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This art exhibit grocery store features 50,000 felt items

Posted at 11:14 AM, Feb 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-16 11:14:50-05

TAMPA, Fla.—Tampa Fresh Foods has turned the mundane task of grocery shopping into an interactive art exhibit made of felt!

The exhibit is located in the up-and-coming Water Street Tampa area. It runs from January 20-February 20 and it is free to check out. Artist and store manager Lucy Sparrow started working with felt when she was only 5 or 6 years old, and this is the biggest installation that she has ever done.

"It's an art show that...won't be like anything else," said Sparrow. "It's very different, it's very immersive. You're encouraged to come and shop and...act as if it's a real shop as opposed to sort of like a standoffish art gallery."

Tampa Fresh Foods took two years to make and features 50,000 items made out of felt, all of which were hand-sewn and hand-painted. Sparrow collaborated with the Vinik Family Foundation to bring the exhibit to Tampa.

You can find everything from your favorite fruit to the most popular brands of cereal, plus many everyday household products in soft plushy form. All of the items are for sale and they each are signed by the artist, so you can take a little piece of art home with you.

Because the exhibit takes place in Tampa, Sparrow wanted to give a nod toward some local staples, so the installation includes a Cuban sandwich bar, a cigar room, and the Tampa mural—all made out of felt of course.

"It's made purely for Tampa. You know, it's 'Tampa Fresh Foods' won't go anywhere else. This is specifically made for the town and for the people in the city of Tampa to enjoy," Sparrow said.

Tampa Fresh Foods is located at 1050 Water Street in Tampa and it's open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily until February 20. Sparrow recommends coming during the week to avoid the weekend lines and crowds.