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Tampa Art Exhibit Brings The Beach Indoors

Photo Courtesy of Taylor Mclaughlin

Photo Courtesy of Taylor Mclaughlin

Sabrina Maxey, Staff Writer

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A new event has the entire city of Tampa talking this month. “The Beach” is an interactive art piece that was brought to Amalie Arena in early August.

This giant indoor “beach” is made up of a giant ball pit filled with 1.2 million plastic white balls and surrounded with walls of mirrors.

The idea came from a similar project in Washington DC.  The Vinik Family Foundation sponsored the project after Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik visited the original project in DC and decided to give it a try here in Tampa.

The free exhibit also includes a pier, beach chairs, arcade, and food.  This event opened on August 5 and ran until August 25. This project was all free for those who wished to attend, including admission, parking, and ice cream for guests.

Senior Taylor Mclaughlin visited The Beach on during the final days that it was open to the public. She explained that she wasn’t too worried about germs while visiting The Beach, after doing research online about the specifics of the exhibit.

The balls used in the pit are made from antimicrobial, meaning that the balls protect against germs and bacteria.

While it seems like a great idea to unite the city, Mclaughlin explained that waiting to get into the event proved to be a challenge. “My friend’s mom waited in line at 9 am, it took about an hour,” she said.

Overall, the project seemed to have a positive impact on those who attended, but there were some complaints as well.

“There are a lot of screaming kids and they put too many people in there at a time so it takes the fun out of it at times,” Mclaughlin explained.

Despite some setbacks, The Beach was a unique experience and those who missed being a part of it can’t wait to see if it comes back to town again next summer.

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The Student-Led Newspaper of Gaither High School.
Tampa Art Exhibit Brings The Beach Indoors