the coast of Key West in 2009 to create the second largest man made reef on the planet (watch the Vanderberg sink). Here’s a two minute video about setting up Franke’s photographs on the ship.
Here’s a quick video that shows what it was like to visit.
Better yet, here’s a 360° Video of the exhibit.
The pictures from the exhibit were brought up to create a landlubber’s exhibit, and Franke later moved on to create an exhibit on the SS Stavronikita off of Barbados, and then he went on to create another exhibit on the USS Mohawk CGC off the coast of Sanibel Island.
Ghostly underwater art gallery breathes new life to sunken ship (Sheena McKenzie, CNN)
Jason deCaires Taylor is another visual artist who is known for his underwater work, but he specializes in sculpture rather than photography. Here is a video of one of his installations near Lanzarote in the Canary Islands.
Here’s a bit more of an artistic take on the exhibit from Taylor’s YouTube channel.
You may be wondering what motivates artists to work underwater, so here’s a TED talk where Taylor himself provides some insights about what motivates his work (hint, he cares a lot about Earth’s oceans).
Finally, the eclectic multimedia artist Doug Aitken (Wikipedia) worked with LA’s Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) to construct a large-scale underwater installation entitled Underwater Pavilions off of Catalina Island 22 miles from Los Angeles. Here’s an official video from MOCA about the work.
Here’s a cool 360° Videos that gives a great sense of what it’s like to visit the exhibit.
In case you’re wondering, here’s a video about how they shot the 360° video.
The current that runs through all of the underwater artist’s work is the appreciation and preservation of the Earth’s ocean environments, so please share this to publicize and support their work!