World's first drive-in van Gogh exhibit coming to Toronto next month

May 13 2020, 8:15 am

In light of what was meant to be the world premiere of a massive, immersive van Gogh exhibit in Toronto this week, an alternative for art-lovers is on the horizon.

Gogh by Car, a drive-in version of the visually-striking Immersive van Gogh art experience, is slated to open on June 18 in Toronto.

Taking over the rarely-seen historic space of the Toronto Star’s former printing presses at 1 Yonge Street, the exhibit is scheduled to run through to June 28.

The expansive venue will be able to accommodate 14 vehicles per visiting time slot, and during that time, participants can park, turn off their engines, and enjoy a 35-minute show from inside their cars.

Innovated by the co-producers of Lighthouse Immersive — part of the team that presented The Art of Banksy — the presentation will feature art, light, sound, movement and imagination, evoking the highly emotional and chaotic inner consciousness of one of the greatest artists of all time.

“Presenting cultural events during this time of COVID-19 is an incredible challenge and we are saddened to see the cultural calendar in Toronto diminished as almost all arts institutions have cancelled their events and laid off their artists and staff,” said the event’s co-producer, Corey Ross, in a release.

“We believe in the power of art to uplift, inspire and connect communities, and it is more important than ever to offer a creative outlet for Torontonians to escape and recharge during this unprecedented global crisis.”

Gogh by Car will only be presented for the 11 days mentioned above, and its limited time slots are available first-come, first-served. You can learn more about reserving your space here.

Patrons who purchase tickets to the drive-in preview will also receive tickets to the walk-in experience of Immersive van Gogh, which can be used when it is safe to open, and the exhibition can be presented in its full-scale.

Tickets for the Immersive van Gogh exhibition are still available independent of the drive-in experience as well, with extended dates that go through to September.

Rendering of Gogh By Car concept. (Immersive Van Gogh)

The exhibition is designed by the creators of Atelier des Lumières, who originated the digital art experience in Paris seen by more than two million people worldwide. Creative Director Massimiliano Siccardi and Composer Luca Longobardi have been working from their studios in Italy and Germany, with the support of Toronto-based contractors, designers and technical stagehands, to prepare Immersive van Gogh for preview.

“We have been working around the clock to come up with innovative approaches that will make presenting Immersive van Gogh safe for our audiences, while keeping our artists, contractors and staff employed at their pre-COVID salaries,” said co-producer Svetlana Dvoretsky.

“We recognize the devastating impact that coronavirus continues to have on the livelihood of artists and the cultural industry; and will continue to do our part to support artists and make art accessible during these extraordinary circumstances. We believe strongly in the resilience of culture in this great city.”

The opening of Immersive van Gogh has been postponed to July, and the exhibit will be extended through to September, as organizers continue to monitor developments and guidance from the government and health experts.