Immersive Van Gogh Experience Becomes World’s First Drive-In Digital Art Exhibition

Luca Migliore/Courtesy Immersive van Gogh

A Toronto exhibition got creative with social distancing regulations.

This month Toronto was set to open a massive Immersive Van Gogh exhibit that would take over a five-story building downtown. Unfortunately, the spread of COVID-19 delayed that opening. But that didn't stop the creators from coming up with a unique and safe way to share the experience. The solution? Creating the world's first drive-in digital art exhibition.

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Instead of walking through the 600,000-square-foot installation, you can now drive into the historical building once home to Toronto Star's printing press to watch a 35-minute digital show about Vincent van Gogh. "Gogh by Car" will let 14 cars in at a time to be dazzled by an immersive experience similar to that originally planned. There will be lights, sounds, and images diving into the works of the famous Dutch painter. 


Courtesy Immersive van Gogh

"It's massive," said Corey Ross, a co-producer of Lighthouse Immersive, producing the show. "Whether you're in your car or on foot, you get to see something on a scale that you've never seen this art."

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While the drive-in experience is set to start June 18, the creators are hoping that walk-throughs of the actual exhibit can begin in July and run through September. Since the space is so large, it would be easy for visitors to stay six feet apart. Plus, a heavy-duty ventilation system "will help us with air circulation for COVID," Ross said.

During the actual exhibit, visitors can expect to see large-scale projections of some of Van Gogh's masterpieces like The Potato Eaters, Sunflowers, The Bedroom, and, of course, Starry Night. The famous images will be projected onto the walls, ceiling, and floor of the building with music by Luca Longobardi playing. 

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This show comes after the successful run in Paris, where over 2 million tickets were sold. Anyone who buys tickets to "Gogh by Car" also gets tickets to the walk-through exhibit.