A New Kind of Mall, Anchored By Meow Wolf
Imagine, for a moment, a house.
It’s green, two stories, and slightly gothic with fancy details on the balcony and roof.
It’s nighttime, so the lights are on.
The inside of the house is a little outdated, but normal — there’s a kitchen and a dining room and so on.
But then you open the refrigerator, or duck through the fireplace, or dive into the dryer, and that's where the story takes a very strange turn.
"Then you essentially enter what we call 'the multiverse, which is basically a collage of inter-dimensional, imaginative spaces that have been developed by the Meow Wolf collective," said Vince Kadlubek, the group's CEO.
"[The spaces are] interactive, they're immersive, they're colorful, mysterious, playful, magical, and they all kind of like fit together with each other inside of this maze-like world that really transports audiences beyond what they have ever seen before."
The aforementioned art experience, based in Santa Fe, is called "The House of Eternal Return," and now Meow Wolf is planning a permanent installation for Las Vegas.
Kadlubek told KNPR's State of Nevada the Las Vegas concept is entirely new and is three times the size of the Santa Fe experience. Meow Wolf is calling it "the world's greatest collection of new media artwork," featuring light-based, interactive and projection-based artwork.
"This is going to be a very ethereal, fun interactive exhibit," Kadlubek said.
The project will employ 500 artists and half of them are expected to be local or regional. It's the flagship tenant at Area15, a yet-to-be-built retail space that should break ground in April.
"Area15 is an immersive bazaar," said Winston Fisher of Fisher Brothers, which is developing the property. "It's a highly themed retail entertainment complex, and we are leasing to tenants who are experiential entertainment — could be a Meow Wolf, could be an 'escape the room,' a great entertainment-based restaurant or bar — you sort of name it."
Area51 will also have an events center featuring deep house and electronic dance music, as well as a food truck area. Fisher said the center has some Burning Man influences, but it's really meant for people of all ages "who like cool stuff."
"It's what we think retail wants to look like in the 21st century," Fisher said.
Area15 is slated to open in late 2019.
Winston Fisher, partner, Fisher Brothers and Area15; Vince Kadlubek, CEO, Meow Wolf arts collective