Going to Gogh?

Pittsburgh’s art scene is soon to be bursting with the highly anticipated Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit just around the corner.


photo courtesy of Lighthouse Immersive

The new traveling Van Gogh exhibit is home to 500,000 cubic feet of projections.

Julia Poppa, Photography Editor

Pittsburgh is no stranger to breeding fame—from Christina Aguilera, Mac Miller, and Jeff Goldblum to world-renowned visual artists like Andy Warhol. But even with the ability to claim some part in each of these artists’ stories, Pittsburgh still somehow seems to be lacking in the art scene. 

We have little more than roving exhibits and mere copies of masterful works that permanently reside in the Carnegie Museum of Art, and an eclectic—sometimes incredibly hard to understand—rotating body of conceptual work on display in Instagram’s favorite, the Mattress Factory Museum. 

Of course, we do have the largest museum dedicated to a single artist—Warhol—but pop art, phallic images, and the same plaster busts of architecture aren’t always perfectly suited to satisfy every Pittsburgh art lover’s craving for something new and exciting. The sentiment is often that if you’ve seen it one or two times, why bother going back to see it for a third?

Well, this year holds much more for Pittsburgh’s artists and art lovers alike. The traveling, COVID-19 friendly Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit, that’s toured the likes of Paris, Chicago, and Toronto, is finally approaching our doorstep. 

Many people only dream of seeing Van Gogh’s large scale works—whether they wish to see Calla Lilies in the Louvre or The Yellow House in The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam—but now, Pittsburgh residents will have the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be fully immersed in larger than life portrayals of Van Gogh’s most astonishing works. 

COVID-19 may be trudging on into its second hellish year, but even that can’t stop the show’s curators from sharing the blockbuster, award-winning experience.

The exhibit will be coming to Pittsburgh on September 23rd of this year and will be on display until the end of October, leaving plenty of time for Pittsburghers to experience a true master’s work, most likely for the first time. 

The exhibit may not house Van Gogh’s actual works, but Show One Productions and Starvox Entertainment, two Toronto-based entertainment companies, have worked together to transport Van Gogh’s works from their frames to a whopping half million cubic feet of projections, over 60,000 frames of video, and nearly 100 million pixels, which will truly bring these works to life. The exhibit’s visitors will quite literally be a part of the paintings themselves, as they travel through countless rooms donned with head-to-toe projections of Van Gogh’s soothing color palettes and trademark brushstrokes. 

COVID-19 may be trudging on into its second hellish year, but even that can’t stop the show’s curators from sharing the blockbuster, award-winning experience. The exhibit has employed numerous safety protocols to ensure the wellbeing of guests, including strictly enforced social distancing and mask-wearing, temperature checks upon arrival, and contact tracing for all staff and guests. 

The exhibit is open to people of all ages, and hopefully, the residents of North Allegheny will feel inspired to check it out. Unfortunately, NA’s seniors might not have the chance to see the exhibit here in Pittsburgh as they begin their lives in college, but for those who wish to see it, the exhibit will be traveling to 13 other cities in 2021, providing plenty of opportunity for college students around the country to attend. 

As far as where the exhibit will be located, that much is still unknown. The exhibit’s website makes it a point to say that the location will reside within a “super-secret location” in the heart of Pittsburgh. Of course, we all might have our guesses—as there aren’t many places within the city that could house an exhibit of such magnitude, but the secrecy certainly lends to the air of magic that the exhibit will undoubtedly entail.