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This interactive exhibit in Hartford transports you directly inside artwork of Vincent Van Gogh

The Beyond Van Gogh immersive experience
Provided photo
Timothy Norris
The "Beyond Van Gogh" immersive experience will be at the Connecticut Convention Center.

If you’ve ever wanted to gaze upward at the stars of Vincent van Gogh's “Starry Night” or walk along his “Café Terrace at Night,” a new exhibit in Hartford comes about as close as possible to immersing you directly in the expressive brushwork of this influential Dutch artist.

It’s called “Beyond Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience,” and it is open now at the Connecticut Convention Center. Through a host of 3D projectors and symphonic music, guests walk through a 30,000-square-foot exhibit featuring 300 of Van Gogh’s works, as paintings swirl about the room, along with Van Gogh’s own words.

Bob Hilborn of West Hartford was one of the first group of people to see the exhibition. He said the immersive experience helped him come away with a better understanding of Van Gogh and his art.

“I was thrilled,” Hilborn said. “I really enjoyed what I saw. It was quite impressive, it was a non-ending, ever-flowing sort of change of his art in various periods and styles. It was interesting watching his evolution in his work.”

People interested in attending “Beyond Van Gogh” must buy tickets online and choose a time to enter the exhibit. Hilborn appreciated the timed-ticket feature.

“It made a lot of sense,” Hilborn said. “I saw a lot of people wearing masks. I felt very safe.”

Guests are encouraged to wear masks while in the exhibit, which lasts about one hour. While it is an exhibit designed to walk through, there are seats available for guests with mobility issues.

The exhibit was created by French Canadian visual designer Mathieu St-Arnaud and is currently touring the country. “Beyond Van Gogh'' runs through Oct. 2 at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford. Go to https://beyondvangoghhartford.com/ to purchase tickets.

Ray Hardman is Connecticut Public’s Arts and Culture Reporter. He is the host of CPTV’s Emmy-nominated original series Where Art Thou? Listeners to Connecticut Public Radio may know Ray as the local voice of Morning Edition, and later of All Things Considered.

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