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BWW Review: VAN GOGH is ALIVE at Stanley Marketplace

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Now through Sept 26

BWW Review: VAN GOGH is ALIVE at Stanley Marketplace

Before you get too confused - yes, there are 2 of these coming to Denver. This one, presented by the Denver Center for the Performing Arts at the Stanley Marketplace, is running now through Sept. 26. The other one...isn't in town yet, and I have no idea how different it is, so let's get that out of the way. Do your research.

I wasn't quite sure what to expect. If you've visited The Hanger before, you'll know it's a pretty large space attached to the Stanley, and this exhibit fills it well. There are 3 spaces. essentially. When you enter the first smaller room, standard art exhibit info boards line the walls, telling bits of info about Van Gogh's life. The main feature of the room is a fascinating full-scale recreation of his Bedroom in Arles, great for selfie moments. You can enter it for a detailed look. This room also had a multi-sensory feature like layered scents, but it just smelled like there was a good air freshener.

BWW Review: VAN GOGH is ALIVE at Stanley Marketplace In the next room, the larger main space, is where the action takes place. Since there was no specific entry time for our night (I'm not sure if public showings will handle this differently), we seemed to enter it right in the middle. The walls are like giant canvases, and Van Gogh's art is projected across each. It seemed to be a linear telling of his life through his art, and occasionally bits of info would tell which period we had entered.

There were also a few interesting screens on the floor, which were a great addition to the vibe. Mostly familiar symphonies played as we explored the room and watched the story unfold around us. It was neat seeing familiar pieces like Starry Night come to life, and I was fascinated with the portraits he created. I had no idea Van Gogh had any Japanese influence.

BWW Review: VAN GOGH is ALIVE at Stanley Marketplace It was slightly awkward figuring out if we should be doing more in that room, and we had no idea when it would be time to go...we just waited until it looped back to something we recognized. Finding the exit was also a weird challenge...we tried to exit through the front but were stopped. This could definitely be a lack on my part.

When we discovered the real exit, it led us to a space outside the Stanley with a really cool mirrored sunflower room, followed by a gift shop. I would have loved to see more immersive stuff like the bedroom and sunflowers throughout the exhibit, but the main event wasn't unsatisfying.

It wasn't quite as thrilling and detailed as a special exhibit at the art museum, but I was able to lose myself in the projections for a bit. If you're an art lover, or even just looking for a new experience, Van Gogh Alive is a unique night out...now that we can do that again.

Van Gogh Alive runs through Sept 26 in The Hangar at Stanley Marketaplace. Tickets at DenverCenter.org


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