A few weeks ago, a couple of friends and I drove from Dallas to Grapevine, Texas to experience Meow Wolf's latest installation. Built inside of a 30,000 square foot former store in a suburban mall, The Real Unreal is a fantastic journey with a choose-your-own-adventure approach.
I know it's a bit hard to imagine, but think of a very large space with a lot of art rooms to explore. Maybe you find an arcade from the future, a sound installation, a digital sunset, or a rat family operating a tiny deli - but it all takes you into different worlds and creates different feelings. You are free to wander around, open any door, pick up any telephone, and interact with anything. The Meow Wolf instagram page writes that they "create immersive and interactive experiences that transport audiences of all ages into fantastic realms of story and exploration."
The art itself is quite impressive. I would often take a closer look to see how things were put together, and I was always surprised at the attention to detail and professional construction.
I barely took any photos because it's so immersive, but here are a few:
This room invites you to sit next to large, metal pyramids and watch a sunset that is reflected on the shiny surfaces.
The three photos above are in an area featuring geometric sculptures with sound and light to enhance the experience.
This is in one of my favorite rooms. It's hard to describe, but features some type of catastrophic failure in a machine room.
Another impressive aspect is the organization's commitment to social impact. Their website explains, "Meow Wolf is a social impact art project that fuels a business, and a business that fuels a social impact art project. We believe in the power of creativity to transform our worlds, so we partner with organizations and artists to increase access to the arts and stimulate the creative economy." They are a certified B-Corporation, which is a for-profit corporation certified for its social impact, meeting social sustainability and environmental performance standards. Read about their philanthropy and community efforts here.
What began as a small art collective in Santa Fe, New Mexico, is now a thriving and impactful organization with permanent exhibitions in Santa Fe, Las Vegas, Denver, and Grapevine. I highly recommend the visit!