TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Have you been to Water Street in downtown Tampa lately?
Buildings have shot into the sky, condos and stores have opened and the area is preparing for life after the pandemic. That includes “Tampa Fresh Foods,” an immersive art exhibit to help lure the public to check out all that’s happening downtown.
“Tampa Fresh Foods” – located at 1050 Water Street – is a store full of fresh fruit, meat, cheese and much more. But don’t take a bite just yet. Because all of the products are made from felt.
That’s right – the items of art are created by Sparrow and her team and done all by hand.
“Everything in the show is handmade by me and my team,” artist Lucy Sparrow said. “And then I hand paint every single one just free hand. So, there’s 50,000 items.”
“Tampa Fresh Foods” is presented by the Vinik Family Foundation in partnership with the non-profit Art Production Fund. Penny and Jeff Vinik had seen Sparrow’s art before.
“We kind of knew what to expect but when we walked in – wow! This is incredible,” Jeff Vinik said.
It’s a chance to see what’s new on Water Street while checking out the free exhibit.
And yes, you can buy the items.
“The thing we both appreciated about Lucy’s art is that it is very accessible to everybody,” Penny Vinik said. “All ages can appreciate it.”
The exhibit has seen the likes of London, New York and Miami. But you can now add Tampa to that list, complete with Tampa staples like citrus fruits, Cuban sandwiches and cigars.
“Felt is very easy to work with because it doesn’t fray and it’s got such vibrant colors and you can do anything with it,” Sparrow explained.
“Art can come in many forms and Penny and I are always happy to try and showcase different forms of art,” Vinik said.
The installation is open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. It runs from now through Feb. 20.