Sneak Peek: Meow Wolf Prepares Helter Shelter for Eclipse Festival

Meow Wolf’s team has been hard at work on a pair of installations that will debut on the summer festival circuit.

Meow Wolf’s team has been hard at work on a pair of installations that will debut on the summer festival circuit.

The first we have to announce is the Eclipse Festival in Big Summit Prairie, Oregon. Held from August 17 to August 23, Eclipse is a week of big-name music collected around the solar eclipse on August 21st. You don’t have to be at Eclipse to see the eclipse, but you do have to be at Eclipse to see Helter Shelter, a one-of-a-kind Meow Wolf installation. A team of more than thirty Meow Wolf artists built a lucent forest village where guests of Eclipse can chill out when they’re not dancing to the music.

Helter Shelter is a neo-psychedelic neighborhood of small cottages that use interactivity to communicate their grand personalities. For example, Laser Harp Hut has a tiny stove pipe that vents fog into the air above the village. Once inside, guests can play in a dark environment with one of Meow Wolf’s very own laser harps. Buttonland is an experiment in crowd-operated art, an opportunity for visitors to program their own light and sound displays on a glowing wall of arcade cabinet buttons. Gretchen and Baby Gretchen offer colorful accommodations (both large and small) for relaxation and contemplation. Performers and neon lanterns near the town square create a sense of community at night, but people can also retreat to the stars inside Helter Shelter’s cartoonishly adorable Observatory.

Meow Wolf Chief Creative Officer Caity Kennedy said Helter Shelter started simply, but as is the case with most Meow Wolf projects, the scope dramatically expanded toward maximalism.

"We like to build houses," she said. "The huts are perfect examples of Meow Wolf's style of collaboration — balancing design, skill, and teamwork with spontaneity, maximalism, and individual expression. This was supposed to be a small, simple project. We are learning that we don't really do small and simple! Each hut is as magical a character as each of the dozens of artists who built them. Our little village is welcoming and weird, just like our family."

Helter Shelter was built at Meow Wolf’s new fabrication studio on the outskirts of Santa Fe. We included some process photographs of the shoot, courtesy of Lindsey Kennedy. Keep an eye here or on our Facebook page over the next few weeks to catch photographs of these handsome little huts in their natural environment. We’ll have another immersive art announcement for you in a few days.Thanks, as always, for your kind attention. If you know someone who is going to Eclipse, or someone who is merely interested in immersive artworks, please consider sharing this post using our social media links below.