For a name like Rainbow Vomit, the first step inside is almost disorienting in its monochromatic design. The waiting area is decked out with a black-and-white office desk, black-and-white bar and black-and-white “fireplace.” Hidden amongst the shades of gray are sparks of color here and there (like a tap that spouts rainbows) that hint to the psychedelic swirling delights that await you.
Finally, the time comes to begin the experience. Ribbons hang from ceiling to floor, acting as an almost maze to push through as you move from black-and-white into red, then orange, then yellow, green, blue, purple. Once you’ve made it through the ROYGBIV ribbons, you’ve entered another realm—one full of bright, vibrant, eye-popping colors. Welcome to Rainbow Vomit.
Located near Fair Park in Dallas, Rainbow Vomit is the newest addition to the booming interactive arts scene in North Texas. This family-friendly experience offers fun for families of all ages and all abilities (wheelchair users can easily maneuver around the bulk of the exhibit, but might be limited from a small upstairs area)—all in one hour!
To celebrate Rainbow Vomit’s official opening weekend, we spoke to lead curator Deanna Theis and experience director Rob Andrews about the experiential art event.
Andrews and Theis, along with Jason Mendez, are the masterminds behind Rainbow Vomit. The trio brought together a team of 20 creatives to build the epic experience featuring over 6,000 LED lights, 100 pounds of cotton, 50 pounds of glitter, 5 miles of ribbon and oh, one secret unicorn.
It took five months of hard work from a dedicated team of a dozen creators to bring Rainbow Vomit to life. Notable about their art pop-up, explain Andrews and Theis, is that the creators of the featured works aren’t traditional artists. Instead, their team was composed of everyday people letting out their creative energies to construct the space together. This collaborative creative effort shows that anybody can be an artist, Theis shares.
First question that’s likely on your mind: why the name, Rainbow Vomit?
Andrews smiles and admits that it comes from his impromptu remark about the art they were working on for the then-untitled show. Fittingly enough, the exhibit is about a mish-mashed collaboration of comic, fantasy and pop art (yes, with occasional upchuck-like results). “It’s a juxtaposition,” explains Andrews. “It’s messy but beautiful at the same time. That’s the Rainbow Vomit aesthetic: perfectly imperfect.”
It’s this smorgasbord of visual arts that makes this Dallas destination ideal for families of all ages. Theis says that they wanted to design it for everyone to enjoy—all ages, boys and girls. She notes that while the show’s blend of comics and unicorns cater to the hottest fads among the kiddie crowd, she’s been pleasantly surprised by how adults have engaged with the show.
Andrews agrees, sharing that the unicorn art has proved just as popular with dads as with their daughters. “There is something deeply satisfying in bringing a reaction to someone who you wouldn’t expect to receive such joy from something like a unicorn,” he says.
And as with any proper Instagrammable art experience, photography is encouraged during your visit to Rainbow Vomit. (So if you’re in need of a new profile picture or want some wild family portraits, be sure to bring a camera!)
Rainbow Vomit is open to the public now through February 18. After the show’s initial run, the trio plans to modify and re-open the space in different iterations through the end of 2019. It’s recommended visitors purchase tickets ahead of time—act fast, as the show sold out its opening weekend!