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A Review of the Immersive Van Gogh Cleveland Experience

You may have heard of the Immersive Van Gogh exhibits that have been sweeping across North America. It’s been viewed by thousands of art lovers in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York and Atlanta and has finally made its way into the Midwest.

A room of people watching scenes from Van Gogh's paintings flash across the walls in the Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit.

About the Immersive Van Gogh Experience in Cleveland

Woman standing in front of a wall with sunflowers.

The art of Vincent Van Gogh comes to life through theatrical storytelling that has put the brush strokes of his paintings to dramatic music in a vivid presentation of world-class animation thanks to Italian film producer Massimiliano Siccardi and composer Luca Longobardi.

As a fan of the famous artist, I couldn’t wait for the digital art experience to come to Ohio so I could view it for myself. My daughter-in-law and I made plans to see it at the Lighthouse Artspace Cleveland in early October, shortly after it opened. We’re both fans of Van Gogh and LOVED it.

Van Gogh’s work comes to life before your very eyes. You’ll recognize the oil paintings of Starry Night, The Potato Eaters, and other original Van Goghs in this immersive exhibition that displays a mix of sunny landscapes and dark night scenes.

A room full of people watching as Van Gogh's art is splashed across the wall.

If you’re a fan of the Dutch painter, you’ll know that he was wrought with mental illness and eventually took his own life at the young age of 37. As a struggling artist, he never knew how many lives his art has touched or will continue to touch throughout the history of the world.

The digital exhibit gives you a glimpse into the mind of Van Gogh.

What we thought of the Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit

While I visited with my daughter-in-law, this would also be fun for a group of friends who are all interested in Van Gogh or for a romantic date night.

We enjoyed everything about the Immersive Van Gogh Cleveland exhibit. We had Premium Flex tickets which allowed us some leeway on arrival time. I wanted to make sure we’d have plenty of time, even if we ran into heavy traffic.

Our tickets also provided us free cushion rental which was perfect! The experience had already begun and was in process when we entered the room so the benches were all taken. Some people stood and waited for one to clear, but we grabbed a spot on the floor and plopped down with our cushion. The circles are spaced so you aren’t overly close to anyone else.

We were mesmerized. As the music ended, the benches cleared and a new wave of attendees emerged from the waiting area, we grabbed a seat on one of the nearby benches. We quickly realized that we had preferred our spot on the floor and moved back on to our cushions.

We watched and listened, captivated by the experience until the music ended and the credits appeared approx. 25 minutes later and made our way out of the exhibit room and exchanged our cushion to be sanitized for the next person and collected a keepsake poster.

We browsed the gift shop and took photos with the fun photo ops that are located in the lobby before heading home. The entire experience took about 1 1/2. If you’re not interested in shopping or posing with the oversized paint can or box of paints, you could shave some time off.

The exhibit is housed in a historic venue off E. 72nd St. minutes off I-90 in the city of Cleveland. You’ll find plenty of free, on-site parking available.

Ticketing Options

Van Gogh's paintings come to life in this immersive exhibit.
  1. You do need to purchase official tickets in advance of arriving at the venue.

2. Prices start at $39.99 for basic tickets and increase during peak hours.

3. Ticket options range from basic entry to VIP tickets where guests receive several perks including priority access, a limited edition poster, and more.

4. There is also a $5 parking fee. Collect your ticket outside, pay inside and get your ticket validated to exit the parking lot.

Safety Protocols when Experiencing the Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit Cleveland

A fun photo opp that consists of an oversize paint kit with Van Gogh's art, The Bedroom with woman in a mask standing beside the painting tool kit.

