Supermarket turned immersive art installation now open
What British artist Lucy Sparrow calls her most ambitious project to date — "Tampa Fresh Foods" — opened to the public Thursday, and it is something to behold.
- Two years in the making, press materials call it an immersive art installation of a fully functioning supermarket at Water Street Tampa.
What it is: 50,000 hand-made, whimsical representations of items that you'd find in a local grocery store — stone crab, mullet, citrus, Cuban sandwiches, etc — all made of felt and all for sale.
- Fifty. Thousand.
- That makes it … a really adorable artsy supermarket.
Flashback: Sparrow earned attention in 2014 with her felt Cornershop installation, funded by a Kickstarter campaign, in London's East End.
- Then the BBC commissioned her to recreate the Crown Jewels in felt, and she later grabbed headlines at Miami Art Week with a fully-felt operating room.
What they're saying: Jeff and Penny Vinik, whose Vinik Family Foundation is presenting the installation, first encountered Sparrow's work at Miami Art Week in 2015.
- "One of these things is not like the other," Jeff Vinik said softly at Thursday's ribbon-cutting ceremony, looking at the Day-Glo-dressed Sparrow, then at his own outfit: khakis, loafers and a suit coat.
If you go: The exhibition at 1050 Water Street in Tampa is free and open to the public from 11am to 8pm every day through February 20.
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