Retirees Association

Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience, by Joyce Howes

Van gogh exhibit

Excerpt from the winter 2022 issue of The Extension

About a month ago, my daughter, Darcy, and I went to the Lighthouse ArtSpace in Columbus to view the Van Gogh Immersive Experience. ”Immersive” is no exaggeration!

A huge room is transformed into a continuously moving gallery of Van Gogh’s best known works (think sunflowers, starry night, self-portraits of the artist). It’s the visual version of surround sound! Paintings familiar to most people move continuously around the walls, but also project onto the ceiling and floor. The images are displayed as a 45-minute continuous loop of the artist’s paintings. The wildly colorful scenes morph as they slowly move around the room, enlarging, shrinking, and merging.

Darcy tended to follow an image around the room, while I was inclined to pick a wall space and watch the flow of color across a stationary point. Either way, the images flow continuously, filling your eyes with more than your mind can quickly process.

The colorful, flowing images are accompanied by music that is sometimes low and soothing, sometimes rousing and loud. At some venues an online narrative is provided prior to your visit. This was available for the Columbus event but we didn’t notice the link beforehand. Pay more attention than I did and perhaps you’ll get an advance lesson about the man and his art.

The number of visitors in the exhibit is strictly monitored and social distancing is provided with seating on chairs, benches, and in floor circles. Masks are required.

If you are interested in this amazing multimedia journey featuring the works of one of the great artists of the post-Impressionist period, you can see this exhibit in Columbus until February 26 and a similar one starting June 22 in Cincinnati. ( I hope you’ll consider making the trip.

If you would like to learn more about Vincent Van Gogh’s life and art, watch the WSURA event calendar and your e-mail for news of the workshop later this year led by our artist-in-residence and Van Gogh scholar, Gary Barlow.