Art comes to life at West Sacramento exhibit

Immersive experience showcases Van Gogh’s wide range of works


Raymond Purscell

Guests are drawing using crayons on Sept. 24, 2022. This room gives guests an opportunity to draw or color in Van Gogh’s work.

Raymond Purscell and Hailey Valdivia

Swirls of rich blues and yellows color the walls and reflect onto the crowd of awed faces. Van Gogh’s “Starry night” is projected on the wall, the iconic painting now seemingly coming to life.  

Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience is an interactive and educational experience in West Sacramento.

“People love seeing it—seeing the show,” said Ashley Tapia, the general manager on staff.

The exhibit is a self-guided tour in which guests move from room to room taking as much time as they would like. Each room has unique activities and displays through which Van Gogh’s art is showcased. 

A crowd looks on at a progression of Van Gogh’s sunflower paintings in the Immersive Room on Sept. 24, 2022. Van Gogh painted a total of five sunflower paintings. (Hailey Valdivia)

The first section is designed as a museum with replicas of the late artist’s work hanging around the walls in the large room. These are accompanied by informative panels that explain their significance.

One of Van Gogh’s famous vase paintings is projected onto a tall canvas at Van Gogh the Immersive Experience on Sept. 24, 2022. Van Gogh painted many vases with flowers in the late 1800’s as he was poor and sunflowers were a subject he had consistent access to. (Raymond Purscell )

This area also features large projected displays. The most popular projection is the tribute to Van Gogh’s paintings of vases. 

A large canvas with a vase shape protrusion stands roughly nine feet tall in a narrow room. The vase paintings transition smoothly as they are projected onto the canvas.

The next portion of the exhibit features an opportunity to step inside one of Van Gogh’s paintings. The life size bedroom on display was a one to one representation of Van Gogh’s work, “Bedroom in Arles.”

Guests could walk through the display, touch the furniture and even sit on the bed. This section also features some of Van Gogh’s lesser known works involving Japanese influences, such as “Bridge in the Rain.”

The largest section of the exhibit was “The Immersive Room.” The space is a 20,000 square-foot open room with benches throughout.

“The Immersive Room…shows his art coming to life,” Tapia said.

The warehouse-sized space projects Van Gogh’s pieces on all four walls. The art shifts and evolves in a way that tells the tragic story of an unappreciated artist from beginning to end.

The panels on the wall and the staff that is open to questions make it easy to learn about the historical background of the paintings.

There are photo opportunities throughout the exhibit including a mirror room projecting Van Gogh’s various sunflowers he painted from 1888-1889.

Guests are drawing using crayons on Sept. 24, 2022. This room gives guests an opportunity to draw or color in Van Gogh’s work. (Raymond Purscell)

If guests feel inspired by The Immersive Room, they are given an opportunity to express their creativity. 

Crayons and pieces of paper are provided in the drawing room where anyone can draw or color in the lines of Van Gogh’s works. The walls of this room are filled with these drawings that people are free to hang up.

To top off the exhibit, the VR experience walks through a first person view of how Van Gogh saw art in things he encountered in daily life.

The gift shop at the tail end of the exhibit offers merchandise of all sorts featuring Van Gogh’s most famous works.

The exhibit has discounted student tickets and is open every day except Tuesdays. All of their information is available online at They are open in Sacramento from now until the end of the year, with a possible extension if they continue to sell tickets.