TAMPA, Fla. — Being a port city, Tampa has had its fair share of shipping containers come through. However, the containers you’ll find along Nebraska Avenue aren’t for hauling, they’re for entertaining.
“I know people drive up and down Nebraska every day and they see this site and they wonder what’s going on here they see these shipping containers moving around,” said Devon Brady.
Brady isn’t the foreman on a construction site, he’s an artist at Crab Devil’s newest destination, known as The Peninsularium, consisting of more than 25 shipping containers.
“This is the kind of environment that a lot of people have not experienced in terms of art, these are immersive environments, the art surrounds you from 360 degrees, there’s sound elements, there are mechanical elements, there’s lights, there’s all sort of interactivity, and you can touch the art, you can move around it, you can move through it,” said Brady.
Brady is in the process of bringing his own creation to life inside his own 2,700 cubic foot tube.
“This is an installation we’ve been calling the Bait Ball, it’s kind of an undersea environment, so we’ve been installing these limestone columns and this large metal structure that we’ve been calling the fish trap, which is how you enter and exit the experience,” said Brady.
A couple of containers down artist Michael Horn is putting together the pieces for his exhibit, Photonic Vibrations.
“Inside we are going to fill this container with panels that are covered with rings of LED lights that are going to animate in response to your movements,” said Horn. “And I’m really excited to be right on the cutting edge of this new format that changes as you pass through it.”
The Peninsularium isn’t set to open until the end of the year, but the public will be getting a sneak peek at the upcoming Gasparilla Music and Arts Festival.
“We’ll have everything installed in these containers, we’ll pick them up with a crane, put them on a truck, take them to the festival and drop them off and they’ll be ready to go,” said Brady.
“It’s going to give us a chance to kind of do a test run and see how they do in front of actual people and it’s going to give people a chance to see what we are doing here,” said Horn.
Crab Devil’s Janine Awai said if these containers are a big hit, it’s not just a win for Crab Devil, but the entire East Tampa neighborhood.
“We really want to add value to this neighborhood, this is an underserved population and we think that the culture and history needs to be brought to the forefront,” said Awai.