Walking in art, students attend The Van Gogh Immersive Experience

GlenOak students visit The Immersive Van Gogh Experience in Cleveland.

A look into the Immersive Van Gogh Experience in Cleveland.

     For many, the notion of stepping into a painting is something that can only happen in your wildest of dreams. But because of a once-in-a-lifetime experience in Cleveland, a few select GlenOak students were able to make this dream a reality.

    The Van Gogh Immersive Experience in Cleveland is giving art lovers and students the opportunity to fully immerse themselves in the amazing works of Vincent Van Gogh. 

     Van Gogh was a Dutch painter, who mainly focused on impressionism throughout the late 1800s. He started his career as an artist at the late age of 27 and completed over 900 works before his death at the age of 37. 

     Many know him for his most famous work, Starry Night, but The Immersive Experience gives recognition to many of his other lesser-known works. 

     Throughout the exhibit, viewers are surrounded by floor to ceiling projections of Van Gogh’s astonishing oil paintings, including Les Mangeurs de pomme de Terre (The Potato Eaters, 1885), La Nuit étoilée (Starry Night, 1889), Les Tournesols (Sunflowers, 1888), and La Chambre à coucher (The Bedroom, 1889), and many more. 

     The way it works is that viewers are escorted into a large 500,000 cubic foot white room containing benches, prism mirrors, and a beautifully moving soundtrack. Then the lights are dimmed, and the projection of Van Gogh’s works fully surrounds the viewer to a point where they feel like they are one with the painting. 

     GlenOak French teacher, Julie Filliez, took a group of students to see the unforgettable experience in early December of 2021.

     “I would describe it as being physically immersed in Van Gogh’s art by projections with music and animations to really grab your attention. Everyone in the room can either sit on the ground or continue to stand, and the projections are all around you on every wall. There are even mirrors everywhere in the room to heighten the experience and the projections can also be seen on the floor around you,” junior Myah Peterson said. 

      The soundtrack for the exhibit was composed by Italian pianist and composer, Luca Longobardi. It is one of the aspects that makes this experience so surreal and truly immersive.

     “ I think the music was a really important aspect of the experience,” Peterson said. “The inflation in volume, style, and timing of the music really added to the overall feelings of the paintings. there were parts that definitely felt more dramatic and heightened due to the loud and upbeat music, and then others parts that felt more mellow and calming that were paired with a softer song. Without the music, it definitely would not have been as captivating.”

     The exhibit was originally created and directed by the London photographer  Massimiliano Siccardi. The original blockbuster premiere was in Paris and attracted over 2 million visitors. The exhibition was so successful that it was then taken to Rome, London, and Toronto.

Experience Immersive Van Gogh is an experience that is absolutely unforgettable

     “I would describe the exhibit as otherworldly and immersive in a way that you forget where you are and become entirely focused on the art and the music. It pulls you out of your world and your problems into this world of brush strokes and colors that takes your breath away,” junior Evelyn Parr said.

     The Van Gogh Experience finally made its way to Cleveland in September of 2021 and will leave in February of 2022. So get your tickets while you still can to experience the once-in-a-lifetime Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit.