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Lucy Sparrow’s immersive Tampa Fresh Foods opened in Florida earlier this month, inviting guests to an unforgettable experience located in the city’s downtown district, Water Street Tampa. Though the shelves of her recreated grocery store are filled with recognizable products ranging from Jif to Campbell’s, visitors might leave hungry when they find that Sparrow has made each and every product herself, crafted entirely from felt.
“Tampa is such an inspirational location, with a backdrop of so many strong and varied local stories—from the beautiful fresh seafood and vibrant citruses to the proud Cuban influences,” said Sparrow. “These elements will all come together in felt in my most colourful, creative and interactive installation to date.”
Falling in love with Florida after her first visit for the 2015 edition of SCOPE Miami Beach art fair, the British artist set out to embody the charm of the sunshine state through this impressive undertaking. Among the aisles, the fiber artist has made and displayed over 50,000 works mimicking the name-brand products we all know and use. Sparrow’s Tampa Fresh Foods has been outfitted with the usual workings of a grocery store, like fresh meats and seafood, packaged snacks, a bakery, canned goods, and a produce section filled with an abundance of smiling, Florida-fresh fruits and vegetables.
After browsing the shelves of Doritos, Sour Patch Kids, Brillo cleaning products, and fibrous pharmacy offerings, shoppers can make a bespoke piece of art at the Cuban sandwich bar, or step into the chilled humidor to purchase felted cigars, which are sold individually or in special hand-painted boxes.Presented by the Vinik Family Foundation (VFF)with support from Art Production Fund, the monumental installation will remain open for visitors through February 20.
“As long-time fans and collectors of Lucy Sparrow’s ingenious felt artwork, it is our great pleasure to bring Tampa Fresh Foods to the city of Tampa in 2022,” said VFF’s Penny and Jeff Vinik. “VFF has a strong history of bringing inclusive and interactive art installations to the Tampa community, and Lucy’s upcoming site-specific installation is no exception.”