Immerse Yourself in Color

Run, don’t walk, to the Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience in Arlington, TX, before it leaves town at the end of November.

As soon as I read that the exhibit was coming to the area, I went online and purchased tickets. I later became worried because the I discovered that two Van Gogh immersive exhibits were making their appearance at the same time. Had I booked the right one? Was the Arlington exhibit going to be good?

The resounding answer to all my questions was, “YES!” After parking in a parking lot reserved for the event, we entered the Choctaw Stadium, formerly known as Globe Life Park. I was still hesitant as we stood waiting on the bottom floor for our group’s time. At the appointed time, we all marched upstairs to the entrance. (An elevator is available if needed.)

Excitement built as we used the waiting time to take selfies and family shots with our group: 5 adults, an eleven-year-old, and a six-year-old. Finally, the doors opened, and we entered the long-awaited experience. My initial response was disappointment. After all, on our right was simply the timeline of Van Gogh’s life and painting. However, when I looked to the left, I began to feel better as the face of Van Gogh came to life as the many ways that he had painted himself slipped quickly over the statue to show the various faces he saw within him. As the timeline progressed, a nearby room displayed *****; Again, the many colors and depths that Van Gogh viewed appeared. The timeline and anecdotes also brought Van Gogh to life for us and we learned facts that we were not aware of. For example, researchers believe that Van Gogh used such vibrant colors because he could only see vivid colors.

The next room was full of information and photo opportunities. Multiple pictures were presented in 3-D so visitors could place themselves in Van Gogh’s paintings. (Our favorite was Van Gogh’s bedroom that he depicted in Bedroom in Arles.)

Then, on to the next room, the immersive exhibit itself. We walked into the huge warehouse-like room to find the 35-minute looped presentation showing pictures of Van Gogh’s works taking on a life of their own all around us. While there are benches around the room, most visitors found places on the floor along the walls to take in the entire experience. At one point, snowflakes fell from the sky so realistically that you felt you could touch them. The Church at Auver became the backdrop for many of Van Gogh’s paintings as lightning and thunder rolled through the accompanying music. Being surrounded by the art was an amazing experience.

Our granddaughters loved the next room, a room in which they got to bring out their own creativity through coloring some of Van Gogh’s works. (The adults enjoyed it, too!) When we finished our masterpieces, we scanned them and they were displayed, framed, on the wall-sized screen.

The final stop is an additional $5.00 and so worth it. The Virtual Reality experience takes you through the Arles countryside where Van Gogh lived. As you turn your head, you see more of the fields, skies, and towns. The experience pauses and frames the views that Van Gogh captured in eight of his paintings. My only regret was that the experience was over too soon.

Van Gogh lovers will appreciate Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience for the art itself, but everyone, even non-art lovers, will enjoy the technology, the creativity and the vision that went into making the total experience such a success. Be warned: The Experience is currently scheduled to end November 28, 2021, so go while you can.

Candace Ahlfinger has loved traveling since she was little and has always been on the go whenever possible. Now she is retired and gets to do what she loves best… TRAVEL! Whether it’s traveling with her wonderful husband, or our children and grandchildren, traveling is a great experience that enriches her life. Because she always enjoys reading and hearing about others’ travel experiences, she wants to share her travels with the Ellis DownHome readers. 


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