“Tampa Fresh Foods” May Be Inedible, But It Looks Delicious

“Tampa Fresh Foods” is a massive hit amongst all who experienced the felt art exhibit.


Photo Charlotte Stone

Image depicting the entrance to Sparrow’s felt art instillation, “Tampa Fresh Foods.”

Charlotte Stone, Features Editor

Over the past few weeks, it seems like everyone has been to the art exhibit in Downtown Tampa that resembles a grocery store only it’s made entirely out of felt. These felt grocery aisles have been popping up everywhere, especially on everyone’s Instagram feed. This is because British artist, Lucy Sparrow’s, grocery store, “Tampa Fresh Foods,” was a massive hit. People were lining up and down the block just to catch a glimpse of her jaw-dropping store.

Sparrow is a contemporary artist from Bath, England, who is known for her felt artwork. After years of work, and many art installations and pop-up shops, Sparrow made her way to Tampa. Her exhibit opened on Jan. 20, 2022, and stayed open for a month. During this time it was completely overwhelmed by excited crowds who were mesmerized by the beautiful, vibrant colors and Sparrow’s insane attention to detail.

The detailed and fresh sea food section of “Tampa Fresh Foods.” (Photo Charlotte Stone)

However, with the amount of detail and effort put into each item, it is clear that this installation was not easy to put together. Sparrow, along with the help of three assistants, took over two years to create over 50,000 handcrafted works of art.

This may seem like a lot of work for a month-long exhibit, but I promise you, this art installation was defiantly worth the work and the wait. And it’s clear that Sparrow was just as enthusiastic about being in Tampa as we were to have her. “Tampa Fresh Foods” was not only Sparrow’s most ambitious project but also the launch of her US career.

“I am thrilled to be working with the Vinik Family Foundation and Art Production Fund on Tampa Fresh Foods. Tampa is such an inspirational location, with a backdrop of so many strong and varied local stories,” Sparrow said in a quote for the promotion of “Tampa Fresh Foods” on her website.

The felt shelves of Sparrow’s exhibit begin to empty out as visitors buy up all of her works. (Photo Charlotte Stone)

Sparrow was able to create an exhibit that excited everyone. Whether you love or hate art, whether you are young or old, everyone immediately fell in love with Sparrow’s exhibition. It was the perfect way to brighten up one’s week and never failed to put a smile on everyone’s face. “Tampa Fresh Foods” was a wonderful work of art and its success is spoken for by the constant line of people waiting to experience Sparrow’s art that trailed around the corner.