The Sparrow Mart Debuts in Downtown LA

by Jessica Deseo on 08/08/2018 | 5 Minute Read

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Sparrow Mart in Downtown Los Angeles, CA at The Standard

The Sparrow Mart debuts at The Standard in Downtown Los Angeles. Dieline Staffers had the chance to go visit and see everything IRL. We've featured critically acclaimed British artist Lucy Sparrow in past at her first pop-up in 2014. Now we had the chance to take home some of our favorite iconic food felt items. 

The shop was filled with all our favorite food, beverages, snacks, and anything you'd expect to see at a grocery mart. All hand-made and ready for purchase. As you first enter you're greeted with a life-size felt ATM machine. As we exited the shop the mart mouse came for a visit to each aisle, ready to wreak havoc but upon further notice you realize that he was also a felt covered remote controlled cutie. The shop really brings to life a rare opportunity to experience an ultra-creative idea. Shop closes August 31st don't miss out.

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Lucy Sparrow and her Mart Mouse

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"The exhibition – all of which is available to purchase - has taken a whole year to research, create and install.  The supermarket is stocked with over 31,000 items, each hand-painted by Lucy and hand sewn by the artist and her small team of production assistants in her studio ‘The Felt Cave’ in Essex, England.

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As with any regular supermarket, our felted foodstuffs are arranged into sections; shoppers can browse the fresh fruit and vegetables, make a selection at the sushi counter, peruse the various fridges and freezers for fresh and frozen dinner items or select fresh fish and meat before stocking up on store cupboard essentials.  We highly recommend a trip to the comprehensive liquor section before swinging by the health and beauty aisle, handily located opposite the fully stocked candy section.  Finally, Sparrow Mart has embraced the Hollywood dream with an 80’s inspired movie section featuring Footloose, Dirty Dancing and Short Circuit – all available on VHS.  Prices start at $1 - $40,000.

In tandem with the launch of Sparrow Mart, The Standard, Downtown LA will launch the Sparrow To Go pop-up eatery in the lobby and 24/7 restaurant. For the duration of Lucy Sparrow's exhibition, the new concept will feature dishes inspired by the felted supermarket treats in Sparrow Mart in collaboration with Standard, Downtown LA Executive Chef, Julio Palma and The Standard's Creative Director of Food and Culture, Angela Dimayuga. Not only will guests be able to enjoy Sparrow Mart-themed treats while they wait (or after their shopping spree), attendees will also be able to enjoy their meal in felt format -- i.e. pair a homemade moon pie with a felted version, Tio Tapatio spicy Mezcal cocktail to go with felted Tapatio hot sauce, and even a pack of felted Marlboros to pair with a real pack.  

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To book a visit, guests should check in with the lobby hosts before ascending the escalator to the second floor to enter Sparrow Mart – The Upstairs Downtown Shopping Experience.  No reservations required, access is first come, first served.

“As a child, I was obsessed with the exotic, turbo-charged technicolour glow emanating from across the Atlantic. The source of this neon rainbow was Los Angeles - a seemingly mythical place to a child growing up in grey, post-recession Britain – and one that has hugely influenced my artistic practice. Thanks to the amazing team at The Standard, Downtown, the felt is finally coming home to the city of endless possibilities and colour.” – Lucy Sparrow, artist

“We have a long history of helping artists create their visions, and Lucy Sparrow has proven to be a visionary and remarkably incisive partner for us,” “We are really excited to bring Sparrow’s Mart to our DTLA property, and to add another flavour to Los Angeles’ amazing downtown arts scene.” - Landis Smithers, Chief Creative Officer for The Standard. “In Los Angeles, creativity touches all corners of the city from street art to world-class museums. What better city for Lucy Sparrow to make her West Coast Sparrow Mart debut? We are honored to welcome her in Los Angeles and know her exhibition will be a smashing success.” -  Don Skeoch Chief Marking Officer at Discover Los Angeles."

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ABOUT THE ARTISTFelt artist Lucy Sparrow is one of the most exciting and original artists working in the UK today. Her practice is quirky yet subversive, luring the audience in with her soft, tactile, colorful felt creations before hitting them hard with her comment on subjects from the demise of the traditional high street to censorship in pornography.

Sparrow took the art world by storm in Summer 2014 with the opening of her acclaimed fully stocked felt Cornershop installation in London’s East End. Warmongery, a controversial sell-out installation followed in May 2015 and in October 2015, Madame Roxy’s Erotic Emporium opened its doors in the back streets of London’s Soho, recreating an entire sex shop in glorious technicolor felt. In 2016, the BBC commissioned Lucy to recreate the Crown Jewels in felt to celebrate HRH The Queen’s official 90th birthday.  Lucy debuted her work in New York in May 2017, with a fully felted bodega entitled 8 Till Late at The Standard, Highline. The installation sold out in two weeks. The artist’s work has been shown in galleries around the world and at international art fairs including Art Basel and Scope Miami. 

Lucy Sparrow lives in a felt cave in an undisclosed location with her companion Basil. - @sewyoursoul

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