Meow Wolf caused quite a stir when, in 2018, it announced it would be opening a massive exhibition space in Denver, the largest Meow Wolf experience yet. Like the group’s other popular arts spaces in Santa Fe and Las Vegas, the 90,000-square-foot building at 1338 1st St. would be an immersive, interactive exhibition designed by artists to transport guests to fantastical realms.
Since Meow Wolf broke ground, Denverites have watched in anticipation as the oddly-shaped building (Meow Wolf calls the shape a “sleepy pizza” slice) rose up along West Colfax Avenue. Now, we’re finally going to get to see inside: Meow Wolf Denver is scheduled to open to guests this fall.
“Our most ambitious project to date, the Denver exhibition is bound to bend minds, inspire creativity, and touch hearts when we open our doors this fall,” said Todd Richins, Meow Wolf’s executive creative producer. “From our partnership with artists and collaborators on the venue, to the retail and food spaces within our walls, Meow Wolf Denver is a one-stop immersive and imaginative art experience for the ages.”
Hundreds of artists, including more than 110 based in Colorado and partner groups like Montreal-based interactive art company Moment Factory, will be housed in the Denver space. The artists collaborated on 79 interactive projects, including murals, sculpture, sound art, projections, and more, depicting fantastical worlds interconnected by portals and wormholes. By day, guests can explore four floors of exhibitions, creep down secret passageways and interact with and even influence the art around them. At night, the space will be converted into an immersive performance venue outfitted with interactive tech and projection equipment, where over 450 guests can attend concerts and events.
Visitors will also be able to dine-in or take out food at the Meow Wolf Café, a fast-casual restaurant offering food inspired by Denver cuisine and made by local food and hospitality industry entrepreneurs. On the way out, guests can purchase artwork by participating artists and Meow Wolf merch at the exhibition’s 2,000 square foot gift shop.
In the years leading up to its Denver opening, Meow Wolf has been busy constructing the site, recruiting artists and designing the space. The group has been working to meet the goals on its Social Responsibility plan, guidelines designed to help Meow Wolf open the exhibition in a way that is inclusive, sustainable and conscious of its impact on Denver. Some of its goals included hiring contracted local artists to work on the space; funding community projects like Oriental Theater mural, the Elitch Gardens’ Kaleidoscape ride, the Dark Palace music festival and the Sun Valley mural; and investing in local organizations, including ones that support artists.
But it’s also faced scrutiny, including a discrimination lawsuit filed by local artists and criticism for initially declining to support employees’ attempts to unionize.
While we know the exhibition will open this fall, there’s no set date for the opening yet.