Artist offers look inside Meow Wolf Denver

Scott Hildebrandt creates miniature worlds enclosed in vintage electronics

Alexis Kikoen
Rocky Mountain PBS
Posted 8/1/21

After years of anticipation, Meow Wolf’s permanent Denver location is set to open this fall. The Santa Fe-based art collective has been secretive about what to expect from their four-story, …

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Artist offers look inside Meow Wolf Denver

Scott Hildebrandt creates miniature worlds enclosed in vintage electronics

Posted

After years of anticipation, Meow Wolf’s permanent Denver location is set to open this fall. The Santa Fe-based art collective has been secretive about what to expect from their four-story, immersive art exhibition, but Rocky Mountain PBS got our first peek inside.

We caught up with Arapahoe County artist Scott Hildebrandt and his piece titled, “You Are Here.”

Hildebrandt — who lives in Littleton and works at an Englewood studio — is known for his work with antique and vintage miniatures, creating micro worlds inside of old clocks, cameras, radios, TVs and more. He had used this medium to make a huge work of art that fits Meow Wolf’s theme.

The artist mimics the idea of interdimensional time travel by creating stories inside of vintage electronics that he hopes will remind people of their own past.

“It’s almost like a memory inside of a memory,” Hildebrandt says.

His piece uses more than 150 individual dioramas that all fit together into 20 shelves that span from the ceiling to the floor. Each diorama contains a story brought to life with individual lighting and sound effects that come from speakers built into the artwork.

Hildebrandt laughs, “You could spend a lot of time just looking at all the small details in each one.”

The collaboration between Hildebrandt and Meow Wolf Denver has been three years in the making. “I knew in my proposal that I wanted a hallway that would bridge two different worlds and interact with you as you walked through it,” he says.

Hildebrandt has always loved how his work evokes memories and a childlike wonder from viewers. “That’s what I love about my art, it gives you the ability, even as an adult, to pretend.”

People call the artist Mr. Christmas. It’s a name he got about 10 years ago when he first started doing this artwork.

Hildebrandt focused on vintage Christmas pieces. The first piece he made was a little Christmas village that was under glass. People took interest in that style of art and so he just sort of absorbed the name Mr. Christmas, he says.

This story is from Rocky Mountain PBS, a nonprofit public broadcaster providing community stories across Colorado over the air and online. Used by permission. For more, and to support Rocky Mountain PBS, visit rmpbs.org.

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