Meow Wolf

Meow Wolf words • alison m. gamache

The concept of art means something fiercely different for each viewer, each artist and each person involved, at whatever capacity. At Meow Wolf’s new exhibit, The House of Eternal Return, the concept of art is brilliantly reimagined. It is wildly creative; it is collective, collaborative, slightly mysterious and completely interactive.

Santa Fe, New Mexico, has always been an art rich community. Fine art galleries line the picturesque streets of downtown and sit nicely nestled between high-end jewelry stores and tourist shops. But here, in a town nicknamed “The City Different,” the entire idea of art is taking a new turn, and Meow Wolf is a driving force behind this movement. What is going on inside Meow Wolf’s 22,000-square-foot installation still remains largely a mystery to most who visit. Many come on a recommendation from a waiter or a friend; others are only passing through and saw a billboard just outside of Albuquerque, illuminated in the desert night. Regardless of how people have heard about Meow Wolf, they are coming and they are leaving with a whole new idea of what art can be.

Since opening its doors in mid March of this year, the installation has brought in approximately 250,000 visitors, far surpassing the business projections set for the year. About 150 artists, interns, volunteers and believers invested thousands of hours into this hypnotically immersive multimedia installation. Caity Kennedy, Artistic Director of The House of Eternal Return, described the project as, “part playground part sculpture, but most importantly [it is] a hundred different transportive experiences.” Meaning, the experience each attendee has is going to be completely different than the person before them. In fact, the experience you have will probably evolve each time you come back to The House of Eternal Return.

The exhibit follows a non-linear narrative about a family who lives in an old Victorian house. Strange events have occurred and the safety of the area has been compromised. Portals have opened and our world has been connected to new universes and different dimensions. As you wind and turn through psychedelic caves covered in crystal clusters or forests with twisted trees and musical mushrooms, you will start to unravel the mystery of the family here and hopefully you will have your idea of interactive art flipped upside down.

I sat down and spoke with a few of the artist behind this exhibit, and above all else they want people to know that Meow Wolf is a giant artistic family. Most of the business’s employees were artists on the project during its construction. The whole installation process was a highly collaborative effort. Now, just five months after opening, these artists already have their eyes set on the next big thing. After visiting The House of Eternal Return it is apparent there is no shortage of talent floating through the LED-sparkled air. They have managed to create their own vision that I can only described as Alice meets Hunter S. Thompson somewhere in Wonderland. You are going to have to trust me when I say you need to come visit. For more details and hours of operation, be sure to checkout www.meowwolf.com.