The psychedelic Meow Wolf enclave in Santa Fe is the stuff of Nyquil and full moon-influenced dreams.
Equal parts art installation, children’s museum, art gallery and jungle gym, the immersive collaboration of more than 100 artists begs to be touched, explored and examined. Chances are good that those who wander through the inventive playground, which opened in 2016 and dubbed “The House of Eternal Return,” will emerge with new ideas about art and how it can be experienced.
“For a lot of people, what’s magical is the possibility of creativity,” said Max Beck-Keller, Meow Wolf’s event director. “We want to inspire creativity in our exhibits and parties. We hope that’s something that feels magical for people. I don’t think it has to be a mysterious thing. It’s not the occult. It’s not a secret that we want people to feel creative in their lives. We definitely do.”
In the buildup to Meow Wolf’s new location in Denver, projected to open in 2021, the Santa Fe-based arts and entertainment company will throw “Meow Wolf Dark Palace: A Dance Obscura,” a three-day music and art experience. It’s Friday through Sunday at the National Western Complex in Denver.
Electronic dance music by DJs, including Claude Vonstroke, MK, Guy Gerber, Charlesthefirst, Shlohmo, Late Night Radio, Vctre, Dirt Monkey and Shades, will fill two stages in the building, chosen for its vast space and dark interiors, perfect for experimenting with light and lasers.
Art installations will fill the rooms, with works by artists from around Colorado and New Mexico, including Collin Parson, Matt Barton, Psychopomps, Rainbow Militia, Chelsey Crandell and Ethnograph. Much of it will be interactive, similar to the rooms at Meow Wolf.
“We want art to be touchable, not just visual, or something on the wall with someone there who’s watching to make sure you don’t touch it or come too close to it, which is an interesting museum experience for me,” Beck-Keller said.
“Everything will be meant to be enjoyed in multiple sensory ways.”
Much remains to be revealed about the upcoming Denver location between Interstate 25 and Colfax Avenue, though its size will be about three times that of its 25,000-square-foot sister in Santa Fe. The powers that be continue to play coy about the new art collective’s theme, though they’ve already issued open calls for artists to participate in the giant sandbox for creatives.
“It’s akin to our desire to inspire more creativity,” Beck-Keller said. “We want to do more of it in more places everywhere. Geographically it makes sense because of its proximity to Santa Fe. The culture in Denver and Colorado is a culture sympathetic to what Meow Wolf is doing. It seemed like a good fit.”
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