Whimsical ‘Wonderland’-inspired art exhibit and bar opens in Midtown

October 6, 2022

Photo by Elizabeth Acevedo

A new interactive art experience is bringing the whimsical world of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland to Midtown. Created by artist Alexa Meade, the Wonderland Dreams art installation includes more than 20 playfully hand-painted rooms in Meade’s signature 3D style. Meade has painted every inch of the 26,000-square-foot space, from floor to ceiling, creating a multi-dimensional work of art inspired by the Lewis Carroll novel. Taking over the old Best Buy at 529 Fifth Avenue, the limited exhibition opens on Friday, October 7 and runs through April 2023. The accompanying wine bar is expected to open later this month.

Photos courtesy of Mike Monaghan

Visitors of Wonderland Dreams will be able to become a part of the paintings, with art pieces that transport them inside the storybook, including giant playing cards, mad tea parties, and secret rose gardens.

Meade first unveiled her Immersed in Wonderland solo exhibit in Beverly Hills in 2018. In March 2020, the exhibition was scheduled to open in New York, but the pandemic forced it to close. Over two years later, the show will make its NYC debut as Wonderland Dreams, in collaboration with Catching Flights and Silverstein Properties.

“I believe art should make everyone feel welcome and leave them inspired, which is exactly my goal with this experience,” Meade said in a statement. “Over the years I’ve worked on many projects that transform people and environments into immersive works of art, but Wonderland Dreams is by far my most massive project to date. I couldn’t be more thrilled that everyone who walks into the exhibit brings the space alive and becomes part of the art.”

Photos courtesy of Mike Monaghan

Described as a “wine bar based on storytelling,” the cafe and bar will serve drinks inspired by royalty, including Queen Victoria’s sweet Tokaji and Cleopatra’s Brachetto. Expected to open later this month, the bar is open to the public for reservations or walk-ins. The bar will serve wines and a range of beers, including brews from Talea on tap. Menu items will include themed small plates, snacks, and slices of cake.

Photos courtesy of Mike Monaghan

Guests can purchase souvenirs from the Wonderland Gift Show, including painted clothes, playing cards, and 3D-painted objects made by Meade herself.

“Encouraging creativity not just in children, but adults, is more important than ever, so we’re thrilled to be working with Alexa to bring Wonderland to life,” Morgan First, Catching Flights co-founder, said. Wonderland Dreams gives people the chance to follow the rainbow, leave behind reality, and play. Here, guests can experience Alexa’s art in a much more intimate and immersive way.”

Tickets cost $46 on weekends and $36 on weekdays. Children under 3 years old are free.


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