We have all seen a painting that we wished to step into. Picture walking the streets in Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” or being in his bedroom in Arles. Now you can.
The Immersive Vincent Van Gogh Exhibition has traveled the world and has finally landed in the Philadelphia area. Located in Upper Darby, the exhibit is a short 25 minute drive from campus. The exhibit was built in The Tower Theater, a popular music and concert venue that was named one of the top 10 live music venues in America by The Rolling Stone Magazine. Running through the end of February, the Van Gogh exhibit is the perfect weekend activity with friends or family.
Weekend tickets are $44.90 for adults and $34.90 on weekdays. VIP tickets are also available, which gets one online access to the exhibit, a VR experience, ability to skip the line and a complimentary poster. The run time of the experience is around an hour. Ticket information is available on https://vangoghexpo.com/.
The experience begins with an in depth background on Van Gogh’s life. Within the theater, there are multiple boards depicting Van Gogh’s painting and life progression. Along the way, there are sculptures, visuals of Van Gogh’s paintings and multiple prints of his most famous works. This part of the exhibition is the prep-work. Only after learning the intricacies of Van Gogh can one go into the following section with open-eyes.
Now comes the important part and probably the part everyone has viewed on Instagram: the 360 degree digital show. Walking in, there are comfortable chairs, carpets and pillows scattered around the floor creating an intimate and relaxing atmosphere. The show then moves through Van Gogh’s paintings, highlighting his series on sunflowers, “Starry Night” and his iconic wheatfield pieces. Flowing from one image to the next, the exhibit brings the paintings to life with moving people and images. The movie-like experience lasts about 25 minutes.
Leaving the digital showroom, one is led into a room where they can do their own coloring page of Van Gogh’s paintings. In the same room, for a five-dollar fee, one can choose to participate in a Virtual Reality viewing of Van Gogh’s works. This viewing takes people through the streets of Arles and the “Starry Night” painting and through the country wheatfields. It opens in Van Gogh’s bedroom, known from his famous piece “Bedroom in Arles.” The VR glasses lead patrongs down the stairs and along the roads, exactly where Van Gogh himself would have walked.
Many students have experienced the Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit in different cities, as it has already been to New York City, Buffalo, Chicago and Pittsburgh.
“I didn’t know much about Van Gogh before I went, and the history of his life and brother was super interesting,” sophomore Georgia Mowers said. “It was actually a really magical experience.”
The Van Gogh Exhibition is changing the way the world is able to view art. Despite one’s knowledge of Van Gogh’s pieces or life, the Immersive Experience is well worth the money and afternoon trip to Upper Darby.