Colorado musicians create magic in the new Meow Wolf Denver experience
The newly-opened Meow Wolf Denver is the ultimate treat of an immersive experience, especially for those feeling the fatigue after being virtual for so long. With interactive elements at each turn, the narrative known as Convergence Station takes us through different spaces that spark creativity and emotion, and are wonderfully audacious.
Meow Wolf Denver is inclusive with its "choose your own adventure" curation. Visually maximalist with its complex layers, guests are encouraged to lean into the immersive experience, and from room to room become part of the storytelling arc of it all. Pro-tip: Don't forget to get a BOOP card.
Colorful, bright, and thoughtfully soundtracked with each step, traversing each of these wildly interactive art installations it's worth noting that of the 300 contributors, 110+ Colorado creatives helped dream up this four-floor spectacle. This includes many local musicians who added their audio and visual elements to the experience.
Aside from exploring Convergence Station, there is a music venue, called Perplexiplex, that hosts concerts regularly with a capacity of 488 people. Former Local 303 favorite Griz performed for its inaugural show, and the mysterious Colorado ensemble Itchy-O also had a surprise performance.
Meet 5 Colorado musicians to seek out while experiencing Meow Wolf:
Down Time guitarist Justin Camilli is also a muralist, designer, and visual artist and created a room at Convergence Station called "Post Apocalyptic Paradise." The fantastical landscape of the future boasts the question "how can paradise exist within an apocalypse;" so take some time to get seduced by the creatures emerging from the mural and the mushroom glow dome and find out for yourself.
Local artist and MC Molina Speaks created a beautiful space called "Indigenous Futurist Dreamscapes Lounge" and it features his music and visuals. Referred to as an "intergenerational collaboration" with Denver visual artist Stevon Lucero, the main vibe is to sit back and experience the visual representation of a dream Lucero had in 1975 about interplanetary beings who are passing through time and space. Molina's music is on a 90-minute loop allowing plenty of time for the journey.
What is Old Denver?! Here, it's a trio of longtime Denver artists, creators, musicians, fabricators Andrew Novick, Robert Ayala, and Pamela Webb. Novick is known for his antics as the singer in Colorado cult favorite band Warlock Pinchers and Webb may or may not have played taiko for Itchy-O – the band is so mysterious, one cannot be so sure. The creative collective recreated signs from former beloved Denver establishments that have become part of the backdrop while you walk through parts of Convergence Station. Their existence lends a wink to those that are native to the city or know the folklore behind these beloved institutions like Cinderella City's "Cinder Alley," where back in the 1980s all the cool kids hung out in the basement near the arcade while at the famed mall; or late-night coffeeshop Muddy's, and Celebrity Sports Center to name a few others.
Reed Fox who is a multi-disciplinary artist and musician, perhaps most known as déCollage, and behind the extraordinary art house Moon Magnet, scored a compelling installation called "Ruptured Time." It's a cozy and colorful space by artist collective The Church of Many, led by Andrea Thurber, that hopes the room will inspire taking a moment to look back at good times in family life. Inspired by Thurber's grief watching a family member experience Alzheimer's, there are home videos on a loop to paint some of her memories, and Fox also includes samples from them in the room's score.
Wheelchair Sports Camp
Kalyn Heffernan of Wheelchair Sports Camp, along with bandmate Gregg Ziemba, brings the "Wheelchair Space Kitchen" time portal to life with many found objects to create the ultimate 1970s dream kitchen that is fit for Denver's biggest little rapper! First and foremost the two artists are musicians, but their DIY ethos and making sets for music videos and live shows led them to this collaboration that is colorful, exciting and 100% accessible. Heffernan talks about how imporatnt it was for the exhibit to be inclusive of people with disabilities.
The band soundtracked the room and each artifact you may see in the kitchen has meaning. You might even notice a vintage relic of our old namesake "OpenAir" on the fridge. There's also a television screen with a loop of footage dedicated to the memory of cult musician Wesley Willis that was made by local filmmakers Kim Shively and Chris Bagley. Bagley has been filming Heffernan for an eventual documentary.
It is notable to add that before Meow Wolf was built, their community engagement team spent time in the city to talk to residents to ensure they're were fairly represented and that is why most of the four floors of the structure is ADA accessible. Danika Padilla, Senior Director of Social Impact said that the idea is that everyone can see their own self reflected in the exhibition.
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