Thea Awards Recipients

Thea Awards 2017

Thea Award for Outstanding Achievement - Connected Immersion on a Limited Budget

Meow Wolf House of Eternal Return, Santa Fe, NM USA

A combination of jungle gym, haunted house, children’s museum and immersive art exhibit, House of Eternal Return fuses art, 21st century technology and themed entertainment. With this unique, connected immersion experience the Meow Wolf Art collective has reinvented location-based attractions through non-linear storytelling, technology-infused interactivity and a multimedia hands-on art exhibition.

The non-linear structure allows the audience to build their own stories and transports them through art and mystery, for an emotionally resonant experience that is innovative, immersive, quirky and imaginative. Fun house meets art house, and becomes an Alice-in-Wonderland type community hit.

It doesn’t hurt that one of the experience’s major patrons is a master storyteller himself – George R.R. Martin. The premise is simple enough: Explore a Victorian house to discover what happened to its former owners. However, like Alice’s rabbit hole, portals exist within the house that - when crossed - transport audiences into fantastic realms where the nature of time and space has dissolved.

The aesthetic is varied, fueled by the passion of various artists having brought their own interpretations to the theme, creating pocket universes of interactivity and media. Step into the living room and you discover the fireplace is a portal to a cavern of glowing crystals. Step through the kitchen’s refrigerator into a secret passageway of fantastical dimensions. Each visitor chooses their own path, sets their own pace and creates their own story.

Visitors have been known to lose themselves for hours within the 20,000-square-foot space, gathering clues, solving puzzles and accessing new paths to discover. Like any good art exhibition, this one provides a framework for personal interpretation of the theme: What is REAL and what is NOT REAL in an increasingly ‘virtual’ age.

Find out more about TEA member Meow Wolf

Award Credits