Thursday, September 17, 2020

The Jennifer Show Road Trip, part three

Here's the final installment in Sommer Prosser's series about her 2019 Jennifer Show experience. If you've enjoyed these posts, be sure to check out her blog. It's been dormant for a while, but pandemics have a way of changing things. I'm looking forward to a lot more posts from Sommer in the future!

The Jennifer Show Road Trip: Part Three

by Sommer Prosser

Continuing down that long and winding road - I know, I know it's hard to imagine further than your living room right now - but last year about this time I was on my last leg home from Colorado. Because it was a long trip we broke it into two days, and if you review the map from the first post, you'll see that I made a "loop" with the trip back going through Santa Fe.

It's amazing that I had never visited Santa Fe. It's an art mecca, but also only a day's drive away from Phoenix. What finally drove me there, however, was my friend Mariah's recommendation to visit a very unusual art exhibit of sorts called "Meow Wolf". 

Have a picnic by the giant spider!
Also in the parking lot.
Meow Wolf is very hard to describe. Basically, take an abandoned bowling alley, give a bunch of artists some money from George R.R. Martin (yes the Game of Thrones guy) and see what happens. I had a rough idea of what was inside thanks to photos shared by Mariah back when it first opened, but my friends had no clue what was in store.

Mariah and I met working at a place called "Sunbelt Studios" that worked on some wild projects (themed interiors and the like) so this was especially interesting for us. Since then, Mariah has gone on to paint murals and portraits and I make plastic pony art, but once upon a time we were making all kinds of wacky stuff ourselves that was sort of along these lines. For example, when Tostitos wanted to drop a giant tortilla chip into a bowl of dip for New Year's for the Fiesta Bowl in Tempe, AZ, who do you call for this?  Yes, that was a real job the company handled for a while.

Meow Wolf reminded me of what might have happened if they had given the staff free rein and invited us to do whatever we felt like at Sunbelt Studios twenty-ish years ago. We did "weird" stuff all the time there, but unfortunately, being a team for hire, the things we created were never our own. It was an absolute blast, but the idea of being able to go our own way made my brain buzz with the possibilities. There are things that one artist can't create alone, but when you get a group with different talents together, you'd be amazed at what can develop.

I'm not going to show everything start to finish - because I'd love for all of you to see it someday for yourselves and I don't want to ruin all the surprises inside.
Anyway, while Meow Wolf is closed right now due to Covid. It is very "hands on" in nature which was awesome in the Before Times. Please do immediately go see it the second this pandemic clears up.

There's a TON more neat stuff inside - and it has a "story" kind of like an Escape Room, but there's no goal or rush to get out. You're meant to explore at leisure. It has a cafe (outside of the art area) and a room for visitors to try "art-ing" on their own. Make sure you budget enough time to actually enjoy!

I was so inspired that I seriously would like to pursue working for this company some day.  And who knows? With plans to expand, including a planned upcoming location in Phoenix, I'll be keeping a close eye on this art collective.

When we got home the next day, I was able to pull out all my "loot" from the show and found that I didn't do so bad after all!  Here are a few of the obligatory "loot pics." This is a model horse blog, and I know what you guys are here for!  
The Jennifer Show was great, but what was even more meaningful was just spending time traveling with my "crew" of friends, Kory, Maggie, Laura, Lauren, and all the out of town friends that we met up with at the show. That's what I'm missing most of all right now. I can't wait to see all of you again when this pandemic is over! 

And who knows, maybe once it's safe again, our crew can host a big blowout show of our own here in Arizona?  If we do, I hope to see you there! Just never forget: Travel to the pony show NOW with the people you care about, because you don't know what the future might hold. 

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