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Meow Wolf prepares for Denver grand entrance in 2020

Local artist Molly Bounds creates a piece at Special Guest.
Photo: Genessa Gutzait · The Sentry

Already has other Denver projects in existence

Meow Wolf, a Santa Fe-based art collective that got its start in 2008, expanded its artistry to the heart of Denver with a groundbreaking in December 2018. While the permanent space is expected to open sometime in 2020, the immersive art collective is already taking the Mile High City by storm.   

Meow Wolf, also opening a space in Las Vegas at the end of 2019, is giving art lovers in Denver a taste of what is to come for their permanent space. The interactive space will be based in Sun Valley, south of Elitch Gardens, between Colfax and I-25, in the backyard of the Auraria campus.   

When asked by 5280 Magazine why this specific location was chosen over a more expected location like RiNo, CEO and Co-Founder of Meow Wolf, Vince Kadlubek, said, “Is [RiNo] really where we want to be bringing 1.5 million people each year?… The overall impact [in Sun Valley] was just going to be a bit more responsible, to be honest.” The Sun Valley neighborhood is one of Denver’s oldest and historically poorer neighborhoods.   

The immersive art company is already working on many projects around Denver. Last year, in the Denver Center for Performing Arts’ Next Stage Gallery, followers of the exciting new addition to Denver’s growing art scene could get a hint of what is to come for the permanent space. The prequel to the space, Special Guest, was curated by five of Denver’s artists, along with Denver Arts and Venues as well as CU Denver’s very own College of Arts and Media.    

The group is certainly making themselves at home here with the immersive gallery already on display, all the while making exciting plans with their future neighbors, Elitch Gardens. As a welcome to Denver, Elitch Gardens and Meow Wolf are working on “an innovative, alluring and sensational new art ride” called Kaleidoscape. The ride is to open along with the 2019 Elitch Gardens season and is deemed “the first artist-driven dark ride the world has ever seen.”   

Elitch Gardens’ marketing director Layne Pitcher, stated in the announcement, “All of us at Elitch Gardens are thrilled to be partnering with Meow Wolf to create this unique, mysterious, and artistic new ride. The park is a long-standing Denver staple known for offering one-of-a-kind family fun and this new ride will continue that tradition in its most original way ever.”   

Meow Wolf is also working to be inclusive of Denver-based artists and musicians. They held an open call for artists that lasted from Oct. 5—26. The group has already dedicated 40 percent of the future exhibition space to solely local art proposed through the open call, as well as a dedicated music venue for Denver’s growing music industry.   

Meow Wolf will be selling general admission tickets and family passes for the 2020 opening. GA tickets will be priced at $25 for Early Bird tickets that will go on sale at a later date before the opening. The group is also currently selling first week tickets for $50; opening night gala tickets for $1,000; and lifetime passes that include lifetime access to all Meow Wolf exhibits and events, as well as an engraved lifetime pass card and limited edition Meow Wolf gift box for $10,000.

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