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Salt Lake City art exhibits puts you inside the paintings 

SALT LAKE CITY – Two exhibitions that recently opened in downtown Salt Lake City are celebrating works from some of the world’s great artists – in a very different way. They take patrons literally inside the new trend of immersive art. 

This is not like walking into a museum, this is like walking into the art.  

The works of Vincent Van Gogh cover the walls, the ceiling, the floor at Atmosphere Studios.  

I spoke with Fanny Curtat who is part of the creative team based in Montreal. She is an art historian.  

I told her that as a child, I used to imagine stepping into paintings, probably many others have imagined the same thing. I wondered why is it important for us to think about placing ourselves within the art. 

“Getting the opportunity to just walk into it, you sort of reconnect with this inner child, “Curtat said. “You can’t beat the magic of an original but there is something to be said about the fantasy and just the dream-like opportunity of being able to walk into this world and be able to follow the colors and be able to follow the brush strokes.”   

Imagining what the artist was thinking as he painted, she said, also takes us past what most people remember about Van Gogh, the ear cutting, the poverty, the struggle with mental health. 

His art speaks of something else. “The lasting lesson that he impaired upon us in finding joy in the world and focusing on the beauty of it.” 

Jeremy and Desirae Andrews visited the exhibition. It was his birthday present to her. 

Desirae loves Van Gogh’s art and absolutely loved the feeling of walking into the streets of his paintings. They both appreciated the multi-media aspect of it. There is movement in each piece of art and music to accompany the different pieces.  

“The artists who put this together did a fantastic job, I mean, it’s just amazing!” Jeremy agreed “Yes, they were very passionate about Van Gogh and that’s apparent in this project that they’ve done.” 

I have never been to Giverny, Claude Monet’s place of inspiration, so another immersive art experience at The Leonardo was a moment for me.  

Mia McCain is the Marketing Director. “It’s not just art on a screen, static, not moving, there are actually animated elements. So, you’re going in and you’re seeing, like I imagine that is how the artists envisioned their artwork.” 

This exhibition carries patrons from the Impressionists to Post-Impressionism to Symbolism, then Fauvism, and Cubism to Surrealism, and then to the works of Wassily Kandinsky, a Russian painter, dubbed the pioneer of abstract art.  

Mia McCain explained, “You are going to have some context about which artists are being shown but also the art movements that they were a part of.”

Chad said he learned of  The Leonardo exhibition through Instagram, “ I thought it was a cool new way to view art.” He told us that his children were still inside experiencing the art and loving it.

Debra told us her partner discovered the exhibit and invited her to go. “ Going in was just fantastic, immersive.”

The artist Edgar Degas said, “Art is not what you see (the artist) but what you make others see.” 

Both ‘Beyond Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience‘ and ‘From Monet to Kandinsky‘ will be open for visitors through the end of December. 

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