Thumbs up for Van Gogh as exhibition is extended into 2021

A York exhibition is receiving top praise for visitors for lifting the spirits, leading to an extension of its current run until the end of February 2021.

Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience in York St Mary’s, Coppergate was due to close at the end of the year, but organisers have extended it to lift the spirits over the winter months.

“We know that lockdown impacted on just about everybody’s sense of wellbeing, and it seems like the feedback we’re getting from visitors now is even more positive than when we first opened – the Zen-like experience of the main immersive projection is having a huge impact on our visitors, who are commenting about how it has lifted their mood,” comments exhibition manager, Evie Blackstock.

“We’re seeing more and more returning for a second or third visit, alongside visitors from further afield coming as part of a day trip or staycation, and as the attraction is set out in a socially-distanced way, they feel safe and able to relax, leaving feeling positive and uplifted.” Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience was originally planned to run from July to December 2019, but its popularity has seen the run extended a number of times.

A second venue in Leicester is set to complete its run on 1 November, leaving York as the only place in the UK where visitors can experience the 360 degree projections and emotive soundtrack that complements the animated displays of over 200 of Van Gogh’s most famous works.

The attraction was one of the first in York to re-open in July following the nationwide lockdown, securing Visit England’s ‘We’re Good to Go’ accreditation, which reassures visitors that all steps are being taken to create a safe environment, and indeed, wearing a mask was mandatory from re-opening day.

The deckchairs in which visitors sit for the main 35-minute projected displays are spaced with two metre gaps, and gloves and hand sanitiser available for the mindful colouring section, which is as popular with adults as it is with children. “We’ve taken extra precautions around our Virtual Reality section, which is an optional extra at the end of the visit,” adds Evie.

“Disposable covers are used on the masks so that the viewer’s face doesn’t come into contact with the mask itself, and each headset is sanitised after every use.  It does slow the process down a little, and we’ve removed half of the VR stations to enable social distancing, but visitors are incredibly happy to see that these measures help keep them safe during their visit.”

The attraction, located in York St Mary’s on Castlegate (adjacent to JORVIK Viking Centre) is currently open daily from 10am to 5pm (last admissions).  Prebooking is recommended, though walk-up visits are also welcome, including holders of York Pass.

Tickets are £13 for adults, £11 for concessions (including students) and £9 for children.

The optional VR experience is just £3 per person. For more information, or to prebook, please visit www.vangoghexpo.co.uk