The Starry Not?

The show's Westbury postponement is one of many for “Beyond Van Gogh,” one of multiple ‘immersive’ traveling Vincent van Gogh exhibits.

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The designated space for “Beyond Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience” at Samanea New York seems fundamentally unfinished as of December 5, 2022. (Credit: Janet Burns)

Long Island art-lovers will have to wait nearly two more months to immerse themselves in the work of Vincent van Gogh this winter following the last-minute postponement of “Beyond Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience.”

The “Beyond Van Gogh” exhibit, one of several unaffiliated ‘immersive’ van Gogh exhibits touring the country and globe in the past few years, was scheduled to run at Samanea New York in Westbury from November 18, 2022 to January 8, 2022.

The exhibit will now run from February 3, 2023 to April 2, 2023, according to “Beyond Van Gogh” public statements and its site-specific website for Long Island.

Local ticket-holders complained on a Facebook page for the Long Island installation of the show about its seemingly sudden postponement, with multiple people saying they hadn’t received any kind of notification that the exhibit had been pushed back; some people found out when they showed up to Samanea New York and found an empty, unfinished gallery space.

It seems that Long Island ticket-holders aren’t alone in feeling frustrated toward, or treated unfairly by, the proprietors of “Beyond Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience.”

On November 28, NJ.com reported that the “Beyond Van Gogh” show that was scheduled to run from December 1 to January 29 at New Jersey’s American Dream mall was also “abruptly” postponed.

In the past year and a half, this particular touring van Gogh show has also delayed or cancelled its runs in at least five additional North American cities: Grand Rapids, MI; Detroit, MI; Halifax, NS; Calgary, AB; Victoria, BC.

In nearly every case, public relations representatives for “Beyond Van Gogh” have cited “unforeseen circumstances and production delays.” The exhibit has also been reported to the Better Business Bureau via online comments regarding at least one U.S. exhibit and one in Canada.

On the main website for “Beyond Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience,” dozens of other cities around the world are listed as having already shown and closed the exhibit, or having upcoming shows with tickets available for pre-sale.

Representatives for “Beyond Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience” did not respond to requests for comment by press time.

A representative for Samanea New York said the venue is “working with the ‘Beyond Van Gogh’ production team to provide whatever support they need for their opening, as we do for all of our new tenants where construction is involved.” Samanea New York, formerly Mall at the Source and Fortunoff, is owned by Lesso Mall Development (Long Island), Inc.

Tickets for “Beyond Van Gogh” start out at $34.99 for children and $55.99 for adults, and require ticket-holders to schedule a viewing time. In comparison, tickets for the touring exhibit “Immersive Van Gogh” start at $39.99 for off-peak and $54.99 for peak hours. Tickets for “Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience,” meanwhile, start at $23.90 for children and go as high as $64.90 per person for Premium Flex Entry VIP.

In recent years, immersive ‘experiences’ in arts and culture have become increasingly popular, including ones centered on the now-largely public domain work of Vincent Willem van Gogh (1853-1890). The Dutch Post-Impressionist painter is credited with creating more than 2000 works over a decade while suffering from significant physical and mental conditions, and is recognized as having posthumously become one of the most influential artists in Western history.

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