I remember seeing scenes from the Imagine Van Gogh immersive art experience in movies and TV shows over the last couple of years, and thinking to myself—wow, that looks amazing. It literally never occurred to me that the exhibit could land in Edmonton, but here we are!!
The incredible, art exhibit that celebrates one of the most renowned artists of all time, Vincent Van Gogh, runs at the Edmonton EXPO Centre from July 6-Sept 5, 2021, featuring 200+ of his art pieces—fragmented, enlarged, surrounding you in a immersive experience unlike any art show I’ve ever been to.
I was invited to a media preview for the event, was blown away, and am eager to return before it packs up in September. I wanted to share information about the exhibit, and tips for when you plan your visit!
Everything You Need To Know About The Imagine Van Gogh Exhibit in Edmonton (2021)
💙 💛 Imagine Van Gogh Exhibit in Edmonton: Who, What, Where, When, Why:
- This art exhibit, which takes you on a journey through the renowned artist’s life and art, takes place at the Edmonton EXPO Centre in Hall H
- July 6, 2021 – Sept 5, 2021
- Ticket prices:
- Kids under 5 are free
- Age 5-11 is $27.32
- Age 11+ $32.09
- Group purchase (4 or more tickets is $27.32 per ticket)
- You have to book a time to enter (timed entry)
- Earliest time to enter is 9 a.m.
- Latest time to enter is 9:30 p.m.
- You could also purchase a Flex Pass ($54.93) for entry at any time on the date you select
- 💙 Video projectors illuminate 20 giant screens (and the ground!), which fully immerses you in Van Gogh’s work.
- 💛 The art works are accompanied by the music of great composers Saint-Saëns, Mozart, Bach, Delibes and Satie.
- 💙 It takes around 45 minutes to cycle through all 200+ art works at the Imagine Van Gogh exhibit, so you could expect to spend many hours here depending on what scenes you want photos with—or plan a few return visits.
- 💛 Each art piece doesn’t stay on screen for too long, so if you are headed here for the Instagrammable photos, you need to be READY! (or willing to wait for it to cycle back a few times).
- 💙 I’ve been told that you can stay however long you want to (they won’t kick you out) but when you enter is timed (booked online).
- 📸 As you can see, this exhibit is spectacular and super Instagrammable, so coming from my perspective, as someone who would want to capture photos from the experience, it would really be a great idea to bring someone who will take photos of you!!!
- 💛 We actually saw a couple come in during our time there with a professional photographer! Hire a photog. I could see unique engagement or wedding photos being taken here, along with whatever you need for some special Instagram photos.
- 💙 I would recommend booking an early or a late time slot to try and get the room as much to yourself as possible (for those once-in-a-lifetime—probably—photos!)
- 💛 Masks are optional.
- 💙 There’s an educational / interpretative room before the main projection part of the exhibit, if you’d like to read more about Van Gogh and better understand the journey depicted via the projections.
- 💛 Van Gogh died in 1890 and his art work didn’t become popular until after his death.
- 💙 Even if you’ve never seen #DoctorWho, you should watch (or rewatch) the Van Gogh episode. 🥺 A beautiful tearjerker that’s perfect to experience ahead of this exhibit. I’ve linked a clip from the episode below if you want a teaser of the EMOTION!
- 💛 Get those angles! Sit down, stand up, face the camera, walk away from the camera, go low, shoot high, try wide, move around—the exhibit looks so different depending on which screens you’re standing by! Plan a cute outfit (or outfits????) You will not want to leave without snapping a few photos!
- 💙 There’s also a gift shop if you’d like to stock up on Van Gogh swag after the exhibit.
- 💛 Honestly, seeing Van Gogh’s The Starry Night in this immersive way is worth the price of admission alone. ⭐️
- 💙 I do think this exhibit is wonderful for all ages. Everyone will take a bit of something different from it—if you’re there because you want to dive into Van Gogh’s history, his works, and experience it in a way unlike anything you’ve experienced, this is the exhibit for you. If you want to experience beautiful art and capture photos of it, this is the exhibit for you. Whether you’re older or younger, you will be wow-ed by how this exhibit is presented.
