Van Gogh-Goghs to El Paso

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Annabella Mireles

The third room of “Beyond Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience” is approximately a 40 minute experience where attendees can walk around and take their time to enjoy his work.

Meagan Elizabeth García, Arts & Culture

Vincent Van Gogh is a world-renowned artist that has contributed nearly a thousand paintings to the world of art, each of which invokes various words of praise and emotion from its viewers. To better enhance how moving his work and legacy are, Paquin Entertainment Group and Normal Studio have put together a 60-to-75-minute walkthrough exhibit for the public in his dedication.  

“Beyond Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience,” allows people to not only learn about the artist but to also place themselves at the center of his work. The event is held at the El Paso County Coliseum in a three-room exhibition, where individuals can peruse each space at their leisure in a contactless environment.  

“It was created during the time we were in COVID,” said Billye Thompson, Event Manager for Paquin Entertainment. “And Paquin Entertainment and Normal Studio came together to create an exhibit or an event, an activity, for people to go to that was safe.”  

The first room involves a historical timeline that highlights Van Gogh’s life and career with written markers displayed on digital platforms. The “Introduction Hall” is arranged to feel like a museum and the text is even translated in Spanish to better accommodate the intersecting regions as well as the languages that accompany them. 

“It worked out for (Beyond Van Gogh Organizers),” said Tony Rodriguez, Director of Events and Communications. “I mean El Paso is a great city, it’s one of those cities that you get everybody. You get a country and two states.” 

After reading up on his life, eventgoers will then be led into the “Waterfall Room.” The space is ambient and aptly named for the projection it displays. It creates a perfect break between a heavily reading-based room and the very visual main attraction in the following. It contains nine minutes of visual content that trickles down the walls and makes for a picturesque setting. 

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  • “Beyond Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience” will be open from Dec. 16 to Jan 20, 2023 at the County Coliseum, closing on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day.

  • The third room of “Beyond Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience” is approximately a 40 minute experience where attendees can walk around and take their time to enjoy his work.

  • An attendee takes a photo of one of Van Gogh’s most famous quotes that reads “It is difficult to know oneself, but it isn’t easy to paint oneself either.”

  • On display through a projector is Van Gogh’s painting “Portrait of Dr. Gachet.”

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The “Immersive Room,” which is the last room for people to visit, is where the real magic happens. With dozens of projectors, massive walls and floor space, Van Gogh’s work is displayed throughout the area with a beautiful score to accompany the movement of each projection.  

The paintings are not still or presented like a slide show, instead the art remains interactive as his infamous works spread across the walls and pillars with creative transitions. 

“When you come to an exhibit like this, when you leave you can’t help but feel good about yourself and what surrounds you,” Thompson said. “And it’s at another level because it’s actually moving and animated.” 

Even if Van Gogh is not your preferred artist, the same companies as well as National Geographic have exhibits like “Beyond Monet” or “Beyond King Tut,” which take place in other cities, making El Paso a hopeful location soon. 

“I would say come with an open mind to the exhibit,” Thomspon said. “Come to experience what was in the heart of someone like Vincent and see the beauty in his work and the joy in his work.” 

Beyond Van Gogh will be in El Paso until Jan. 20, 2023, at 4100 E. Paisano St, or the El Paso County Coliseum. Hours of operation vary between the week, weekends and holidays. There are also select weekends on which an all-levels yoga course is being held in the “Immersive Room.”  

For more information on times, ticketing and any other general questions, visit vangoghelpaso.com. 

Meagan Garcia is the arts & culture editor and may be reached at [email protected]