UK artist Lucy Sparrow’s ‘Tampa Fresh Foods’ felt grocery store is now open in Water Street

It's free to attend through Feb. 20.

click to enlarge Lucy Sparrow - PHOTO VIA SEWYOURSOUL/INSTAGRAM
Photo via sewyoursoul/Instagram
Lucy Sparrow
Water Street Tampa’s newest art installation begs the question, “What if food was soft, inedible and had button eyes?”

British artist Lucy Sparrow has introduced her latest overwhelmingly plush project with “Tampa Fresh Foods,” an entirely felt-based grocery store. The installation showcases more than 50,000 quirky felt artworks representing foods both typical of grocery stores and native to Tampa, all for individual sale.

The installation—unintentionally dark in a way, considering barren grocery shelves across the U.S.—represents a years-long project in the making, brought to the City of Tampa by the Vinik Family Foundation. The massive faux store has debuted in the Water Street neighborhood and is free to attend through its duration until Feb. 20.
Sparrow, who operates under the name “sewyoursoul” online, is known for her innovative, unique take on the seemingly mundane with her characteristic medium: felt. Her past works have been displayed and captivated audiences in the U.K. and New York City.

“Tampa Fresh Foods” is free to attend but every piece on display will be for sale (it’s £200 for the Tampa Lobster, I’m eating the damn thing). The installation features Tampa-centric staples like Cuban bread, Cuban sandwiches, fresh citrus fruits, Florida beers and a felt cigar lounge. The installation is located at 1050 Water St.

Sparrow’s success began with her first fully felt corner store installation in London in 2014, which earned her critical acclaim and a following. She’s since created controversial installations surrounding mental health and gun control; her first solo show in the U.S., a New York completely felt bodega; and many more. Now, she’s gracing the streets of Tampa with Florida-focused felt.
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