Spark Stories logoBlumenthal Performing Arts logo
Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit Charlotte logo
Opens June 18
Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit in Toronto.

A Magical Journey Through Van Gogh's Masterpieces

by Mark Wallace
Imagine an art exhibit like no other, where classic paintings surround you like larger-than-life murals. Where thoughts and emotions are not the only things stirring – but the paintings are animated to highlight brushstrokes, detail and color, as if to take you into the mind of the artist himself.
Welcome to the Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit Charlotte, a modern-age art exhibit that brings to life the magnificent works of Vincent Van Gogh in monumental scale. Get immersed in his sunny landscapes, night scenes, portraits and still life paintings that will fill 500,000 cubic feet of space at Camp North End on the outskirts of uptown this summer.
Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit in Toronto
Patrons experience the Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit in Toronto.
“I was a fan of this creative team and their style after seeing two other shows in Paris,” said Blumenthal Performing Arts President and CEO Tom Gabbard. “When my friend Corey Ross, who is the producer of Immersive Van Gogh, called in July to tell me of their success in Toronto and ask if we’d be interested in creating a version for Charlotte, it was a quick yes.”
The installation includes masterpieces like Mangeurs de Pommes de Terre (The Potato Eaters, 1885), Nuit Étoilée (Starry Night, 1889), Les Tournesols (Sunflowers, 1888), and La Chambre à coucher (The Bedroom, 1889), and much more.
Photos by Michael Brosilow
The Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit in Chicago.
“This style of immersive art is new to the U.S.”
Tom Gabbard
Blumenthal Performing Arts President and CEO
“This style of immersive art is new to the U.S.,” said Gabbard. “I’ve seen other shows in Europe and Australia and know U.S. audiences will love it once they have a taste.”
Time Out calls it “a visual spectacle ... packed with eye-catching moments.”
The exhibit is a “blockbuster digital experience that has taken the art world by storm,” according to artnet News.
The unique exhibit runs from June 17 to Sept.12, and it has been selling fast right out of the gate.
Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit is set up in such a way as to promote social distance with circles projected on the floor.

Perfect Timing

With social distancing built into the design, it’s a perfect segue for Blumenthal Performing Arts as it prepares to reopen its theaters in late summer/early fall.
“The opportunity to host Immersive Van Gogh would have been attractive at any time, but right now it’s especially timely,” said Gabbard. “They’ve smartly designed it with circles on the floor to stand in socially distanced groups. Capacity to enter is controlled based on current COVID guidelines.” Other safety measures are in place, as well.
A big step in getting the exhibit here was finding the right location.
“We needed a very special place and looked all over Charlotte,” Gabbard said. “The exhibit needs a massive amount of space. It also needed to be a destination with restaurants, bars and other amenities to enjoy as part of the visit.
Camp North End fit the bill perfectly.
Photo Courtesy of Camp North End
With restaurants, bars and more, Camp North End makes a perfect destination spot for the Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit.
“Camp North End has a rich history, but for many coming to Immersive Van Gogh, it will be their first time there,” said Gabbard. “The visit will have a great sense of discovery as people experience art that surrounds and envelopes them, in a location that creatively inspires.”

Setting up the Experience

Lighthouse Immersive, the originators of the Atelier des Lumieres exhibition in Paris that has been seen by more than 2 million visitors worldwide, is bringing the Van Gogh exhibit to Charlotte. The exhibit is designed by creative director and Italian film producer Massimiliano Siccardi with original music by multimedia composer Luca Longobardi, who is renowned for bringing together classical and contemporary genres. Together, they create an all-encompassing experience of art, light, sound, movement and imagination.
“Immersive Van Gogh is astonishing in scale, breathtakingly stunning, and induces a completely novel experience to the iconic works of Van Gogh,” says co-producer Corey Ross, of Lighthouse Immersive.
Setup for the Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit is underway in the historic Ford building at Camp North End.
The setup is a massive undertaking in itself as the projected artwork is custom mapped to each location. Planning the transformation of the space in the historic Ford building at Camp North End for the exhibit began in January, and onsite prep work began in early March so that the exhibit would be ready to open my mid-June.
Meredith Miller
"There is so much coordination that has to happen between the creative team, the team ... who is handling all of the technical elements, the architects and the contractors," said Meredith Pompeani Miller, special events production manager at Blumenthal. "Given that we are transforming a completely empty space, with no surface to project on as it stands, we have had to work closely with the architects and contractors, while also coordinating with the production team to ensure everything that is necessary to make the exhibit function can fit and work in the space as it is created."
She said careful planning is needed because if anything has to be changed after the fact, it's a huge amount of work.
Setting up the Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit at Camp North End.

A Boon to the Economy

All of this effort is good for the economy and fits in with Blumenthal’s focus to help restart our city and region.
“Getting people back to work is part of that,” said Gabbard. “Immersive Van Gogh not only will be a direct job creator but will also be a huge boost to restaurants, hotels and workers there who have been without employment.”
With many time slots and some whole days already selling out, it’s clearly the kind of thing folks in the region have been needing to satisfy their creative culture cravings.
“We’re thrilled by the response and hope that a success will lead to others like it,” Gabbard said. ◼
SENSORY WARNING: This exhibition contains sequences of bright flashing lights which may affect visitors who are susceptible to photosensitive epilepsy as well as others who are sensitive to moving lights. Viewer discretion is advised.

Video Tour of Camp North End

Blumenthal Communications & Creative Content Producer Becky Bereiter took a tour of Camp North End, which will be home for the Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit. Check out her video below to get a sense of the campus.