Art News

Whoa! Dueling Van Gogh Immersive Experiences Coming to Denver

Van Gogh Alive, currently in St. Petersburg, is coming to Denver.
Van Gogh Alive, currently in St. Petersburg, is coming to Denver. Dalí Museum
Denver is about to get immersed in Vincent Van Gogh.

The Denver Center for the Performing Arts just announced that it is bringing an immersive experience devoted to the artist to Denver. But which one? There are six — count ’em, six — immersive Van Gogh experiences now touring around the world, including two coming to the Mile High City.

The DCPA Van Gogh is Van Gogh Alive, scheduled for July 9 through September 26 at the Hangar at Stanley Marketplace; tickets go on sale April 20. This could be the original Van Gogh experience; it's toured the world since it was introduced in 2011, visiting 65 cities, and is currently at the Dalí in St. Petersburg, Florida, through June 13.

“The team and I at Grande Experiences are very excited and honored to partner with the Denver Center for the Performing Arts to bring the world-renowned Van Gogh Alive to the people of Denver and indeed all of Colorado,” says owner and creator Bruce Peterson in a statement announcing the run. “Van Gogh Alive is an exceptionally innovative multi-sensory experience that took eighteen months and countless iterations over the past decade to create."


Denver has experienced Grande Experiences's work before. “Van Gogh Alive has really redefined the way many people around the world engage in art and culture, and it has brought tremendous joy to audiences old and young,” Peterson continues. “Interestingly, we were last here in Denver in 2019 with the very successful Leonardo da Vinci – 500 Years of Genius exhibition held at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. I hope Van Gogh Alive is every bit as enjoyable and successful for the city.”

This show is not to be confused with — though it surely will be — Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit Denver, which announced weeks ago that it is coming to a "secret venue in the heart of Denver." Tickets are already on sale for that Van Gogh, which has been showing around the country (it's now in Chicago) and will run from September 30 through the end of the year in Denver.

There are at least four more immersive Van Gogh shows...although so far, they show no signs of coming to Denver. Van Gogh, la nuit étoilée, which debuted in Paris in March 2019 at a currently closed digital art center, immersed visitors in masterpieces, allowing them to step inside the paintings.

But then, so does Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience (and to confuse things further, that experience has the website vangoghexpo.com).


Right now in Vancouver, visitors can immerse themselves in Imagine Van Gogh: The Immersive Exhibition.

And Beyond Van Gogh: An Immersive Experience will open in Miami on April 15.


Whoa. That's a lot of Van Gogh — but then, the demand for immersive events is heating up as pandemic restrictions cool down.

"The combination of more immersive productions touring, and the allure of secret and pop-up experiences, often with fast-selling tickets, demands the audience get better at vetting which productions they want to bet their money on, and which producers to trust," says Lonnie Hanzon, who was creating what today would be described as "immersive art" in Denver long before the term entered popular culture. "More and more shows will be hitting Denver in the future. Just because a show has a big (public domain) name in it, doesn’t make it exclusive. Obviously, the 'Van Gogh' name perks up ear(s)!"

For the record, Hanzon gives his seal of approval and says he's "looking forward to the production at the Stanley produced by DCPA Off-Center," which he worked with on his Camp Christmas (both the in-person installation in 2019 and the virtual version in 2020).

Find out more about Van Gogh Alive here.
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