The “immersive experience” is already open in DC

Photos by Dan Swartz.

Stroll among the sunflowers or get under the stars to the sound of modern classical music, as world-famous art brings “Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience” to life. He digital art installation and interactive space open Friday at the Bryant Street development in Brentwood, northeast DC, becoming Van Gogh’s fifth immersive exhibition by production company Exhibition Hub to debut in the United States.

The show received some skepticism when tickets went on sale for the first time last March, because its location was not disclosed. Consumers were also confused about whether it was the same exposure that appears in the hit Netflix series “Emily in Paris” (it’s not). But now that it’s up and running, it looks like everything is fine. On Friday morning, dozens of people lined up before the doors opened.

“Pgpeople always ask me, “Why go to DC? They have all these museums for free.” says Exhibition Hub CEO Mario Iacampo. “And I always say we don’t replace museums. We bring a different kind of experience. If you lived in DC for 50 years, you’ve seen the museums. Maybe it’s time to see something different. “

For more than an hour, visitors can be surrounded by 360-degree projections of more than 300 sketches, drawings and paintings by Vincent van Gogh on screens of 15,000 square feet from floor to ceiling. In a drawing studio, customers can paint several Van Gogh masterpieces on paper and then project them onto a screen. Visitors can also take part in a ten-minute virtual reality program that broadcasts them through scenes inspired by paintings “The Starry Night” and “Bedroom in Arles”. If you’re looking for memories of Van Gogh, such as a “Starry Night” yoga mat, the gift shop is full of covered trinkets in its most popular scenes.

The first “Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience ”opened in Naples, Italy, in 2017. Exhibition Hub began planning the DC exhibition in February. Initially, the company promoted the show as a “secret site.” Of the strategy, Iacampo says: “There is a fun element to this. It helps the accumulation ”. Once the venue was announced in August, it says ticket sales rose 20%.

Iacampo says he chose the location for its accessibility. There is plenty of parking in front of the building, and Rhode Island Avenue-Brentwood Underground Station is about a 10-minute walk away.

Facial masks are required, social distancing is encouraged and a hand sanitizer is available in all galleries. A disposable eye mask is provided during the virtual reality experience to separate the head from the device and all equipment is disinfected between uses.

When purchasing your tickets, be sure to carefully read the name of the event and its description, given the other similar exhibits that still exist. Tickets (available on line) start at $ 39.90 for adults and $ 19.90 for children. There are discounts for seniors, students and the military.

Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience. 524 Rhode Island Ave NE. Open on weekdays, from 10.00 to 20.00 and on weekends / public holidays, from 9.00 to 21.00.

Editorial Fellow

Anne Tate, originally from Annapolis, MD, joined the Washingtonian in July 2021. She is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she studied journalism and psychology.

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