29Rooms: What You Need to Know
It is a well known fact that art is often the catalyst behind many other creative professions including interior design, architecture, and even the culinary arts. RH showed us how to blend these successfully with the launch of their hit restaurant 3 Arts Club Café. Now, Refinery29, a female driven digital-media and entertainment conglomerate strives to excite the masses with their art-meets-museum popup exhibit called 29Rooms. This year's theme is "Turn It Into Art."
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What is 29Rooms About?
Some have called it a traveling circus; others, an interactive art exhibit. But Refinery29 describes it as "an art-fueled funhouse for the digital age that reimagines live events." In simpler terms, it is an art exhibition featuring 29 spaces that have been curated by artists and visionaries around the globe. Each space is designed so that observers can interact with them in some way.
The theme of "rooms" tend to change from city to city. I've included some of my favorites from a recent exhibit in Chicago in this article.
What You Should Know Before Attending 29Rooms
The concept of a pop-up, interactive art exhibit was a really difficult one for me to grasp. So after reading a few reviews I decided to attend. While there, I took mental notes of points that might be useful to art buffs who'd also like to know more about what to expect. I've also interspersed this post with some of my favorite rooms from the show.
1. Check the Website Schedule Often
New pop-up dates appear to be randomly added to the site. There is no 12-month show schedule available. So remember to check the website often.
2. Special Perks for MasterCard Holders
At the time of this article, the sponsor and preferred credit card of choice for 29Rooms was MasterCard. Therefore, as soon as you learn that the exhibit is scheduled at venue near you, go to the website to check out exclusive discount prices for MasterCard holders. There are a limited number of tickets available at the discounted rate, so you’ll want to jump on this.
If for some reason you miss this perk, don’t fret. As a MasterCard holder you’ll also receive line-jumping privileges. Trust me. You want this, as I'll explain later (HINT: see point #3).
3. Plan Your Room Visits
It's very tempting to walk right into the exhibit hall and immediately start interacting with the first rooms you see. However, touring 29 spaces - even small ones - is exhausting. I recommend taking a brief walk around the joint first to read a few of the room summaries. It will help you decide which rooms you might enjoy most. For all you go-getters, it is estimated that touring ALL of the 29 rooms will take no less than 3 hours total.
Some of the more popular rooms often have very long lines. I'm talking Disneyland-long, depending on what time of day you attend (ugh). But if you used the first 4-digits of your MasterCard to unlock the ticket schedule when purchasing, you automatically qualify for VIP entrance into the venue itself, plus ONE line-jumping privilege. You will only get to jump the line once, so choose wisely.
4. Bring Your Instagram "A Game"
29Rooms is a the place for a dream photoshoot! If you are a model, an expert instagrammer, or even a blogger like myself who is looking for interesting photos, this is the place to create them. Heck, it would even make for a great family photo. I mean, think about it- you have 29 backdrops at your disposal.
Nevermind that they're all in the same warehouse; each one looks completely different from the other. Just be sure to change up your wardrobe to make it work. During my visit, one model brought three photographers with her and spent nearly an hour at just one "room" shooting photos.
5. Bring a Friend
This is perhaps my biggest regret. Generally, I drag my husband along me to these little excursions. We have a great time together and are always on the lookout for a fun date night. However, the last two events we attended were such duds (I mean boring as all get out). So I was too embarrassed to ask him to come along for yet another one. HUGE mistake. He would have enjoyed this immensely.
Although there are guides there to assist you with photos and just about anything else, this is an experience to be enjoyed with someone else. I mean, it's just weird standing there by yourself taking a photo. I managed to take a few selfies. It was weird. So please, just take someone with you. (By the way, to avoid any confusion, that is NOT me in the photo below. LOL!)
6. Should I Bring Small Kids?
Hmmm... let's see. Twenty-nine rooms, 3+ hours , and a few Disneyland-like lines. Did I mention there is no food sold in the venue? Uh, yeah - umm...that's a 'no' for me. But I don't have children. So consider the forgoing and decide for yourself. Pre-teens and teens, by the way, would have a blast.
Here's something else to keep in mind. Anyone who is accustomed to attending art-related events knows that artsy folks tend to push the boundaries. As a fairly conservative person I steer clear of certain artistic expressions. Although the flower garden shown in the opening of this post was named Erotica in Bloom, it contained nothing of an explicit nature. There was, however, a neon light display promoting planned parenthood which included a neon phallic light. Something to keep in mind.
I didn't get an opportunity to visit all of the rooms, but I enjoyed this exhibit a lot more than I ever thought I would. If given the opportunity to attend again, I'd go in a heartbeat. Please tell me in the comments below:
- Have you ever attended an interactive art exhibit like 29Rooms?
- Which of the spaces featured above is your favorite?