Newfields taking art to the next level in 2021 | MAD Life

Emilee Geist

INDIANAPOLIS — Imagine an art exhibit that immerses viewers in sights and sounds that enhance the experience of viewing paintings. Soon, that very experience will exist right here in Indianapolis. The Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields announced Wednesday a first-of-its-kind exhibit that amplifies the breathtaking artwork of Vincent van […]

INDIANAPOLIS — Imagine an art exhibit that immerses viewers in sights and sounds that enhance the experience of viewing paintings.

Soon, that very experience will exist right here in Indianapolis.

The Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields announced Wednesday a first-of-its-kind exhibit that amplifies the breathtaking artwork of Vincent van Gogh.

The exhibit, which opens next June, will be the largest ever at the Indianapolis museum, taking up the entire fourth floor and consisting of almost 30,000 square feet.

The LUME Indianapolis is funded by the Lilly Endowment and was created by Australian-based Grande Experience.

A video presentation during a press conference served as just a teaser of what is to come in June.

The exhibit, using 150 high-definition projectors, will showcase van Gogh’s work from the floor to ceiling with appropriate music playing in the background.

Visitors will be able to walk through the artwork and become totally immersed in the paintings.

At one point, a video of a field of sunflowers was transformed into van Gogh’s famous painting “The Sunflowers.”

One of his other famous works, “Starry Night,” will surround the visitor and a self-portrait becomes larger than life.

The painting “Landscape at Saint-Remy” filled the screen and at one point birds could be viewed flying over the fields.

Charles Venable, CEO of Newfields, said the museum has been waiting for some time to make the announcement about The LUME Indianapolis.

“This will launch Newfields into the future after five years of research into art consumer motivation and innovative digital exhibitions in Asia, Australia and Europe,” he said.

Venable said The LUME exhibit will be the first of its kind in the United States.

“This will showcase great art from floor to ceiling,” he said. “People want more than static galleries. Digital art experiences are more approachable and family friendly.

“This is the right strategy, and we think other museums will embrace the new technology.”

Venable said The LUME Indianapolis will be a permanent space, with the exhibit changing annually.

“There will be a new experience each summer,” he said.

Bruce Peterson, founder of Grande Experience, said the exhibit will allow visitors to experience art with all their senses.

“There will be an emotional connection between the art and visitor,” he said. “This is a great day. People want to be involved with art and culture.”

Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett said The LUME Indianapolis shows the city’s commitment to the arts.

“Art comforts, heals and inspires,” he said. “This is breaking the mold with the largest indoor exhibit in the museum’s history.”

Hogsett said the exhibit will attract people from around the United States to Indianapolis.

Jerry Wise, chief financial officer for Newfields, said the museum staff has been planning for the concept for the past year.

He said ticket prices will be along the same structure of Winter Lights and Harvest Lights.

Member adult tickets for those events are $20 and $25 for non-members.

“One of the exciting things about this is that now that we have a permanent space we can bring these experiences to Indianapolis with big name artists, art movements,” he said. “Every year, it will be a new experience.”

Wise said all the experiences will be art based, which could be a collection of artists.

“One of the great things about having digital space is that it gives us a lot of flexibility from exhibition to exhibition,” he said. “The next exhibition could be different than for van Gogh.”

Follow Ken de la Bastide on Twitter

@KendelaBastide, or call 765-640-4863.

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