Anyone who has ever gazed at one of Vincent Van Gogh’s vividly colored creations, whether it be a reproduction or an authentic piece, and wanted to step inside it, can now have that wish full-filled.
“Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience” has transformed a 27,000 square foot space in West Sacramento into an exploration of the artist’s life, works, inspirations and techniques through modern technology like 4K resolution projections, 3D imaging and a virtual reality experience.
“We are thrilled to be bringing Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience to West Sacramento,” said Mario Iacampo, CEO and Creative Director of Exhibition Hub, who created the show. “This innovative and arts-focused community in the heart of the region is the ideal location for our award-winning immersive experience.”
“We are honored that West Sacramento was selected to host this world-class experience,” said Mayor Martha Guerrero. “This furthers our mission to elevate the cultural offerings in our city and we look forward to welcoming visitors from across the region.”
The exhibit is divided into four distinct sections, with the first covering Van Gogh’s life and art. While he went largely unrecognized during his life, art historians and biographers have been able to put together the course of his young life and all that inspired him through the trove of correspondence he left behind, including the voluminous letters between himself and his younger brother Theo. Through these letters, the exhibit tells the story of Van Gogh in his own words, as he reflects on topics ranging from his initial attempt to study theology, to his use of color, to his life in France, and sometimes his own mental state. His words are combined with reproductions of some of his most well-known works, including a series of his paintings of sunflowers and a 3D projection of the many flowers in vases he painted, with a dream-like musical score and the dulcet voice of a narrator taking you along the journey.
This section includes a life-size replica of the view Van Gogh had during his self-imposed stay at a sanitarium and his bedroom in Arles that he painted repeatedly. Visitors are allowed to step into the room for a feel of the space.
The immersive experience comes in the next section, where guests walk into a 10,000 square foot gallery with Van Gogh’s paintings coming to life in a stunning 360-degree light and sound marvel. Watch in awe as his paintbrush strokes in “Starry Night” swirl all around you and the petals off his “Irises” cascade around the room. Crows fly from one painting to another ad boats set sail across the waters of his paintings.
It is a serene experience and one not to be rushed. Sit down in one of the many chairs in the expansive room and take in the entire experience.
The third section of the exhibit is a where visitors can unlock their own creativity and put their own interpretations on a Van Gogh piece.
The studio has several coloring-book sized prints for guests to pick. Once one is selected, sit down and start re-imaging it with the provided crayons. Once completed the work can be scanned and projected up on the studio wall, complete with a gilded frame. Guests can either tack up their work on the studio walls or take it home and proudly adorn your refrigerator with your own masterpiece.
The final section is virtual reality experience that is included in VIP tickets or an additional $5 for general admission. Tis section should definitely be included in your excursion, unless you get queasy easily. The virtual reality takes you on an astounding walk through Van Gogh’s life in Arles and Saint-Remy de Provence, both in France. The scenery as you stroll from the countryside through the forest into the village and finally down to the waterfront, is other-worldly and simply stunning. It is a full 360-degree experience and along the way the paintings this scenery inspired will materialize before your eyes.
Produced by Exhibition Hub and Fever, the leading entertainment discovery platform, “Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience” has proven so popular that the stay in West Sacramento has been extended to run through Dec. 31. The exhibit is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. (last entry) on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays; 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. (last entry) on Fridays; 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. (last entry) Saturdays and holidays; and 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. (last entry) on Sundays.
The visit takes about 60 to 75 minutes to complete, though it is self-guided so visitors can go at their own pace.
Tickets start at $34.90 for adults and $19.90 for children. Tickets should be purchased in advance by visiting vangoghexpo.com/sacramento/#tickets.
The exhibit is located at 31 15th Street in West Sacramento. In order to ensure the best guest experience, Exhibition Hub and West Sacramento were able to identify city resources and work with local organizations to implement a valet-parking. operation and easy off-site parking program. In addition to valet parking on-site, guests can also park at West Sacramento’s public lot close to Drake’s The Barn where the first two hours are free and take advantage of the City’s new VIA ride-share vehicles for just a $3.50 ride ($1.75 for seniors and people with disabilities) to the venue.