There’s an excitement people have when they visit one of arts and entertainment company Meow Wolf’s three permanent exhibits in Denver, Las Vegas and Sante Fe, N.M., says company public relations representative Erin Barnes.
Barnes said much of that excitement came from Meow Wolf co-founder Matt King who died suddenly July 9. He was 37 years old.
According to a post on Meow Wolf’s Facebook, King, who is also listed as senior creative director, was at the arts and entertainment company’s first meeting in 2008 and alongside Quinn Tincher created Meow Wolf’s first immersive art show.
“He was fearless and untamable,” a post of the company’s Facebook reads. “He dedicated his life to Meow Wolf and in turn, inspired thousands of artists and built the company that we have today. He cared deeply for the people around him and lived his life with an unbound passion for creating and collaborating.”
King helped to build Meow Wolf as it grew from an informal collective of do-it-yourself artists in Santa Fe, N.M. to the company it is today. The two locations outside Sante Fe were added last year. King is listed as field art director for Las Vegas’ Omega Mart, which debuted in February, and creative director for Denver’s Convergence Station, which opened in September. He is credited as the lead artist of the Convergence exhibit and as a creative director of the Eemia exhibit among many others. It is anchored by a 35-foot-tall cathedral that had to be lowered by crane before the roof was installed.
Convergence Station, located at 1338 1st St. in Denver, directly southeast of the Empower Field at Mile High, hit one million visitors last month.
Friends and family held a service for King on Friday in which Barnes said attendees were encouraged to dress up in the way that makes them feel most like themselves.
Someone close to King said that he told them if he ever died, he didn’t want it to feel like a funeral but a dance party, according to Barnes.
Barnes said King wanted to make art for the masses, but also wanted to make art that people would want to experience.
“Now more than ever his work is just going to live on. Now that he’s no longer with us (his art) is what we have to remember him by and it’s an amazing thing to remember him by,” Barnes said.
Jessica Austgen, Performance Manager at Meow Wolf Denver and a well-known local actor, director and improv performer, said King made a profound impact on the Denver Meow Wolf and will be remembered for being generous with his genius.
“His joyful, passionate and creatively chaotic spirit inspired much of the tone for the team on-site at Convergence Station,” Austgen said. “When he handed off the exhibit to the Denver team, he told us, minus a few expletives: ‘I make art, and when the project is finished, I’m done with it. It’s out into the world, and I’m already obsessed with the next thing. I’m not precious with something I’ve completed. Change it if you need to. That red wall? Paint it blue if you guys get tired of red. My part is done. Take it and run with it.'”