Two years after The Van Gogh Experience at Pullman Yards in Kirkwood became a massive success, the creators are back with an entirely new version at their permanent Exhibition Hub space in Doraville.
“Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience” is set to open in late July with tickets going on sale May 25 on ticket operator Fever, replacing the Claude Monet Experience. Prices start at $17.90 for kids and $29.50 for adults with VIP packages ranging from $37.90 for kids and $49.90 for adults.
The original experience in 2021 celebrating the works of Dutch post-Impressionist painter Vincent Van Gogh brought in a whopping 425,000 people over eight months just as the pandemic was beginning to ebb and people became willing to gather in communal spaces in a big way.
So far, more than 26,000 people have already joined a waitlist for the new show, according to John Zaller, Atlanta-based executive producer of Exhibition Hub, located at 5660 Buford Highway right outside I-285. Zaller has developed experiences for more than 25 years including those focused on ABBA, Jurassic World, Real Bodies, Titanic and Star Trek in cities all over the world.
“Van Gogh is such a juggernaut and was so well received in Atlanta that we always knew we’d bring it back here,” he said. “We had quite a few people who missed the first show. It’s a great opportunity to explore the new one. And people who did see the first one will enjoy a brand new experience this time around.”
Experiences such as these incorporate digital visuals and musically synced soundtracks, typically in a large space. More than a dozen of these have come to Atlanta that past two years, some in permanent spaces like The Illuminarium off the Beltline and this Exhibition Hub. Others go to temporary spaces like Pullman Yards and 200 Peachtree in downtown Atlanta. While some art purists pooh pooh these type of experiences, supporters say these immersives help bring in new audiences.
For this new Van Gogh exhibit, there will two immersive multimedia rooms instead of one like the Pullman Yards experience, Zaller said.
The first immersive room will focus on the influence of Japanese art on Van Gogh’s work in a 15-minute show. “We only touched on this with a panel in the first exhibition,” he said. “He was so heavily influenced by Japanese work. You see his sharp, short cut brush strokes that create flowing movements similar to Japanese wood cuts. It’s a great deal of added information we’re sharing in an engaging way.”
The second show, which cycles every 35 minutes, digs deeper into Van Gogh’s mindset, Zaller said. The original version had Van Gogh’s painting emanating out of austere monastery imagery. This one will show his works hanging in his bedroom.
“We use quotes from Van Gogh in the immersive where we touch on his state of mind and how he contemplates his work and station in the world,” he said. “It’s more about the man behind the art.” (Van Gogh shot himself in the chest in 1890 at age 37.)
Visually, Zaller said improved 4K technology has improved the visuals from the first version: “We really worked to get even more vibrant and saturated colors in all the images. You really feel the richness of the paintings.”
There will also be a fresh virtual reality experience for a small additional fee and a new kinetic room for kids focused on sunflowers.
Parking is free, and there’s both a a café and champagne bar.
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