A supermarket where everything is made of felt… Why not? Artist Lucy Sparrow has given grocery shopping a plush makeover with her latest totally free interactive art installation, Sparrow Mart. Located at The Standard Hotel in downtown LA, Sparrow Mart has multiple aisles of all your favorite grocery products recreated with felt. What’s the point of all this? According to the artist it’s a mental health wellness experience, “come to the Sparrow Mart and forget all your troubles.” Judging by the smiles and laughter of the other shoppers, mission accomplished.
Sparrow Mart is open from 11:00 am to 9:00 pm, Tuesday to Sunday through August 31st. Check-in is in the lobby of The Standard Hotel where you will be given an entrance time. I arrived about 10 minutes before they opened and scored an 11:00 am entrance. At your designated entrance time your group will be led to the second floor and you’ll be allowed to explore the supermarket for as long as you want.
Sparrow Mart has a felt equivalent of nearly every supermarket staple. The produce section is filled with smiling fruits and vegetables. Favorite sodas, snacks, and candies are scattered throughout the store. Various frozen foods are actually housed in freezer cases! Cigarette packs are located behind the check-out stand, so be prepared to show I.D. if you want to purchase those. There’s a fresh meat counter, fresh fish counter, and like any decent LA supermarket, a fresh sushi counter where you can create custom sushi plates.
That’s right, every felt product at Sparrow Mart is for sale. Each product is a unique piece of art signed by Lucy Sparrow. The lowest priced item is a piece of Double Bubble gum at $5, but there are plenty of items priced in the $20 to $35 range. If you’re being ultra-frugal, a Sparrow Mart button goes for $1. Of course you’re under no obligation to buy anything, just go for the experience, rock-out to 80’s pop, and take lots of photos.
If you’re looking for something fun and free to do in downtown LA in the month of August, definitely add Sparrow Mart to your list – it’s a unique experience like none other. If you visit, tell me about your favorite felt products in the comment section below.