By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Apr 08, 2021 at 10:31 AM

In what is something of a first, the Wisconsin Center, 400 W. Wisconsin Ave., is hosting a traveling art exhibition that has been drawing crowds around the country.

The Downtown convention and events center will host “Beyond Van Gogh: An Immersive Experience” this summer, opening on July 9. 

Beyond Van Gogh
(PHOTO: Beyond Van Gogh)

Tickets will go on sale starting Friday, April 9 at 9 a.m. at vangoghmilwaukee.com, with admission based on timed entry blocks. The exhibit will be open Sunday through Thursday from 10 a.m. until 10 p.m., as well as Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. until 11 p.m.

The show – which is different than the “Immersive Van Gogh” that’s in Chicago through Sept. 6 – was created by Normal Studio in Montreal, headed by Creative Director Mathieu St-Arnaud and uses more than 300 Van Gogh works to put the viewer inside the tragic artist’s world and artwork.

The exhibition is one of a number of such experiential Van Gogh shows that are currently crisscrossing the States.

Beyond Van Gogh
(PHOTO: Beyond Van Gogh)
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The exhibitions do not include original Van Gogh canvases or works on paper. Instead they use projected images to explore the artist and his work, drawing, too, on his words to drive the narrative.

According to the announcement, “While journeying through Beyond Van Gogh, guests witness over 300 masterpieces, including instantly-recognizable classics such as ‘The Starry Night,’ ‘Sunflowers’ and ‘Café Terrace at Night,’ now freed from their frames.

“Van Gogh’s art comes to life by appearing and disappearing, flowing across multiple surfaces, and heightening the senses with their immense detail. Through his own words set to a symphonic score, guests come to a new appreciation of this tortured artist’s stunning work. It’s a no surprise that millions of people all over the world credit Van Gogh with enhancing their relationship with art. Beyond Van Gogh will only deepen it further.”

Organizers say a visit to the exhibition takes about one hour.

The exhibit and the Wisconsin Center are following a city-approved health and safety plan regulating capacity and flow of pedestrians – including timed entry, physically distanced pods and required masks. Also, officials note, it has 32-foot ceilings, high-frequency air exchange and the frequent disinfection of high-touch surfaces.

Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.

He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.

With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.

He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.

In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.

He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.