Lighthouse ArtSpace Chicago, a new venue within Chicago’s recently renovated landmark Germania Club Building, will open Thursday, Feb. 11, 2021 with the U.S. premiere of the blockbuster art experience Immersive Van Gogh. The three-story facility is dedicated to immersive art presentations, merging the boundaries between entertainment and culture to give visitors the sense that they are encountering art as never before. Utilizing the building’s Victorian Era architectural details, 35-foot-tall walls and multiple levels (including balconies), the venue will present vibrant art exhibitions that surround the viewer on all sides.
The venue’s first presentation, Immersive Van Gogh, is a visually spectacular digital art exhibition that recently received widespread critical acclaim and continues to see blockbuster attendance in Toronto. Immersive Van Gogh invites audiences to “step inside” the iconic works of post-Impressionist artist Vincent van Gogh, evoking his highly emotional and chaotic inner consciousness through art, light, music, movement and imagination. The Italian creative team will create a custom design to fit the gracious Neo-Classical architecture of the exhibition’s Chicago home.
Tickets for the exhibition will go on sale to the public at 11 a.m. CST on Monday, Nov. 23 at vangoghchicago.com and by phone at 844-307-4644. Ticket prices start at $39.99 ($24.99 for children 16 or younger), with timed and flexible ticket options available. Tickets will be on sale for viewings Feb. 11 – May 2, 2020. The venue is easily accessible by public transportation and has ample parking in the nearby James House parking garage.
The hour-long walk through experience has been designed with health and safety as a priority. Admissions will be limited in line with the City of Chicago’s capacity guidelines with touchless ticket-taking; temperature checks upon arrival; hand sanitizer stations and social distancing markers prominent throughout the venue; and digitally projected social distancing circles on the gallery floors to ensure appropriate spacing. All guests must wear a face covering at all times during their visit to Lighthouse ArtSpace Chicago.
Immersive Van Gogh was designed by creative director and Italian film producer Massimiliano Siccardi, with original, mood-setting music by Italian multimedia composer Luca Longobardi, who provided a score that combines experimental electronic music with pure, ethereal and simple-seeming piano. Vittorio Guidotti is the Art Director. Siccardi and Longobardi are both pioneers of immersive digital art experiences. With more than 50 projectors illuminating over 14,000 square-feet, visitors to Immersive Van Gogh will be encircled from head-to-toe in Van Gogh’s brushstrokes and colors, including animated details from works such as Self Portrait with Felt Hat (1888), The Bedroom in Arles (1889), Irises (1889) and The Starry Night (1889).
“Immersive Van Gogh is a new way of encountering art, as it quite literally surrounds viewers on all sides with the brilliant work of one of the greatest painters of all time,” said Immersive Art Space Co-Producer Corey Ross. “Both connoisseurs and new admirers of Van Gogh’s work are guaranteed a breathtaking perspective on the influential artist’s oeuvre. Merging state-of-the-art technology, theatrical storytelling, animation and some of the finest works of art ever created, Immersive Van Gogh is a uniquely mesmerizing experience that seemingly transports the viewer into the artist’s mind to see these timeless works as never before.”
“Despite being unknown throughout his life, Van Gogh’s artwork has created a lasting impact through its emotional richness and simple beauty,” said Massimiliano Siccardi, Immersive Van Gogh designer. “Both myself and Luca Longobardi are very excited to visit Chicago and once again bring Van Gogh’s legacy to life in a way that is unique to the beautiful architecture of the Germania Club Building.”
The premiere of Immersive Van Gogh, which opened in Toronto this past July, has already received rave reviews from critics around the world. The Toronto SUN pronounced it “intense and emotional, cathartic and liberating” and Debra Yeo of the Toronto Star reflected “I wondered: could projections of paintings on walls and floors be thrilling? The answer is yes.” Called “dazzling” by Lonely Planet and a “blockbuster digital experience that has taken the art world by storm” by artnet news, the exhibition can be summed up by CTV’s description: “a completely new way of encountering art.” Immersive Van Gogh has already been enjoyed by more than 180,000 guests since its debut in Toronto during the pandemic in July 2020. During July and August 2020, according to Ticketmaster, it has surpassed worldwide ticket sales for any of the ticketing platform’s live cultural events.
Lighthouse ArtSpace Chicago is operated by Immersive Art Space LP, a partnership between co-producers Corey Ross, Svetlana Dvoretsky, Maria Shclover and Irina Shabshis. The venuealso will feature a merchandise/gift shop and café. Future plans include additional immersive art shows as well as live performances.