Fall through Omega Mart into Another World
Written by: The Bat
Start out somewhere familiar, a grocery store. Pick up a few products, explore the aisles and you begin to realize that you are in a rather unusual grocery store. One that has different but familiar products, products that advertise being made with a strange additive. An additive that makes apples and oranges into Happles and.. whatever those new oranges are called. Then you realize that the chicken has tattoos, the groceries are not exactly normal, the produce department has a creature called a Diakon that wants to be your best friend
In addition to all of the strange products, there are portals that you can step through…..into a whole different world.
Omega Mart is described as an immersive art experience. In the case of Omega Mart, that phrase describes a beautiful escape, one you can fall as deep into as you wish.
Creative Operator Maura Grace described it best “The environment tells a story. It is up to you to figure out what that story is.”
Once you pass the portals, you can visit a twisted and beautiful factory, with pulsating lights and machines that leak rhinestone-encrusted goo. Or see what was once a simple desert, but now has pictures that dance across the sky. Follow the shining rainbow river to a village that houses a revolution, a strange drink, and a missing teen who isn’t exactly human…
There is a story to the world, with depth and subtext and even a bit of a political leaning. You can find the story bit by bit through observation, or take a deep dive into it through the Omega Access Program, a combination scavenger hunt/ guided game. To play the game, you purchase a card and scan it on various computer terminals throughout the exhibit. These terminals will give you bits of the story and eventually send you on a mission. However, you do not need to play the game to enjoy Omega Mart. Technically you do not even need to care about the story.
It is, after all, an Art Experience. It was put together by a conglomerate of artists from New Mexico called Meow Wolf. They have created three of these installments, starting with The House of Eternal Return in Santa Fe and finishing the set with Convergence Station in Denver. Omega Mart contains artwork not only by the founders but by several local artists and nationwide. The mural on the outside of the building, for example, is created by local artist Eric Vozzola. While you can see that one by driving by Area 15 off of Sirius, the inside artwork is not as accessible. Of course, you should come to see it for yourself, but to tease your eyes, here are a couple of pics of the art featured in Omega Mart.
You can visit the Infinitizer, created by Alex Gray and Allyson Gray
Or the Juke Temple, created by Carey Thompson
And some people just come through to go down the slides!
Guests don’t always know why they come to Omega Mart. And they don’t always know what to do when they get there. Some of them even think it is an escape room (it isn’t). But whether they play the game, ride the slides or simply wander and take it all in, it is a place where they can forget the world they came from for a few hours. Surrounded by a new world, a world of such beauty and mystery, who could resist.