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  • Writer's pictureEugenie Mae

Immerse yourself and become one with Van Gogh's art here

'Beyond Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience' at El Paso County Coliseum through Jan. 20

Borderland residents can find out what it feels like to seemingly float inside a Van Gogh masterpiece. "Beyond Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience" runs through Jan. 20 at the El Paso County Coliseum, 4100 E. Paisano St.

The event, which takes about an hour, projects more than 300 of Dutch Post-Impressionist artist Vincent van Gogh's masterpieces for viewers to enjoy, said Billye Thompson, event manager for Paquin Entertainment, which is producing the show.

El Pasoans have welcomed the exhibit, which incorporates music, moving projections and canvases that rise high above the Coliseum floor to transform the artwork into a multi sensory experience.

Participants are greeted at the beginning of the exhibit by a colourful tunnel that leads to the Education Room, which has informative panels on Van Gogh's life in English and Spanish. Next is the Waterfall Room, with colours flowing down a wall and around the entrance to the Immersive Experience Room, where the high canvas walls come alive with moving projections of the artist's work as the floor shifts in colours.

Between the moving images on the walls and floors, visitors can experience a sense of floating within masterpieces. The immersive exhibition tricks your senses into thinking the floor has given way to platforms of colour that are supporting you in midair, transporting you throughout a multi-sensory experience.

"We have a production crew that goes from city to city to set it up," he said. "It takes about six days to come into a city, set it up and have it up and running. And then once the exhibit is over, we have a crew that comes back and tears it all down and we ship all of this equipment to the next city that we are going to." A travelling crew consists of 12 to 18 people, he said. The El Paso show is only one of the company's productions.

"When people come to the exhibit, we like them to come with an open mind and know that what they experience here in the exhibit is basically what Vincent created from his art," Thompson said. "He said, 'I paint what I feel' and what you see is a wonderful example of how he felt about the world outside. He saw the beauty in a lot of things around him and he put it on canvas and created it for all of us to see."
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