I attended a Sept. 16 ribbon cutting/VIP/media event presented by a team of Meow Wolf's founders and leadership, attended by Colorado's U.S. Senators John Hickenlooper and Michael Bennet. It featured performances by members of Denver's Indigenous community, who performed prayer songs and a land acknowledgment.
In short, the pre-opening superlative speechifying (with thank-you's galore by name) included the word "audacity" a lot — partly as a recognition of moving forward of something on such a large scale (four stories featuring more than 70 exhibits) during the pandemic.
Speakers noted how "incredibly difficult" it is to make a project like this — three years in the making — a reality. They refer to Meow Wolf as a "themed immersive experience" and in fact a suspension of reality, and time.
A staffer tells me a couple hours is the minimum time needed just to walk the space, sans a deeper dive to figure out the underlying narrative — that really the better part of a full day could be spent touring.
To give a clue of just how crazy and convoluted and magical and weird the Meow Wolf experience is, at one point she was telling me about a hidden easter egg inside of an ice cave room which will rarely get triggered by patrons, during which a series of actions performed leads to a wormhole opening in the ceiling. (Do I want to return in hopes of seeing that? Yes. Yes I do.)
Towards the conclusion of the presentation, one of Meow Wolf's creatives said "We are the type of people that believe creative expression will turn this world around... and ripple out into the world and change society for the better."
It was a poignant sentiment to carry into my tour, a reminder of art's importance in the world. But honestly, I quickly forgot about that and everything the moment I got inside and started wondering around, transfixed around just about every turn.
I'd been to the original Meow Wolf in Santa Fe several years ago, so I had some background by way of what to expect. But Denver's space is SO MUCH BIGGER.
Find out for yourself: Here's the link for tickets.