- 💛 Someone had asked if this exhibit would work for people with mobility issues so worth noting here is that there are no chairs or seating within the actual exhibit space. If you needed to sit or take a break, you could sit on the ground, or if that angle is difficult, you could ask if you can pop into the Expo Centre lobby to take a break on their chairs before coming back in. (I don’t know if this is allowed, so please check with the Expo Centre before you get tickets if you need a spot to sit and take breaks!)
- 💙 Honestly, spectacular barely captures the feeling of this exhibit.
Here’s some more background on the techniques used to create this unique, immersive art experience, from the Imagine Van Gogh website:
- 💙 The warping techniques used for Imagine Van Gogh adapt the surface to the projected image, thus respecting the latter’s integrity to magnify the artworks, whereas more traditional mapping techniques focus on adapting the image to the surface.
- 💛 Warping consists in perfectly adjusting the projected work to the scenographic surface. This technique frees the work from the gravitational subjection that befalls any earthly object.
- 💙 The choice of images, the way they are positioned, their rhythm and their association with the music all compose this original creation conceived by Annabelle Mauger and developed with Julien Baron.
- 💛 The pedagogical room which you enter before you hit the main projections room was conceived by Annabelle Mauger in collaboration with Art Historian Androula Michael.
- 💙 This scientific partnership turns Imagine Van Gogh into a comprehensive and thorough art exhibition as well as a pedagogical platform towards making Van Gogh’s journey accessible to large audiences. In an innovative display, this section aims to acquaint visitors with Van Gogh’s oeuvre and life while providing background insight on Image Totale©.
- 💛 The educational gallery prepares visitors for the multi-sensorial celebration of Van Gogh’s major creative years awaiting in the next room.
- 💙 The sequenced journey evokes the artist’s life and his dedication to painting from 1888, when he moved to Provence and where Van Gogh captured nature’s beauty in the most vibrant palette: residing first in Arles, then in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, and finally in Auvers-sur-Oise where he died in 1890.
If you came upon this post while googling the Van Gogh exhibit for a different city, a few things to note:
- Largely, the exhibits will be similar no matter what city they’re in.
- I did learn that different groups I guess have rights to show the exhibit, for instance “Beyond Van Gogh” is in Calgary, but we get “Imagine Van Gogh.” Different touring companies!
- Someone had tweeted that an immersive Van Gogh exhibit elsewhere actually had mats on the ground so people were encouraged to sit down and watch all the art work like a movie. While I think that vibe is nice, it definitely doesn’t give you as much Instagrammable / photographic opportunities lol.
I absolutely LOVED my experience at Imagine Van Gogh and feel so lucky Edmonton was chosen for it.
I highly recommend it, and hope (no—know) you’ll enjoy it as much I did.
Watch my Instagram Reels video with scenes from the experience:
View this post on Instagram
I also really liked this Instagram Reel from @jasonabroad about the experience too! (plus, I’m in a few scenes lol)
If you visited the Imagine Van Gogh experience, I’d love to hear what you thought of it! You can shoot me a message on social media or send me an email.
Note: I was invited to a media preview for Imagine Van Gogh exhibit in Edmonton, but there was no obligation to post. This post is not sponsored. But even if it was, that wouldn’t change my views!
- Follow @lindork on Twitter
- Follow @lindork on Instagram
- Like Lindork – Linda Hoang on Facebook
- Follow @lindork on TikTok
If you live or work in the Edmonton, Alberta area, or care about Edmonton content, sign up for my hyperlocal newsletter to get weekly recommendations on things to do, eat, and know this week (in the Edmonton area), plus more exclusive content. You can sign up for a free or paid subscription.
(You’ll get the option to select free or paid after you enter your email).