Meow Wolf was worth the trip. Regular readers of this blog know how I feel about immersive art experiences. This bowling alley turned art space delivered. I’ll try to not reveal too many of the secrets but be forewarned.
When we pulled into the Meow Wolf parking lot, I could already tell that we had made the right decision. There were large sculptures of a giant robot, coyote and a spider greeted us. There was also a Magnet Poetry van.
The basic premise of Meow Wolf is that there is a family that has the ability to play with the space-time continuum but something has gone wrong. Their house has been quarantined. You can search the house to get clues to figure out what has happened. There are hidden doors in unexpected ways to get to other parts of the art space but I’ll let you find those on your own.
Outside of the house, there are magical rooms. My personal favorite is the large mammoth skeleton with neon bones that make music and change color when you hit them with special mallets. That was my most favorite thing. It was hard to pull myself away!
There’s also a little forest to wander through with little rooms (one suspiciously looks like Baba Yaga’s house). On some trees, there are also mushrooms that you can play like drums that also make noise and change color. I love that they brought together the world of color and percussion.
There’s a dome of eyes that made me extremely happy. We spent some time in there, watching the eyes light up and the sounds of animals waft over us.
The place really encourages exploration. You have to climb staircases, go through unexpected doors to find a variety of rooms. I’m sure we missed some things. They also have a concert space for bands but we didn’t stay for any of the live music.
It was quite a contrast to The House on the Rock, that we went to in October. For those of you who have never been, House on the Rock is about an hour west of Madison, Wisconsin. There are many stories about it but I’m not certain what the truth is. The story they are telling is that a young man falls in love with this rock and ends up buying it. He builds his house out of the rock and charges people who want to picnic on his property. All the money he receives goes into the property. He is a collector of carousel horses, animatronics, and so much more. In addition to the house, there are two giant warehouses of stuff. I call him a “Poor Man’s Hearst.”
His vision is also insane. One room has a 150 foot plus whale fighting a squid. The House claims to have the largest carousel in the world and it is magnificent. I think it was one of the most amazing sights.
But the place is unnerving. A friend claims that we have inadvertently participated in a ritual that is opening a rift in our reality… The place is not exactly well-kept up; the exhibits have dead beetles and other insects. Personally, the house itself was extremely claustrophobic and dark; I was very happy to have left.
Since we visited these two spaces in about a month from each other, I can’t help but compare. Both are immersive experiences on a monumental scale. I would suggest going to both for different reasons. Meow Wolf is delightfully curated (and apparently funded by George R.R. Martin). I can’t wait to see how it expands and reinvents itself. I do envision going back someday. House on the Rock is definitely a place of Americana and worth a trip…once.
That’s all for now!