Matt King, a visionary behind the immersive art experience Meow Wolf and an Arlington native, has died. He was 37.
Meow Wolf announced King’s death on social media, where it said his work has inspired thousands of artists and helped build the arts and entertainment company.
“Matt’s work as both a collaborator and artist was like no other: monumental, groundbreaking, otherworldly, and wild,” Meow Wolf wrote on Facebook. “This is a tremendous loss to the world.”
No additional details about his death were provided, but Meow Wolf described King’s passing as sudden.
King, an abstact expressionist painter, was among the original group of artists who met in 2008, the company said, wanting to create something very different from the traditional art scene in Santa Fe.
Meow Wolf was their answer.
The Meow Wolf community is devastated and in absolute shock by the sudden passing of Meow Wolf co-founder, artist and dearest friend Matt King. Our thoughts and condolences go out to his family, friends and everyone who knows and loves him. pic.twitter.com/xO7aJ8ydTo— Meow Wolf (@MeowWolf) July 13, 2022
The first Meow Wolf, titled House of Eternal Return, has had 2 million visitors since it opened in 2016 in an empty bowling alley in Santa Fe, N.M. Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin funded the project after the founders pitched the idea to him.
Since then, it has opened locations in Denver and Las Vegas. Meow Wolf recently announced it would open next year in Grapevine Mills and in Houston in 2024.
According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, King was a multi-instrumentalist, an avid canoer, and taught outdoor education to grade-schoolers in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
“Matt’s spirit will live on in our collective heart,” Meow Wolf wrote. “We will continue to honor him by carrying his brilliance forward in our work and in our everyday lives.”