Artist Lucy Sparrow’s ‘Felt Convenience Store’ to Make US Debut

The kooky project will hit New York next summer.

Lucy Sparrow, The Cornershop installation (2014). Courtesy of the artist.

Lucy Sparrow, a British artist known for using felt as her primary medium, is planning to open a convenience store in Manhattan selling products made entirely out of felt.

This project is her largest undertaking to date, due to open in New York City in the summer of 2017.

Sparrow has had huge success with similar previous projects, including a felt sex shop called Madame Roxy’s Erotic Emporium and an installation similar to the one she is planning for New York, launched in London in 2014.

Titled The Cornershop, the space was stocked with felt items similar to those found in a real British corner shop.

Lucy Sparrow, The Cornershop Installation, 2014 courtesy of the artist.

Lucy Sparrow, The Cornershop installation (2014). Courtesy of the artist.

During her London exhibition, Sparrow noticed that the strongest supporters of the project were Americans and Canadians. In consequence, she decided it was time to make her world of felt available to this audience. Earlier this year, Sparrow delighted visitors to New York’s Affordable Art Fair with a taster of they will be able to enjoy next year.

Sparrow’s first solo New York outing will imitate the London shop, but will feature items that reflect American culture and will be executed on a much larger scale. While her initial installation in London featured about 4,000 hand-sewn felt items, Sparrow is planning to double the inventory for her new project.

Lucy Sparrow, Junk Food Heaven, 2016 courtesy of the artist.

Lucy Sparrow, Junk Food Heaven, 2016 courtesy of the artist.

The New York shop will be titled Eight Til Late in a nod to New York—“the city that never sleeps.” Just like in The Cornershop, customers will be able to fill their shopping carts with all the felt items they want to buy.

While the installation is about fun and approachable art, Sparrow also wants to remind her audience of the color and liveliness that small businesses bring to our lives, in an age where they are becoming increasingly overshadowed by large superstores, according to the Guardian.

Lucy Sparrow, The Best Cereals, 2016 courtesy of the artist.

Lucy Sparrow, The Best Cereals (2016). Courtesy of the artist.

In order to realize this ambitious project, however, Sparrow is turning to Kickstarter once again, hoping to raise £40,000 ($53,000) to fund the installation.

As incentive for her supporters to donate, Sparrow offers rewards that vary depending on the size of each donation, from postcards and single felt grocery items to a full basket of felt groceries for larger donations.

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