– Over the past eight months, 270 fifth, seventh, and eighth graders at Nina Otero Community School have been working alongside Meow Wolf artists to create a 600-square-foot immersive installation at their Southside Santa Fe school. The exhibition, titled MAD BUBBLE, will be unveiled on the Nina Otero campus in a community celebration on Saturday, May 13 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
MAD BUBBLE is the result of an in-school teaching residency with Chimera, a non-profit dedicated to connecting kids and community to the Meow Wolf Arts Collective. Early in the 2016-2017 school year, Chimera’s team of visiting artists presented students with a design challenge: six inter-dimensional portals are opening up at the school and their job was to determine the narrative, landscape and creatures on the other side. What world awaits? Who lives there and what is their story?
From January throughout the Winter/Spring semester, Chimera instructors made over 70 classroom visits to Nina Otero, working alongside students to fabricate and construct, incorporate tech elements and shape the narrative behind their imagined worlds.
MAD BUBBLE features exploding-cupcake volcanoes, super-powerinducing glow rocks, an ice cream tree house, illuminated tube maze, messed-up garbage rainbow, unicorn fossils, a spider slave Blulo, Planamatrax the evil ad executive, and Joey Steez the levitating third-eye rapper whose music is bringing peace to his troubled world.
“Kids are born with the most fantastic imaginations, full of potential,” said Peter Chapman, Meow Wolf Project Manager for the Chimera In The Schools Program. “All they need is some guidance, some artistic know-how to put those imaginative ideas into reality. The result can be a lifetime of confidence in their skills, knowing that any dream they have can be transformed into reality. This is what Meow Wolf is all about and what we want to give back to the community.”
Nina Otero art instructors Nadine Porterfield and Carmen Sharpe have been instrumental in bringing their students’ collective vision to life—with special thanks to Principal Jeremy Philipp for opening his school to Chimera and to Santa Fe Public Schools Arts Education Coordinator Amy Summa for providing busses to Meow Wolf for a class field trip to initiate the project.
MAD BUBBLE follows in a tradition of Meow Wolf providing arts learning opportunities to give back to the community, grounded in a teaching model emphasizing a strong (1:5) instructor/student ratio and public exhibitions to showcase student works (see OmegaMart and Project Dreamscape, 2012). In April, through the 21st Century Community Learning Centers (CCLC) after-school program, Meow Wolf artists traveled to Hobbs, New Mexico to begin a two-week residency. Plans are underway for new programs in Espanola and Questa. Also last month, Meow Wolf announced a $125,000 annual fund to aid Santa Fe-based public school and non-profit activities.
MAD BUBBLE will be open to the public for a one-day community celebration on Saturday, May 13 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Admission is pay-what-you-want with a $5 suggested donation. Nina Otero Community School is located at 5901 Herrera Drive, directly behind Super WalMart.
Meow Wolf is an arts production company that creates immersive, multimedia experiences to transport audiences of all ages into fantastic realms of storytelling—a combination of jungle gym, mystery house, children’s museum and immersive art exhibit. This unique fusion of art and entertainment gives audiences of all ages fictional worlds to explore. The Meow Wolf Art Complex is home to Meow Wolf’s first permanent installation, House of Eternal Return. https://meowwolf.com/
Chimera is an independent 501(c)(3) organization, partnered with Meow Wolf to provide amazing, inspiring arts learning opportunities for kids and community. For a history of Meow Wolf’s arts learning initiatives, visit: http://chimerasantafe.org/about/program-history/