Every other day it feels as if we learn of a new event or festival that's been cancelled as a result of COVID-19.
But rather than giving up on the culmination of months of work they've already put into planning their events, companies across the country are getting creative, with some taking their events online, or in the case for an upcoming digital art exhibit that was slated to happen in Toronto this spring, organizers are putting visitors into the driver seat. Literally.
Rather than be added to the growing list of cancelled arts and cultural events, the organizers behind the upcoming Immersive Van Gogh Exhibition are now inviting art lovers to drive into the former Toronto Star printing press building to experience the exhibit from the comfort of their cars.
Dubbed as the world’s first drive-in immersive art exhibit, Gogh by Car will be a drive-in version of the Immersive Van Gogh art experience and is slated to open on June 18 and will run for 11 days through to June 28.
The exhibit will still take over the rarely-seen historic space of the Toronto Star’s former printing presses at 1 Yonge Street, a 25-storey office building that serves as the headquarters of Torstar and its flagship newspaper. The building used to house the paper's former printing press where it was in operation until it was relocated to Vaughan in 1992. The exhibit will transform the industrial setting into an all-new, all-encompassing sensory experience of art, light, sound, movement, and imagination.
The historic building will be able to accommodate 14 vehicles per visiting time slot, in which visitors can park, turn off their engines, and take in the 35-minute show from inside their car.
"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 group behind the exhibit in a statement. "We have been working around the clock to come up with innovative approaches that will make presenting Immersive Van Gogh safe for our audiences."
Those 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 exhibit can be presented at full-scale.
The experience comes from the masterminds behind the “blockbuster” exhibit Atelier des Lumières in Paris that attracted millions of visitors, with Massimiliano Siccardi designing the new exhibit and Luca Longobardi creating the soundtrack.
Here in Toronto, visitors will have the chance to be immersed in 600,000 cubic feet of mesmerizing projections that animate the painter’s brushstrokes, details, and colours of some of his most iconic works from his sunny landscapes and night scenes to his portraits and still life.
This includes his work the Mangeurs de pommes de terre (The Potato Eaters, 1885) to the Nuit étoilée (Starry Night, 1889), Les Tournesols (Sunflowers, 1888), and La Chambre à coucher (The Bedroom, 1889).
Gogh by Car will only be presented for 11 days and its limited time slots are available first-come, first-served. You can learn more about reserving your space here.