An insight on tools and exhibits featured in Meow Wolf Denver
Meow Wolf is an entertainment company with a mission statement that they create, “immersive, maximalist environments that encourage audience participation.” Beginning among Santa Fe artists in 2008, the mission of Meow Wolf has been to inspire artists to explore and transform the world through their art. Meow Wolf’s third permanent exhibition opened in Denver, Colorado, on September 17, 2021. Each room is designed to be immersive, psychedelic, and mind-bending, and has underlying stories guiding guests throughout the exhibit.
Meow Wolf supports local artists while prioritizing artists from underrepresented groups. In an article from the Denver Post, “… an optional survey conducted by the venue, 51% of artists identify as female, 38% identify as people of color and 20% identify as part of the LGBTQ+ community,” thus making the art more diverse and unique because it is relevant to each artist. Similarly, TJ junior Morgan O’Keefe who has been to Meow Wolf Denver said, “Each location is [made up of] artists from the cities that they are in, so if you go to a different city, you would be looking at a different perspective of that specific city and would experience the culture that is reflected in that city.”
Things to know before going to Meow Wolf include the sensory overload, so prepare for a lot of color and sound. It is easy to get lost in all that there is to look at, so have a meetup plan just in case. Try going through the rooms without taking pictures to enjoy the installation at face value, then go back through and take pictures. It usually takes at least one to two hours, but plan for a whole day activity and wear comfortable clothing and shoes. In addition, junior Julia Higgs, who has been to multiple Meow Wolf locations, said, “Take your time because there’s so much to look at. It’s not like a regular museum where there are things hung up on the wall, there are things that are hidden. You can probably go three times and still rediscover new parts.” Finally, plan to book sessions at least two weeks in advance and secure earlier sessions in the day to ensure a spot. Meow Wolf sends groups every 20 minutes to limit the spread of COVID-19.
Everyone who enters also has an opportunity to experience a story throughout the different rooms. Typically, viewers go through once and experience the sensory overload, and then go back through a second time and pick up a QPASS card in the lobby to take the TRAM line to the four different stations in the Convergence. C Street is themed as an urban station with streets and alleyways, the Ossuary, is an ancient underground world with catacombs and memories, Numina or “spirit of a place” in Latin is a six-dimensional sentient habitat, and Eemia is a city with a Kaleidogothic Cathedral. TJ junior Hannah Green says, “It’s a weird trippy experience and there’s a lot to see.”
Breaking boundaries makes anything possible and opens a new door to possibilities for objects and new places. A fridge may not be a fridge, but rather, open up to a portal of bright white light. Vince Kadlubek, the founder and director of Meow Wolf believes that people are living mundane, repetitive lives and when they go to a creative exhibit of art, “they are freed from what they thought it could be.”