Second immersive Van Gogh exhibit a no 'Gogh' for now in Detroit because of venue issues

Maureen Feighan
The Detroit News

"Emily in Paris" fans eager to step inside the same immersive Van Gogh exhibit featured in the hit Netflix show — and a brand new exhibit to Detroit — will now have to wait until early February.

"Immersive Van Gogh Detroit" —  produced by the same team that has put on immersive Van Gogh experiences in Paris and all over the United States; it bills itself as the "original" immersive Van Gogh experience — sent ticketholders a notice Tuesday, saying the exhibit, originally scheduled to open Thursday, is being delayed until Feb. 3 because of "venue related issues."

Organizers had planned to hold the exhibit at a location in the "heart" of Detroit, but never announced it. Ticket sales began in April.

"We want to present the best possible show for you — to the standards we are achieving in NYC and Los Angeles, and what our artistic team achieved in Paris," said producer Corey Ross in a notice to ticketholders. 

"Immersive Van Gogh Detroit," produced by Lighthouse Immersive, bills itself as the original immersive Van Gogh experience. It's been put on in cities across the country.

Many ticketholders were disappointed about the delay, the short notice and the secrecy around the location in Detroit.

Mike Mercatante of Port Huron had four tickets to see the show Sunday and was really looking forward to it until he received an email around 11 a.m. Thursday about the delay. He wishes producers had informed ticketholders sooner so they could plan.

"I don't really understand the mystery about the location unless it's COVID related," said Mercatante. "It makes it hard to plan other things like dining, parking, et cetera. I'm really disappointed in how this was handled." 

The delay comes as a separate immersive exhibit, "Beyond Van Gogh," created by a Montreal-based production team featuring roughly 300 of legendary painter Vincent van Gogh's works, is supposed to draw to a close Wednesday after a nearly four-month run.

Thousands of patrons flocked to the vibrant exhibit, which digitally projects van Gogh's iconic paintings such as "Café Terrace at Night," "Sunflowers," "Almond Blossoms" and "The Starry Night" on the walls and floor. During the exhibit, self-portraits blink and flower petals digitally blow in the wind.

"Immersive Van Gogh Detroit," meanwhile, was created by world-renowned digital artist  Massimiliano Siccardi of Italy and was featured in the first season of "Emily in Paris." It's already traveled to more than a dozen cities across the country, including Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York and Denver.

"Immersive Van Gogh"  incorporates 60,600 frames of video, 90,000,000 pixels, and 500,000 cubic feet of projections.

"I understand how frustrating this must be for you," said Ross in the notice Thursday. "Please know that we working hard to welcome you to our amazing exhibit, and make it an unforgettable experience."

Ross said the one upside to the delay is that it will allow them to bring on board "Hamilton" set designer David Korins to its artistic team in Detroit.

Ross told The Detroit News earlier this year that Siccardi, the exhibit's creator, is like the Steven Spielberg of digital arts. Each show is unique to the city it's in because he videomaps the walls of the building where each "Immersive Van Gogh" exhibit is located.

"The architecture and the contours of the building become part of the work," Ross said in April. "And that’s very unique. Each show is unique to that city."

New tickets for "Immersive Van Gogh Detroit" will be issued shortly to ticketholders. If a date for the ticket doesn't work for patrons, a change of date can be requested at no charge.

'Immersive Van Gogh Detroit'

Delayed until Feb. 3

Ticketholders will be issued new tickets for another date and can request a date change free of charge.

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