For Meow Wolf, a sudden collapse in infrastructure proved to be the best thing that could have happened to the up-and-coming art space and music collective.
Despite several reported clashes with the city and a slew of internal struggles, Meow Wolf's outlook on the future is positive. The closure of its first location had very little to do with the simple issues that were publicly blamed at the time. According to one of Meow Wolf's founders, Quinn Tincher, it was combination of unforeseeable factors that posed such a challenge.
"I think when you get a lot of people involved in a process such as this, semantics get thrown around an awful lot," Tincher says. "It wasn't noise, it wasn't parking, it wasn't any of these specific things that caused so much chaos in our first location. It was a lack of communication."
Members Matt King and Tincher forged ahead and committed themselves to realizing their vision of an all-inclusive art collective brimming with inventive minds and gifted hands.
"Without the trials we've been presented with thus far, we wouldn't be nearly as strong," King says.
The new 2,000-square-foot location on Hopewell and Second Street is steadily evolving into what Tincher hopes will be an educational cornerstone for those looking to freely express themselves. Located just down the block from the old spot, the new space has been in operation since Oct. 3. It has already received encouraging feedback from the community, and a stampede of touring bands continue to rock out. Although the concept behind Meow Wolf promotes both art and music, the art side is still developing.
"Smaller venues, collectives and all-ages DIY spots have a special place in my heart," Milton Melvin Croissant III says. "I live in an all-ages music venue in Denver, much like Meow Wolf, called Rhinoceropolis, and I think that the atmosphere and experimental nature of these places are crucial in fostering a healthy art and music community."
Croissant plays ethereal folk at one of two shows at Meow Wolf this week, and he and his music slide right into the space's experimental vibe. With eclectic local acts such as The Late Severa Wires, Yoda's House and Atmospheric Diver, and touring bands such as Dugoutcanoe, His Holiness and Modern Witch, Meow Wolf's lineups are pleasantly diverse. Denver's Modern Witch combines visual art with electroclash dub while Dugoutcanoe's grimy rock bursts with electronic loops. On tour with MMC III, each band knows the DIY philosophy well.
To witness a group of young like-minded individuals so adamant about their unique projects is refreshing. Both King and Tincher possess an infectious energy that immediately permeates the air as they discuss their ambitions. They can barely contain themselves when they talk about upcoming events and Meow Wolf's untapped potential. No matter how little money they have to work with, materials always seem to appear and projects quickly begin to grow.
"We've been very fortunate so far. Everything's falling into place," King says. "If we need one certain thing and we think about it as a group, it shows up. It's been really wild."
In a town where proper venues are few and far between, Meow Wolf fills a void for people who simply want to create. It gives them a chance to experience new music, book shows, showcase their art and become a part of a mission to endorse the creative process. The outpouring of community support speaks volumes about the integrity of its individual members.
Late Severa Wires, Yoda's House and Atmospheric Diver
7 pm, Friday, Nov. 21
Milton Melvin Croissant III, DugoutCanoe, His Holiness and Modern Witch
7 pm, Saturday, Nov. 22
1800 Second St.