A Trip to the Wild Side
May 21, 2019 08:01PM
● By Marketing SENSI MAG
Haven’t yet had a chance to escape to Santa Fe to experience the wondrous world created by Meow Wolf in the House of Eternal Return exhibition? Don’t fret. This summer, the art is coming to you. At Elitch Gardens. Really!
Kaleidoscape by Meow Wolf previewed to Elitch Gardens’ season ticket holders in the middle of April, and is slated to be open to the public on April 20 (on track as of press time). It’s described as a never-before-seen attraction that takes guests on a densely immersive and fully interactive experience. “Riders who journey on Meow Wold’s Kaleidoscape will be transported to other worldly motion, deep sound, wild color, and interactive moments that create an immersive world around you. This intriguing attraction [is] the first artist-driven dark ride the world has ever seen,” teases the Elitch site in the days leading up to the ride’s debut. The Denver Post calls it a “hallucinogenic gallery of neon art” with a “self-consciously ridiculous cosmic theme.”
As Sensi reported last spring, Meow Wolf one of the most successful interactive art collectives in the country announced it will soon be opening shop here in Denver, calling the planned 90,000-square-foot space a boon for the independent art scene. When it was announced, our reporter wrote “it was a rare case where both the developers and creators lauded the news the former knowing the tourist revenue they’ll draw with the latter hoping for more creative opportunities after watching corporate entities swallowing up outlets around them left and right.”
The downtown Denver Meow Wold permanent exhibition space is under construction, with the cranes visible from Sensi’s editorial office perch in Turntable Studios next to Mile High Stadium. And just across the highway, we can spy some of the preview action going on at the city’s main amusement park the 129 year old Elitch Gardens, Colorado’s only theme slash water park, where the new Meow Wolf Kaleidoscape ride has taken over and re-purposed the indoor space formerly occupied by the 20-year-old Ghost Blasters II carton rails attraction.
It’s a colorful explosion as one would expect from the otherworldly art collective. The arts and entertainment group outta Santa Fe teamed up with the amusement park to create a mind-bending art ride that travels through artist-designed landscapes, checks out unreal creatures, and explores interactive ride features.
The preview videos showcase trippy landscapes created by a half-dozen Denver artists selected by Meow Wolf, who created a world punctuated by bright colors and happy lights. There’s some ski boots topped with a cooler. A giant neon tree frog. Spiky neon plants that look like they were plucked from the other side of the looking glass in Alice in Wonderland. Repurposed materials plucked from the space’s previous occupant. It’s like a trip through House of Eternal Return in miniature, a colorful blast to all the senses that is overwhelming in all the right ways.
It fits right in with Denver’s elevated, open mindset. (And is even more engulfing if you go in with an elevated mindset of your own. Wink, wink.)
The three-minute experience is only the second permanent installment for the art collective a milestone moment for both Elitch and the Meow Wolf group. And it’s free to experience with admissions to the amusement park. Meet us there, OK?