Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience
May 19 - November 28
Surround yourself with masterful artwork at “Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience.” This one-of-a-kind light and sound show is on exhibit through September 26 at the Pullman Yards, and there’s plenty for visitors to see and do.
Your visit to Van Gogh commences outside the building. Arrive early and grab a meal or a drink at one of the food trucks in the courtyard. The magic begins as you approach the façade of the building at Pullman Yards, which has been transformed to look like Van Gogh’s famous painting “Starry Night.”
The first part of the experience is a mini-museum exhibit with digital and interactive displays where visitors can learn all about Van Gogh’s life, his influences and his painting methods. There is an impressive recreation of his bedroom in Arles, France, a subject Van Gogh revisited several times in his work during the fourteen months he lived there.
When you leave the gallery, a world of wonder awaits as you step inside the two-story, 360-degree immersive experience of Van Gogh’s art. The presentation runs on a loop so there is no wrong time to enter. It’s similar to an IMAX movie but better, because it’s everywhere you look, including the moving images on the floor. Imagine the walls “raining” and droplets forming puddles at your feet. More than just a representation of the range of his work, the accompanying narration also gives you insight into important periods in the artist’s life. The experience is accompanied by mesmerizing music that will stay with you just as much as the vivid images. In fact, once I made it to the gift shop, I immediately asked if there was a soundtrack CD for sale. (Sadly, no but you can find it on Spotify). There are a few chairs and benches for visitors, but most people choose to sit on the floor to relax and absorb the atmosphere.
After you exit the immersive room, there is a unique coloring experience where you can put your own touches on a Van Gogh work and digitally display it on the exhibit walls. It’s fun for both kids and adults.
It’s well worth it to upgrade your ticket purchase to include the VR experience, where you can follow a day in the life of the artist. It’s the perfect complement to the immersive experience as you travel along a path through the countryside and village and learn even more about specific works by Van Gogh. Standard ticketholders can purchase the VR experience onsite for $5; it’s included in the price of a VIP ticket.
It’s nice to be able to explore all of the areas of the exhibit at your own pace. Be sure to commemorate your visit by taking a photograph against the wall of painted sunflowers as you exit the gift shop.
– Laura Powell
This immersive digital art experience brings you into Vincent van Gogh’s paintings through virtual reality, atmospheric light and spectacular sound. Reservation required. May 19-Sept. 26. Mon.-Fri. 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Sat.-Sun. 9 a.m.-11 p.m. $35.40-$49; ages 4-12, $19.10-$35.90; ages 3 and younger, free.