The World’s First Drive-In Art Exhibition to Open in Toronto

drive-in exhibition about Vincent van Gogh in Toronto, Canada
drive-in exhibition about Vincent van Gogh in Toronto, Canada
‘Immersive van Gogh’ exhibition in Toronto, Canada

They say that great art captures the spirit of the present and preserves it so that it may be appreciated in the future. But what happens when you combine the awe-inspiring work of a 19th-century Dutch Post-Impressionist painter with a turbulent 21st-century world reeling from the effects of a global pandemic? The result may look something like this.

To say that you’ve never experienced visual art like this would be an understatement—although it likely won’t be the only time. This summer, the Atelier des Lumières is set to open what is currently billed as the world’s first drive-in immersive art exhibit in Toronto, Canada. The show, entitled “Immersive Van Gogh,” encourages fans of the famed impressionist painter to visit a new and engaging showcase of the artist’s work– without ever leaving the safety of their vehicles.

Mobilized guests (fourteen vehicles at a time) avoid getting too close to other revelers by, quite literally, pulling up and parking themselves inside the installation. Once the brakes have been applied, audiences are treated to a 35-minute multi-sensory display of some of Van Gogh’s most celebrated works, projected onto the 4,000-square-foot warehouse walls and accompanied by a cacophony of contemporary music, natural ambient recordings, and other mixed media.

This is the first time Western audiences will get a chance to experience the one-of-a-kind performance after a successful premiere in Paris last year. Anyone hoping to partake in the “Gogh by Car” event, which has a limited run from June 18 to 28, will be disappointed to learn that the entire block of tickets has already sold out. But, the installation is expected to reopen July 1, allowing for general foot traffic (with proper social distancing rules in place—all visitors and employees are required to wear a face mask). Don’t wait: just Gogh.