‘Gogh By Car’ to this Toronto art exhibit

The World
a image simulation of Van Gogh art projected in a room with a car in the center

There are a lot of things you can do from the comfort and safety of your car in the middle of a pandemic. There's drive-through fast food, drive-thru liquor stores — even drive-through coronavirus tests.

Add this to the list: A drive-through art exhibit.

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“Immersive Van Gogh” is a multimedia show in Toronto, Canada, that was supposed to open to foot traffic this spring. But when the novel coronavirus hit, the collaborative project quickly pivoted — and unveiled a drive-in version of the show, “Gogh By Car.” It opens June 18.

“The idea is: The cars will come in, they will turn off their lights, they will turn off the engine, and we will start the show.”

Svetlana Dvoretsky, Lighthouse Immersive Arts

“The idea is: The cars will come in, they will turn off their lights, they will turn off the engine, and we will start the show,” said co-producer Svetlana Dvoretsky of Lighthouse Immersive Arts, one of the groups involved in the exhibit.

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The show tells the story of Vincent Van Gogh’s life and work through more than 400 high-resolution images of his paintings, which are projected onto the walls, floor and ceiling of the exhibit space. The visuals are accompanied by music, which visitors can hear through their car radios. 

“You’re seeing things all around you, all the time. It’s actually very fast-paced,” Dvorestky said. 

The initial run of drive-through tickets sold out in around 24 hours, said Dvorestky, who added that they’ve added hours late into the evening to accommodate interest. 

Related: During social distancing, artists collaborate on 'Long Distance Art'

“The appeal I think right now is very simple: Everybody is really tired to be at home. To do something fun, to do something outside of your house, is desperately needed,” Dvoretsky said.

The producers are still hoping to open the show as it was originally intended to be seen — on foot — in July. That version of the show will include painted circles on the ground to keep visitors a safe distance apart — and is being called, appropriately, “Gogh The Distance.” 

A photo mock up of Van Gogh art projected in a space with people standing in "social distance circles."

An illustration of "social distancing circles" that will be included if the Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit is able to open on foot.


Courtesy of Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit

More: Coronavirus Art

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