AURORA, Colo. (CBS4)  – In their latest immersive experience, the Denver Center for the Performing Arts has opened “Van Gogh Alive” at the Stanley Marketplace in Aurora. The fully-immersive experience captivates visitors in the artistic mind of Vincent Van Gogh by bringing many of his iconic paintings to life.

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The ticketed experience offers people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds the opportunity to see Van Gogh’s artwork through a different lens. The exhibit is separated in to three different rooms, each giving visitors the opportunity to physically place themselves in the paintings of more than 130 years ago.

“Arts and culture can be interpreted in so many different ways,” said John Ekeberg, Executive Director of Broadway Cabaret Division for the DCPA. “Arts and culture enriches our lives.”

Ekeberg told CBS4’s Dillon Thomas “Van Gogh Alive” gave the DCPA another opportunity to take the arts to the community, rather than relying on the community to always come to the arts in Downtown Denver. In their mission to expose as many people as possible to the arts, especially from varying backgrounds, the DCPA felt the exhibit would best fit in a setting like the Stanley Marketplace.

“It is such a uniquely immersive type of experience,” Ekeberg said.

Those behind the experience created a way to bring motion and more to the paintings from the 1800s. The artwork is given a sense of life as motion animation is added to the pieces.

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Certain smells are added to the rooms to set the atmosphere. And, two different rooms allow visitors the ability to physically touch and place themselves in recreated settings designed to mimic Van Gogh’s paintings.

(credit: CBS)

“(The creators) take this very traditional art form and contemporize it using high resolution video, animation, beautiful music to really pull it together in to a whole experience that the audience members lose themselves in,” Ekeberg said. “Van Gogh alive is a very unique project for us. Typically, it is most common for us to sell tickets to theatrical events in theaters with fixed seats. This is an amazingly cool event where the audience, rather than sitting in a fixed seat, is allowed to wonder and explore through the entire experience.”

People of all ages and backgrounds were seen immersing themselves in the exhibit.

“His work just captures the imagination of so many people from so many different backgrounds,” Ekeberg said. “The moving images and the immersion of it just captures the imagination of anyone.”

Van Gogh Alive will be at the Stanley Marketplace through September 26, 2021. CBS4 Denver is a proud media sponsor of the DCPA. Tickets can be found here.

“To experience beauty in a way maybe we haven’t before is almost more relevant than ever before,” Ekeberg said.

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Dillon Thomas