In first year, Meow Wolf in Grapevine adds programming, murals and artists. Take a look

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A year after opening Meow Wolf in Grapevine has introduced new programming, added more artists to the venue and, in the first half of 2023, staff volunteered more than 580 hours and presented 20 different free programs.

Last year, its new foundation gave $600,000 to 68 organizations where it operates, such as House of Shine in Grapevine and numerous in Dallas.

Attendees play arcade games on Wednesday, June 12, 2004, at Meow Wolf in Grapevine. Meow Wolf offers various interactive attractions and artwork.
Attendees play arcade games on Wednesday, June 12, 2004, at Meow Wolf in Grapevine. Meow Wolf offers various interactive attractions and artwork.

Meow Wolf is a national organization brings together local artists to tell an immersive choose-your-own-adventure story. It has locations in the arts destination Santa Fe, which boasts a large creative community and attracts an eccentric crowd of diehards. It also operates in Denver and Las Vegas and is opening a Houston location later this year. It recently announced a Los Angeles location.

A mural painted by Daniel Yanez at Meow Wolf on Wednesday, June 12, 2024, in Grapevine. The mural is a new installment that will open to the public in the near future.
A mural painted by Daniel Yanez at Meow Wolf on Wednesday, June 12, 2024, in Grapevine. The mural is a new installment that will open to the public in the near future.

The Grapevine story is called the Real Unreal. Science-fiction writer’s LaShawn M. Anak story is about 10-year-old Jared Fuqua, who into an alternative universe known as The Real Unreal. Visitors choose their adventure to perhaps decipher his location or just run around. They can find clues to discover where Jared went or move among the multiple rooms featuring 150 artists, including multiple from North Texas.

It’s not a static project. There’s usually some oddball event or project going on.

Guests view an exhibit at Meow Wolf in Grapevine on Wednesday, June 12, 2024. The attraction was made by artist Maria Guzman and features lights and sculptures.
Guests view an exhibit at Meow Wolf in Grapevine on Wednesday, June 12, 2024. The attraction was made by artist Maria Guzman and features lights and sculptures.

This year inaugurated the PAKED (Phenomenal Asphalt Realm of Kaleidoscopic Expressionistic Design) murals in the parking lot. The first is made by Dallas-based artist Lauren Lewchuk. It nods to the ethereal world inside, incorporating inspiration from the natural world with themes of growth, identity, and existentialism. “Turning a parking lot into a colorful canvas is a perfect way to vividly showcase these themes,” she said.

Meow Wolf also opened the Matt King Mystery Center. The programming and community hub is named for the late Meow Wolf co-founder who spent a lot of time slumming at the mall before heading to Santa Fe to play with trash, sweep floors and lay the groundwork for the group’s expansion. He was at its core Meow Wolf.

Its impact has been felt throughout the state beyond the outlet mall walls as well.

A section of the attraction called “Neon Kingdom,” created by various artists, on Wednesday, June 12, 2024 at Meow Wolf in Grapevine. This section holds events such as weddings and concerts, as well as a place for visitors to look around and walk through.
A section of the attraction called “Neon Kingdom,” created by various artists, on Wednesday, June 12, 2024 at Meow Wolf in Grapevine. This section holds events such as weddings and concerts, as well as a place for visitors to look around and walk through.

Kinfolk House in Fort Worth was selected as its 2023 Emerging Artist Support Grant, opening up matching grants to the east side Black cultural center. It also sponsored events with Artes de la Rosa, a Hispanic cultural center on the north side.

It has had an outsized impact. Even those who do not see themselves as artistic are impacted too. General manager Kelly Schwartz, an veteran entertainment venue manager, doesn’t have a background in the arts, nor does she consider herself one. But engaging artists and the community keeps her invigorated, and even has taught her a few things about herself.

Since joining, “I’ve even learned I’m an artist,” she said.

Guests walk through an interactive exhibit on Wednesday, June 12, 2024, at Meow Wolf in Grapevine. Each section of Meow Wolf is made by artists around the metroplex.
Guests walk through an interactive exhibit on Wednesday, June 12, 2024, at Meow Wolf in Grapevine. Each section of Meow Wolf is made by artists around the metroplex.
A mural painted in the parking lot outside of Meow Wolf in Grapevine on Wednesday, June 12, 2024. The mural was painted by artist Lauren Lewchuck.
A mural painted in the parking lot outside of Meow Wolf in Grapevine on Wednesday, June 12, 2024. The mural was painted by artist Lauren Lewchuck.