“There is nothing more artistic than to love people,” acclaimed artist Vincent Van Gogh said many years ago. And that adage still holds true to this day through his magnificent and brilliant work. His love for art, beauty, and people is expressed in each of the beautiful and exquisite works in the exhibition produced and designed by the Dolores Kohl Education Foundation.
This magnificent artist is often considered “a tragic genius” due to his tumultuous life and difficulty finding his purpose in the world and also due to the disturbing fact that his art was not appreciated while he was alive. Now, the Dutch painter is “widely regarded as one of the greatest and most influential artists of all time,” even though his work was not appreciated during his life and his techniques were so far ahead of his time that many people did not understand or truly value his incredible talent. His sensitive soul seemed to forever be on a search to find his true calling, but during his incredible discovery to find his soul’s purpose, he created a multitude of masterful works and influenced generations of artists and the art community.
The incredible artistry and life story of this artistic genius is celebrated in the “Van Gogh for All” Exhibit at the Lauren Rogers Museum in Laurel as part of its Centennial Celebration. Come take an immersive journey into the life of Van Gogh and get a view of some of his most iconic works. The exhibit truly transports you back in time to give you a deeper look into the life of Van Gogh, his search for purpose, and his amazing work.
This is definitely an exhibit that both children and adults will enjoy. While most paintings and exhibits don’t let you get too up close and personal with the works, you are invited to step into some of Van Gogh’s most well-known works, “Starry Night.” Dance among the lighted night sky and catch a star as you become part of the artwork. Don’t forget to get your picture taken of this unique experience.
Guests can travel along the streets and visit the cafes and bistros where Van Gogh spent a great deal of time gathering inspiration for his works. Have a seat and spot of tea as you can pose at one of the café spots where Van Gogh often visited. You may have seen paintings or prints of Van Gogh’s cozy and unique bedroom where he dreamed of many things, but you’ll get an even closer look at his beloved place to retreat away from the world. “My paintings come to me as if in a dream,” Van Gogh reflected upon his work. He often wrote to his beloved brother Theo who was his most devoted fan and supporter of his work. Many of those letters and early sketches are on display, giving greater insight into this sensitive soul.
The exhibit brings out little-known facts about Van Gogh’s life and reveals many of the people and artists who influenced his work. As many young people struggle with finding their direction in life, Van Gogh dabbled in education and ministry before he found where his heart truly was drawn. He knew he had to bring out the art in his heart and express his own unique views on the world through his original artistry. He began working on sketching, trying to perfect his style, even though he was encouraged by many fellow artists to delve into bright paints and colors. Thankfully for the world, he did when he lived in France. The vibrant city life and joyful vibe of the city made their way into Van Gogh’s work, including his iconic series of sunflower paintings and the multitude of self-portraits that he created during his lifetime.
Unique displays of Van Gogh’s life, such as representations of his early studio and even his straw hat which he had glued on candles so that he could see to paint at night, offer an intimate look into the painful yet unique life of this incredible artist who was never appreciated during his life. Now his works are praised by the artistic community and the world at large and have often sold for millions of dollars.
Through the use of innovative modern technology, visitors can feel as if they have traveled back in time and are walking along with Van Gogh as they learn more about his creative process and discover the genius that Van Gogh truly was blessed with. Kids will enjoy it as they actually get the opportunity to become a part of “The Siesta.” There are plenty of fun selfie opportunities as you can become Van Gogh by sticking your head through the various depictions of him throughout his life.
Van Gogh’s artistry brings hope and inspiration to a new generation. While viewing Van Gogh’s self-portraits, you get the opportunity to bring out your own artistic style as there is a table and mirror set up and stocked with paper and crayons for kids and kids at heart to bring to life their own self-portraits. Visitors are also encouraged to try their own hand at Van Gogh’s beautiful sunflowers and irises as there are also drawing tables and vases of sunflowers and irises for your inspiration to bring out your own version of work in the style of Van Gogh.
Despite Van Gogh’s troubled and tragic life, his work lives on and will be an inspiration for generations to come. The exhibition will be on display until Nov. 5 in the lower-level galleries of the museum. But there is a very special and unique celebration scheduled for Sat., Oct. 21. “A Symphony of Light” will be held on the front lawn as a symphony orchestra and light projection show will be projected onto the front façade of the museum. Under the direction of Richard Green, the symphony will add the soundtrack to the light show developed by Colin McQuilkin Design which will give a historical look at the development of the museum and its collections along with a very special tribute to the work of Vincent Van Gogh. This is definitely an event that you do not want to miss.
To find out more about the “Van Gogh for All” exhibit and the Lauren Rogers Museum, please visit LRMA – Lauren Rogers Museum of Art | Laurel, MS .