Choose Your Own Adventure: Meow Wolf Style

January 19, 2019

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It’s a collective, it’s an installation, it’s a bowling alley repurposed into a a multisensory museum that’s truly for all ages. . . it’s Meow Wolf in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

 

 

 

I visited with three writer/artist pals, Sherrie Flick, Rick Schweikert, and Sandy Yannone. Sherrie, Sandy, Rick, and I are lucky enough to calculate our friendship in decades instead of years, and I think we’d all agree that we’ve been fully engaged in the artist hustle for even longer than that.

downloadWe hustle for publication, we hustle for freelance gigs, we hustle for time and space and energy, in large part because we, like so many artists, have to be our own patrons. Teaching, bartending, real estate, retail, you name it, we’ve done it, we do it, and we’ll keep on doing it until or unless we find a better way.

After visiting Meow Wolf in Santa Fe, I think they may have found that better way. The installation itself is remarkable enough–the Meow Wolf collective created a narrative like none I’ve ever experienced before. The current installation, House of Eternal Return, is a remarkable room-by-room mystery, a visual, musical, and electronic narrative that delights and overwhelms.

 

 

 

I was blown away by the imagination and invention, but I was also blown away by the fact that Meow Wolf is making significant money from their art AND they’re also expanding–to Denver, Washington, D.C., and Las Vegas. I thought, why not bring some of that magic to Pittsburgh, Olympia, and Laconia, NH?

 

 

 

I think of the empty storefronts in my New Hampshire community, and the work so many are doing to revitalize downtown Laconia; there’s a bike path, a performance venue, great little restaurants, a supercool coffee shop, and a historic theater that’s getting an overdue makeover, but there’s still so much to do. Maybe now’s the time for Laconia to have its own immersive, educational, thought-provoking art space?

 

 

 

I leave you with this inspiring statement (manifesto?) from the Meow Wolf website, as well as the trailer for the Meow Wolf documentary, supported in part by an artist who no longer needs a patron, the amazing and generous George R. R. Martin:

Meow Wolf firmly believes that accomplished artists must be compensated on an equal level with other skilled, in-demand professionals, and that successful businesses must give back to — and participate energetically in — their communities. We provide financial assistance, expertise, and other forms of active support, and we are excited to support innovative, community-focused art and social projects. Meow Wolf comes out of a dumpster-diving, DIY past, and we want to help emerging artists and art communities around the world.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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