Atlas Obscura is organizing trips! Join us on an adventure »
Today Only: 50% off Atlas Obscura books and calendars at Barnes & Noble »

Tampa, Florida

Hong Kong Willie

Recycled junk and fishing buoys litter the yard and facade of this bait shop cum art project. 

Sitting along I-75 in Tampa, Florida is a squat bait shop that looks like it may have been dragged up from the bottom of the ocean for all of the fishing buoys wrapped on and around it, but this is actually Hong Kong Willie, a fishing business turned preservationist art center. 

The found object art that adorns the bait shop is almost exclusively created from detritus and found items. Brown see this reuse not just as an opportunity but as a responsibility, turning his environmental morals towards his artwork. 

The most striking piece is likely the tall “tree” made of strings of disused fishing buoys. This theme is carried over to the house as well which features more strings of buoys along the walls accented by signs, life preservers, and assorted other artfully placed pieces. There is even an out of commission helicopter on the grounds which is also covered in netting and painted a bright orange. 

Visitors and passersby will likely remember Hong Kong Willie for its cacophonous art pieces but locals generally seem to know the shop more for having the best composting worms around.  

 

Know Before You Go

Near a Bob Evans and the highway