SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – A group of Santa Fe kids are taking locals to another world with their Meow Wolf inspired art-installation. They turned their 600-square foot cafeteria into another dimension, all while finding their voice and learning the importance of art.
“It’s actually amazing because I remember this whole place was empty and now it’s full of all this cool stuff,” said participant Reggie Tapia.
“As you walk in through the doors, It’s a whole other world, another dimension,” said parent Josh Herrera.
It is an explosion of lights, color and creativity.
“It was fun, but it took a lot of work,” said participant Josh Herrera Jr.
Josh Jr. is one of 270 Santa Fe students at Nina Otero Community School, who teamed up with Meow Wolf artists for months to create the “Mad Bubble.”
“It is sculpture, this is video, this is drawing. It’s all happening at once, at the same time,” explained Meow Wolf Artist and Chimera Instructor Olivia Brown.
This art installation marries every type of art medium for a sensory overload, of sorts. Not only that, but everything is kid-created, even the rap music in the background.
“It was amazing to know that a bunch of kids created this. It shows what people can do, especially kids,” said student Alex Duran.
“There are so many types of expression, and to let kids know it’s okay to express yourself, too,” Brown explained.
Olivia Brown is a Meow Wolf artist and part of its community outreach arm– Chimera.
She gets emotional when she talks about their mission in Chimera. It’s not only to connect kids with the Meow Wolf Collective, but also to pass along knowledge.
“It’s so crucial and it’s shaped my entire life,” she said.
Brown says the group aims to take kids — step by step — through the artistic process, allowing each to find his or her own form of self-expression. She says the better they understand it, the more they can appreciate it.
“They taught me a lot of things,” said Josh. “How to work with technology.”
“Working with Meow Wolf is like going to a different world,” said participant Aubry Waddell.
Organizers say they also want students to know art is a viable career choice and there is a future in it.
It’s a message Josh heard loud and clear.
“What do you want to do when you grow up?” asked KRQE News 13.
“Umm, make something like Meow Wolf,” said Josh.
“It’s mind-blowing. I couldn’t be more thrilled and proud of everyone involved, including my son,” said Herrera.
For its project with the Nina Otero fifth, seventh and eight graders, Chimera made 70 classroom visits, working directly with students and closely with school faculty.