Some of the safety features include:

  • touchless ticket-taking
  • hand sanitizer stations
  • temperature checks at some locations
  • social distancing markers when in lines
  • limited, timed attendance
  • face masks are required

Additional safety precautions in the immersive experience room:

  • scattered bench seating
  • social distancing circles

Tips for visiting the Immersive Van Gogh Cleveland:

Photo op of a giant overturned paint can with Van Gogh's Starry Night with Cleveland's cityscape painted behind with a woman in a black dress standing beside the paint can.
  1. Purchase your ticket as soon as you plan to attend. Tickets do sell out fast and are limited.
  2. Avoid peak times if at all possible.
  3. Purchase upgraded tickets so you get the rental cushion to sit on as well as flexible entrance.
  4. The art technology is fascinating. Plan to rewatch the experience several times from different vantage points or areas of the room. You’ll see something new each time.
  5. Take spending money or walk through the gift shop and don’t look at anything. If you’re a fan of the artist’s work, you will find things that you want- guaranteed.
  6. Allow time for the photo ops in the lobby when you’ve finished the immersive experience.
  7. There is a bar on-site but it wasn’t open during our visit.
  8. Look for Cleveland-specific event updates on their social media channels.
  9. You will receive an email with ticket information, including a pre-show audio presentation prior to arrival. Listen to it before you arrive so you’ll better understand the artist’s work.

Conclusion:

If you are a fan of Van Gogh’s work, I can’t imagine that you won’t like this multi-sensory exhibit in northeast Ohio. My daughter-in-law and I both absolutely loved it and can’t recommend it enough. I’d love to see it again, I enjoyed it that much.

However, if you’re mildly interested and just want a fun night out with friends, it could go either way. If you have no interest in Impressionist art or Van Gogh, you’d be better off staying at home and saving your money.

You can find ticketing information for the immersive exhibit here.

More things to do while in Cleveland

I suggest you pair the immersive experience with a trip to the Cleveland Museum of Art where they currently have four pieces of art on display by Van Gogh. The exhibit is called There’s Nothing like the Real Thing: Van Gogh at the Cleveland Museum of Art and is free to the public. 

And don’t miss the Lake View Cemetery which is minutes from the art museum. The cemetery has long been called an outdoor art museum and has stunning memorials. Read my post on the Eerie, Yet Beautiful Reasons to Visit Lake View Cemetery.

The exhibit is great for those who want to take a day trip to Cleveland but if you want to make it an overnight, I highly suggest a stay at the Drury Inn & Suites Downtown. The hotel is housed in the former Board of Education Building, still has the original murals on display in the lobby and offers evening kickbacks- finger foods, sodas and adult beverages for those who are interested. The hotel is also in downtown Cleveland within walking distance of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the FREE Stamp, Public Square and many restaurants. And it’s only a few minutes’ drive from the Immersive Van Gogh. 

You can read reviews of the hotel on Tripadvisor or visit Booking.com for pricing and availability.

If you want more ideas of things to do, grab a copy of my book, 

Secret Cleveland: a Guide to the Weird, Wonderful and Obscure.

Have you been to the Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit? Do you plan to go?

adam coates

Wednesday 10th of November 2021

I went on November 2nd and they were charging $5 for parking. They gave you a ticket and once inside you paid and they validated the parking pass so you could get out.

Tonya Prater

Friday 12th of November 2021

Thanks for letting me know about the parking fee, Adam. They didn't charge for parking when I was there but I'll update my post to reflect the fee.

David

Wednesday 27th of October 2021

I saw this in Pittsburgh and agree, it's wonderful. The people who put this together are incredibly talented. I can't imagine anyone -- whether a fan of Van Gogh or not -- not finding this worth the time and money. It's truly unique.

Tonya Prater

Friday 12th of November 2021

I really enjoyed it. I'd love to see the Pittsburgh exhibit too to see how/if it differs from the Cleveland exhibit. I'm thrilled to hear that you enjoyed it as much as I did!

6 Kids 1 Tank

Friday 22nd of October 2021

Great review and I honestly have heard about this exhibit and wondered if it bordered on the gimmicky due to the lack of detail I've read and only a couple of photos, but you definitely debunked that thought!

You made a good point with the fact of his death so young and depression but yet, unbeknownst to him, his work has touched bollions of people. There is a message in that.

Thanks for the write up and you are correct about tickets going fast... sheesh!

Tonya Prater

Friday 22nd of October 2021

Thanks for the kind words, Mike! To be honest, it would have had to have been pretty dismal for me to have disliked it because Van Gogh has been my favorite artist for as long as I can remember. Liv and I both thought it was great. We weren't disappointed at all and I'd love to go back a second time.

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