** UPDATE** AUGUST 2022
In the summer of 2021, I traveled to Charlotte, North Carolina for the Immersive Van Gogh Experience and wrote about my encounter. You can read all about that below. I’m delighted to provide an update on the story to my readers.
The Van Gogh Immersive Experience has added new dates and locations, one of which is in my hometown of Raleigh. On a late Thursday afternoon in August, a friend and I went to check it out, and this is what I discovered.
** September 1, 2022 – An update to my previous update! Since my last revision, I’ve learned from a reader tip that the exhibition in Raleigh is not the same as the one I saw in Charlotte. Exhibition Hub, in collaboration with Fever, is presenting the Raleigh Van Gogh exhibition. Siccardi and Longobardi created the Charlotte Exhibition.
The experience is different from what I saw in Charlotte. There is a more powerful presentation upon entry with information and details about Van Gogh, his life, and his work. I thoroughly enjoyed learning about this incredible artist and his tragic life. I also liked how they divided it up and incorporated the immersive experience into the build-up to the main room.
We entered the main room and were surrounded by colorful art as if we were entering a life-size painting. This was similar to the exhibit in Charlotte, but there are some minor differences that I like. The soundtrack, for example, is more soothing and seems to flow with the changing images on the wall. I also like the seating. The chairs are extremely comfortable, allowing me to sit back and truly relax while taking in the experience. They even offer a virtual reality AI encounter, which we declined, but it is highly rated. I also applaud that there is a coloring room outside of the exhibition space where kids of all ages can color their own Van Gogh masterpieces. Yes! That includes me.
Which one did I like best?
If I had to choose between last year’s experience in Charlotte and this year’s experience in Raleigh, I would go with Raleigh. While the gift shop in Charlotte was more extensive, I was surprised at how much I enjoyed and preferred the entire experience the second time around, owing primarily to the changes they have made.
Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience is currently on exhibit at Pleasant Valley Promenade, 6240 Glenwood Ave., in Raleigh. Tickets can be purchased online.
Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit - Charlotte
It’s been called a “blockbuster digital experience that’s taken the art world by storm” by Artnet news. And although not the same as seeing Vincent Van Gogh’s original artwork, the exhibit is astonishing in scale and breathtaking in imagination. Immersive Van Gogh provides an encounter in art that’s entirely new and unforgettable in the heart of the Queen City.
About the exhibit
500,000 cubic feet of projections, 60,600 frames of videos, and 90,000,000 pixels comprise the all-encompassing exhibition put together by the same creative team that created the wildly successful Paris and Toronto exhibits.
Massimiliano Siccardi designed and conceived the exhibition, and Luca Longobardi composed the soundtrack, bringing to Charlotte, the immersive digital art experiences they pioneered in France and Toronto that were seen by over 2-million people.
Set to a soaring soundtrack, state-of-the-art projectors bring every color and brushstroke to life on a monumental scale for a truly immersive art experience.
Visiting the Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit
From the moment of arrival until departure, visitors are captivated by sunflowers and Van Gogh.
Once inside, it’s a sweeping sensory experience. We lost ourselves in the sights and sounds as we encountered his paintings ranging from sunny landscapes and night settings to portraits and still lifes. The installation includes favorites like the Mangeurs de pommes de terre (Potato Eaters, 1885), Nuit étoilée (Starry Night, 1889), Les Tournesols (Sunflowers, 1888), and La Chambre à coucher (The Bedroom, 1889), among other works.
One show lasts around 35-minutes. You can stay for as many runtimes as you desire but I suggest staying to watch it 2 to 3 times to fully absorb the beauty and the scale of these masterpieces.
Where is the Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit?
Immersive Van Gogh takes place in the historic Ford building at Camp North End. The building once used to manufacture Model-A and Model-T Fords back in the 1920s, is a state-of-the-art creative development that has already redeveloped over 300,000 square feet of space for employment, artistic expression, dining and hospitality, entertainment, recreation, and community building. It’s the ideal setting for such a large exhibit and offers an array of dining and shopping options for visitors.
There are multiple ticket options of varying prices and experiences. We opted for the Premium Flex Ticket which includes Van Gogh seat cushions (rental), a limited edition poster, and the ability to arrive up to 2 hours before or after the time listed on the ticket (subject to public opening & closing times of event). The cushion is a nice comfortable touch for sitting on the wooden benches or the floor if it’s a full house.
Tickets are available online and the exhibition is running daily through September 12th with many dates getting close to or sold out.
Immersive Van Gogh is truly a one-of-a-kind art experience. The venue is incredible and well-suited for an exhibit of this proportion. To that point, the building is a renovated factory and while the air conditioning is running and doing its best to keep it cool, it’s summer in Charlotte, so if you’re hot-natured keep this in mind.
There is ample free parking that can be accessed from Statesville Avenue or Graham Street and with people coming and going at different times, finding a spot was easy for us.
Also, there is a bit of walking involved so if mobility or accessibility is a concern, Immersive Van Gogh Charlotte is fully accessible. This includes accessible parking options. Check the website should you require additional information.
What I liked about Immersive Van Gogh Charlotte
I’m a fan of Vincent Van Gogh’s art. His use of bold colors and the texture of his brush strokes paired with his troubled personal story has always intrigued me. Immersive Van Gogh gave me a unique glimpse into his artistry. I especially delighted in how the immersion began the moment we arrived, from sunflowers outside to directional signs to the restrooms in case you have to Gogh!
The post-exhibit trip through the gift shop was fun too. While most items were a bit pricey, it’s possible to find a fun souvenir that’s uniquely Van Gogh. I know I’ll put that new umbrella to good use!
Likewise, there are all kinds of fantastic photo-ops and sunflowers galore!
Living in North Carolina, I don’t have the opportunity to experience his work in person so when I learned about this unconventional Van Gogh exhibition in Charlotte, I put it on my calendar. It’s a great itinerary item for a mid-week or weekend visit to Charlotte. It was a long drive from Raleigh to go solely for the exhibit, but we had to get back home and since my son is getting older, I know the number of “mom and me” trips may be dwindling. That made it totally worth Goghing!
Immersive Van Gogh in Charlotte, NC
1824 Statesville Ave, Charlotte, NC 28206
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