GRAPEVINE, Texas — A unique national arts and entertainment company announced Wednesday it has plans to open a new exhibition in North Texas.
Meow Wolf, which was founded in 2008, is opening a permanent "portal" in Grapevine Mills and is set to open in 2023. The company plans to reclaim the space of a former big-box retail store at the shopping center, unnamed but known internally as "Beyond Beyond and Beyond."
The exhibit name will be announced at a later date.
The company will also be opening a new spot in Houston in the Fifth Ward community. It is planned to open in 2024.
Meow Wolf is known for its immersive and interactive experiences aimed at transporting audiences of all ages into fantastical realms of story and exploration.
Texas is going to be a key part of the next phase of expansion for Meow Wolf, according to CEO Jose Tolosa.
"Opening a permanent exhibition in the largest and one of the most diverse states in the country has been on Meow Wolf’s radar for years, and we are excited to be formally underway," Tolosa said. "The opportunities this state has presented have already become the touchstones of a vibrant, arts-centric portal of imaginative creativity.”
Grapevine Mayor William D. Tate said he is thrilled to have Meow Wolf coming to his city.
“Our City is a premier destination for entertainment, and the interactive installation these artists will build at Grapevine Mills pairs perfectly with the high-quality restaurants, wineries, and family-friendly activities we have worked to place all over our fine city for decades," Tate said.
The company refers to these upcoming Texas locations as “portals", a reference familiar to those who have visited existing exhibitions. There has also been a Texas Portals campaign online in anticipation of this Lone Star State expansion.
“We are very excited to be bringing Meow Wolf to the Dallas market, adding to our already compelling array of retail and entertainment offerings at Grapevine Mills," said Mark Silvestri, President of Simon Development, in the press release. "The world-class creative team at Meow Wolf and their unique vision will continue to raise the customer’s experience at the center for years to come.”
Meow Wolf mentioned a number of criteria that led them to choose Texas, including diversity, with Houston ranked as the No. 1 most diverse city in America, according to the company's press release.
These two locations have been in the works for more than two years and were motivated by the cities' large, diverse populations. The love of a mall experience led them to Grapevine. Meow Wolf plans to work with hundreds of artists, both local to Texas and from their headquarters in Santa Fe, N.M., to create the next immersive experiences.
Meow Wolf said it is known for its inclusivity and support of historically marginalized communities, describing itself as a “social impact art project fueling a business and a business fueling a social impact art project.”
The company said its mission is to inspire creativity in people’s lives through art, exploration, and play.
Meow Wolf will begin recruiting artists and staff in the summer of 2022. The company encourages those interested in the hiring process to follow Meow Wolf channels: @meow__wolf on Instagram and @MeowWolf on Twitter. People can also visit meowwolf.com/careers or texasportals.com.
The exhibitions in Grapevine and Houston will be Meow Wolf’s fourth and fifth permanent exhibitions. Meow Wolf marked a high growth year in 2021, opening two new permanent installations in addition to upgrading and reopening their original installation, House of Eternal Return, in Santa Fe. Omega Mart opened in February in Las Vegas, Nev., and Convergence Station opened in September in Denver, Colo.
Meow Wolf has welcomed more than three million visitors across the three locations and recently renewed its certification as a B-Corporation, remaining the only certified B-Corporation in the themed entertainment industry.
In 2022 and 2020, Mew Wolf was recognized in Fast Company's list of the World's Most Innovative Companies.