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Toronto Organizes Drive-In Van Gogh Exhibit

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Photo: George Socka via CC BY 2.0

Toronto’s Van Gogh show was meant to take place in May, but the coronavirus pandemic had other ideas and organizers made the tough decision to postpone the show. With the pandemic still in full swing, rescheduling the show seemed unrealistic. So, rather than flat-out canceling the show, organizers decided to get creative.

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The art gallery is located within a large Toronto warehouse. Visitors can either walk the exhibit while practicing social distancing or explore it from the safety of their own personal vehicles.

Corey Ross, a co-producer of the Van Gogh art exhibit, told AFP staff writer Olivier Monnier the drive-in option offers a unique experience to art patrons who especially vulnerable to the virus.

“You’ve never had an experience like this in your car,” Ross said. “The feeling is almost as if the car is floating through the art.”

Mimicking the exhibit the l’Atelier des Lumieres presented last year, the drive-in Toronto art show uses technology to project Van Gogh’s creations. The warehouse walls and floors are covered with the artist’s work. Ten cars drive in and park at a time, allowing the driver and their passengers a clear view of the Van Gogh images through the car’s windshield. Engines are turned off so patrons can enjoy the setting and appreciate the coordinated music. The entire drive-in experience lasts approximately 35 minutes.

Although the immersive experience has earned positive feedback, the drive-in art gallery is a temporary fix.

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The art hall for cars will close on Aug. 9, but art fans who feel comfortable experiencing the exhibit on foot will have until September to check it out.