Lucy Sparrow debuts huge “Tampa Fresh Foods” installation in Water Street Tampa

Lucy Sparrow debuts huge “Tampa Fresh Foods” installation in Water Street Tampa

End cap of an aisle at Tampa Fresh Foods with boxes of oreos and danish wedding cookies made out of felt art by Lucy Sparrow

This article is part of a paid partnership with the Vinik Family Foundation and Tampa Fresh Foods

A massive felt art installation has debuted in the Water Street neighborhood of Tampa. This sprawling, vibrant concept called Tampa Fresh Foods is worth the drive over the Howard Franklin. The entire concept took two years to put together for artist Lucy Sparrow. Sparrow was originally tapped by the Vinik Family Foundation to bring this concept to the ever-growing district by the Port of Tampa Bay.

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Lucy Sparrow is one of the most celebrated artists in the world. Her felt works have transfixed audiences in the UK and New York, and now she will captivate visitors in the city of Tampa courtesy of the Vinik Family Foundation and the Art Production Fund. 

Lucy Sparrow stands inside Tampa Fresh Foods, her massive felt art installation at Water Street.
Lucy Sparrow stands inside Tampa Fresh Foods, her massive felt art installation at Water Street. | YSANNE TAYLOR – I Love the Burg

The artist, who goes under the moniker “sew your soul”, will debut her “Tampa Fresh Foods” installation on January 20.

This store is stocked with more than 50,000 felt artworks and represents multiple years of planning and crafting. 

The seafood section at Tampa Fresh Foods features tiny prawns, filets of fish, clams, and more made out of felt art. | YSANNE TAYLOR – I Love the Burg

Thousands of felt art pieces on the shelves of Tampa Fresh Foods

Don’t fret, you won’t have to pay to view this installation, though everything on display will be for sale. The exhibit will open on January 20 and run through February 20, 2022. It will remain open from 11am-8pm daily, and the artist will be onsite for the duration of its time in Water Street Tampa. 

This installation features several grocery items inspired by the city of Tampa. This includes Cuban bread and a Cuban sandwich bar, fresh citrus, Florida beer, and guava. The artist also crafted a felt cigar lounge for visitors to browse. 

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Tampa Fresh Foods is located at 1050 Water Street. 

Anthropomorphic pork chops, chorizo sausage, bacon, rib-eye steaks, and more in the Meat Department of Tampa Fresh Foods | YSANNE TAYLOR – I Love the Burg

Every felt art piece is for sale in Water Street

Felt artist Lucy Sparrow is one of the most exciting and original artists working in the UK today. Her practice is quirky yet subversive, luring the audience in with her soft, tactile, colorful felt creations before hitting them hard with her comment on subjects from the demise of the traditional high street to censorship in pornography.

She took the art world by storm in Summer 2014 with the opening of her fully stocked felt Cornershop installation in London’s East End. With queues around the block and wall-to-wall media coverage, the installation was both a commercial and critical success. 

Warmongery, a controversial sell-out installation exploring the issues around gun control and mental health followed in May 2015, and in October 2015, Madame Roxy’s Erotic Emporium opened its doors in the back streets of London’s Soho, showcasing the artist’s complete commitment to her artistic vision, recreating an entire sex shop in glorious technicolor felt, including a fully working, animated felt peep show. In 2016, the BBC commissioned Lucy to recreates the Crown Jewels in felt, to celebrate HRH The Queen’s official 90th birthday.

A look down one of the aisles of Tampa Fresh Foods | YSANNE TAYLOR – I Love the Burg

A global sensation in the Tampa Bay region

In May 2017, Lucy undertook her first solo show in the US, opening The Convenience Store, a New York bodega stocked with 9,000 felted artworks. Scheduled to run for a month, the store was an instant hit, selling out in just over two weeks to a constant stream of art lovers, most of whom had queued for an hour to visit the store.

The bodega dominated the NYC art scene, appearing in coverage everywhere from the New York Times to the massive TV screens on Times Square. December 2017 saw Lucy bringing the felt back to London as part of Selfridges ‘Gift for London’ Christmas campaign, and after a four-year hiatus from the capital Lucy returns in 2021 with her latest exhibition – ‘Bourdon Street Chemist‘.

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