Everywhere it seems.
Take a step, and “push” a lily pad. Or watch it drift and miss.
It’s not interactive; it’s immersive.
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“This is amazing! I like the way the pictures come alive. The colors are vivid. I like the train putting us in the art!”
We are not art historians. But we appreciate art. It reflects our lives; and, now we reflect the art that made us who we are today.
Val, our dear friend and a feverish art lover, joined Lisa, my mom and me for Immersive Monet + The Impressionists. Last year Lisa, my mom, our friend Tracy, and I enjoyed Immersive Van Gogh, a celebration of his life and art. Today we were about to speed through some of the most brilliant works of Impressionism by Monet, Renoir, Degas, and more. It was dazzling, sometimes dizzying, but always spellbinding.
We drew back the curtain to the large room at Germania Place, home to Lighthouse Artspace Chicago, and stepped onto the canvas. We were subject to splashes of color, dashes of light, ambient sounds and music that underscored each scene, and we drifted through the evolution of Impressionism.
“I’m filled with wonder! This is thrilling. I have so many pictures. Bolero is one of my favorite songs. Marvelous. How did they do all this?”
While Immersive Van Gogh focused on the life and works of the artist, this immersive artscape showcased the principal artists of Impressionism. The transitions between artists and their works were just as creative as the main features. The perspective of a train hustled and bustled as it chugged over the clickety clacks. A rainy night at sea swept over the 35-foot walls. We could almost smell the billowy smoke of coal, and taste the acrid brine of the coast.
Like anything new, Impressionism endured its share of critics. Newspaper headlines ran across the walls heralding the arrival of this new wave while others sought to bury it. Today we regard this bold style as uplifting and dreamy.
Our favorite score played was Boléro composed in 1928 by Maurice Ravel. It was also not universally well received at first; but, it was insistent with its seduction. The rebellious origin of this score and the upstart Impressionists moved perfectly together.
“The images look so lifelike! I really like the rain effect. The hot air balloon is amazing. The falling apples look like we can touch them!”
I asked everyone for their impressions. Val: “I’m filled with wonder! This is thrilling. I have so many pictures. Bolero is one of my favorite songs. Marvelous. How did they do all this?” Mom: “This is amazing! I like the way the pictures come alive. The colors are vivid. I like the train putting us in the art!” Lisa: “The images look so lifelike! I really like the rain effect. The hot air balloon is amazing. The falling apples look like we can touch them!” And me: “I can almost touch the wet paint! The textures, colors and techniques are everywhere. The movement to the music is inspiring. I want to learn more about Impressionism!”
Art reflects our lives, and today we reflected art. Life is the canvas; and, while we are the subjects, we also brush masterful strokes as we go. Be bold, be rebellious, be insistent, and seduce the world with your brilliance.
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