The Color Factory and the Museum of Ice Cream have left the building, then briefly entered 29Rooms, the interactive art installation which was here for a quick four days. In one door and out the other, Refinery29, the femme-focused digital media and entertainment company, created a whirlwind sold-out 29-rooms exhibit at the Palace of Fine Arts, forcing art and social media lovers to face the Pride traffic and the fog on their way to some Instagrammable fun.

Unlike some ‘immersive’ art experiences out there, 29Rooms was abundant with timely messages; from body positivity, nods to Planned Parenthood, the Women’s March, diversity, and more. So, while on the surface, a bit of a self-indulgent selfie magnet, each room presented a point of view on art, life, and the current social climate, elevating 29Rooms to the new standard to beat for these pop-culture pop-ups. If you heard all the hubbub but never made it over to 29Rooms, here’s your look inside.

Created by artist Alexa Meade, this is a psychedelic space featuring two wildly printed walls and a plethora of similarly colored clothes and accessories. Probably the most interactive of the bunch, the exhibit invited endless dressed-up group shots, and, smartly located at the very beginning of the tour, set the mood for adventure and fun.

No immersive exhibit is complete without a balance-challenging, retro optical illusion chamber.  The small room, by the artistic duo JUCO, inspired visitors to take advantage of the mirrored floors and aura reading-inspired walls and do a series of horizontal, vertical and weird-angle shots. It was also dedicated to the unseen and the hidden, very relevant concepts in today’s politics.

Who can resist a striking red room? This installation, by poet and artist Cleo Wade, aimed to imitate the comfort and isolation of a mother’s womb.  Upon entering the distinctly shaped drapes, visitors were encouraged to put on headphones and listen to Wade recite her poem (curling up like an embryo was optional).


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It couldn’t be a San Francisco Pride Week arrival without some rainbows. This uplifting and child-like exhibit by Marina Fini was an extravaganza of mobiles, glitter, and plastic—with a picture-perfect spot right under the giant rainbow heart.  Simple and touching, this room was positioned in the center and was meant to stand out.

Reminiscent of a 90s-movie high school bathroom, this room celebrated identity and self-discovery, while incorporating illustrations, neon lights and authentic toilets and sinks. Created by Jill Soloway, the mastermind behind the stereotype-breaking TV show Transparent, the room was thought-provoking and intimate, with lots of interesting mirror angles for those pesky selfies.

Featuring the longest line, this room, by Juno Calypso and singer Darby Ann Walker, invited the visitors into a “speakeasy,” where Walker, decked out in a David Lynch-esque dress, sang and dazzled. Given San Francisco’s obsession with the bar-within-a-bar concept, this room was particularly poignant.