The title of this looks like I have written a typo, but that is the name of one of the coolest art exhibits I have ever been to. On our travels cross the country we made a stop in Santa Fe, New Mexico specifically for Meow Wolf. There are only three in the country, all on the west coast.
Do I have any right to talk to you about art? Well, no because art is an opinion and regardless of what I think is good or bad art, as long as it makes you think and converse, art is doing its job, but I do have a degree in art education if that matters at all.
This isn’t your typical art museum that you are thinking of. You can’t even compare this to a modern art or contemporary because it is on a different level. If you aren’t into the world immersing, psychedelic, Alice in Wonderland experience than this isn’t the place for you.
When you first pull up to the museum it looks like any other strip mall BUT not every strip mall has giant metal sculptures chilling in the parking lot. There was a giant spider, robot, and a wolf made from recycled tank parts.
Once you walk into the building it gives off this arcade meets miniature golf vibe until you walk in. Now this is reach! If you have ever seen Pretty Little Liars on ABC Family you might know what I am talking about. In the “Doll House” or final season there are full scale replicas of parts of the Liars lives, thats what it is like. You walk down a narrow hallway and it takes you to an indoor stage with a house.
Going into the house with no knowledge of what it was about allowed us to truly explore the house like one giant maze and value the pieces as individuals when in reality the exhibit has a story. You can look up the story on their website to learn more, but for my experience it was completely my one, whatever meaning I wished to give something is what it became. https://meowwolf.com/explore/origin-story
I think two of the coolest parts of the whole ‘house’ is the multiple entrances into other parts of the place. The washing machine was a slide into series of modern futuristic rooms that eventually led you back to inside.
Yet, the fridge takes you somewhere completely different. It reminds you of being a kid at Chuck E. Cheese or really at Discovery Zone. Imagine opening a I- spy book falling in and looking for all the clues to lead you one way or another. I can not express to you the creative stimulus this experience provided for me. Personally, really good art is when it drives me to create. I am so full of inspiration and passion that I have to make my own art.
There were so many rooms connecting and twisting into other places that you quickly had to create an internal map or else you will be lost the whole time. There is a central zone (I am not going to give it away because this is place you have to see with your own eyes) where you and your party can regroup every now and then, but next time I get to go I plan on spending hours in there getting the full experience. Taking one space at a time, bring my sketchbook so I can draw and pull from inspiration.
As you can see from the many selfies I took that this place is SUPER photo friendly and you can really create some interesting backgrounds and scenarios while inside. One of the things we witness while we were there was that a DJ was setting up for a set later that night. This hopefully gives you an idea of how large this places is. Easily the size of four to five story hotel, but full of multi layered art rooms that each tell a story but collectively tell a different one.
Some of the spaces were really weird like this fur room. It was so tactile that it made you want to touch all the surfaces. Other rooms might give you to creeps if certain imagery or tactiles bother you. For example there was a small dome that could comfortably fit about 12 people inside. You laid on your back and inside was playing a variety of nature sounds and on the dome ceiling were eyes. Now, not googly eyes but live video of different animal or human eyes opening and shutting in random order.
Going to a place like this might be right up your alley or something you wouldn’t do in 100 years, but to all I would recommend trying it. The phrase, it doesn’t hurt to try it? That is true about art, you don’t have to like it or even be able to do it, to be able to experience it. Seeing things that take you out of your normal make your brain think differently is half the fun in life. Meow Wolf is one of the most interesting and mind blowing art experiences I have ever been too.