There’s excitement in the air all over our beloved city. While the holiday season is certainly a contributing factor, many fingers seem to be pointed at Beyond Van Gogh: The Immersive Art Experience for this sudden spike in the net pulse of the Birmingham thrill meter. The exhibit came into town on November 17 with a triumphant opening that featured Van Gogh cookies and other fun pleasantries, and will be here until January 2. We would highly recommend checking it out while it’s in town! 

The experience starts with The Education Room, an introductory path that puts the visitor in the mindset of a maturing Van Gogh yearning for a greater connection with his artists peers and reflecting on his own craft. Many of the displayed writings that narrate the artist’s life come from letters that the Van Gogh we most know, Vincent, exchanged with his brother, Theo, over the years. Quotes from these writings provide a look into the mind of a man who felt discarded and misunderstood while living, yet became a worldwide sensation after his passing. 

Painting frames suspended in the air and Van Gogh works provide the backdrop for these purpose-revealing brotherly discussions. It’s a wonderfully fun educational experience, but the next display is all for sensorial joys. The Waterfall Room contains a transforming light display that shows the artist amongst other entertaining color formations–a magnificent site that offers a glimpse of the beauty that is to come.

The Van Gogh Immersive Art Experience adds a whole new level to yoga on Thursdays and Saturdays. Image from Beyond Van Gogh.

As you turn another corner to the Immersive Experience Room it becomes clear that this exhibit is far more unique than the average art gallery. You are thrown into a world that is filled to the brim with constantly-transitioning drawings, profiles, scribbled notes, and famous paintings. The walls, the floor, the towering displays in the giant gallery all become a part of the show–with you standing right in the middle of it all. A skilled portrait of a sailor from the 1800s seems to wink at you before you are suddenly whisked into the “Starry Night” painting that you’ve admired since you were a child.

The exhibit was created by the world-famous team at Normal Studio in Montreal, led by Creative Director Mathieu St-Arnaud. They have worked with Beyond Exhibitions, Paquin Entertainment, and Outback Presents to bring the three-dimensional exhibit across North America. Birmingham is the lucky city that gets to experience the thrills during the holiday season. It truly is a top date night or family outing moment during the exhibit’s stay in Birmingham. You can even practice yoga in the Immersive Experience Room on Thursdays and Saturdays with The Yoga Circle Birmingham.

“An imaginative and fully-immersive adventure, Beyond Van Gogh takes on the challenge of breathing new life into Van Gogh’s vast body of work. Through the use of cutting-edge 3D projection technology and music to illuminate all of his genius, guests can experience the artist with all their senses,” shares St-Arnaud. 

If you’re looking for a meaningful yet jaw-dropping night out, we’d recommend getting to the BJCC to check out this exhibit while it’s in the Magic City!