CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Immersive Van Gogh exhibit has officially come to a close after running for just under six months and having multiple extensions.
The exhibit kept the Queen City's attention as hundreds of thousands flocked to Camp North End to experience it in 2021, and organizers say its economic impact could be felt long after its ending.
According to Blumenthal Performing Arts, Immersive Van Gogh is projected to have generated over $39 million for the city of Charlotte, with monetary impact from ticket buyers, hotels, dining, parking, and more.
"We're going to be closing with about 300,000 people coming through the doors," Tom Gabbard, president and CEO of Blumenthal Performing Arts, said. "About 40% of the people who've been coming to the show are from beyond a radius that would include Statesville and Hickory."
The exhibit would not only have a lasting impact on the city but on Camp North End as well. Gabbard explained how Blumenthal sourced all of the food and beverage for the exhibit from businesses in the complex.
"It has been a great benefit to those businesses, many of which are new, you know, there have been a number of places that have actually opened while we've been there, which is great to see," he said. "So we've helped to create some sustainable business for those places, not just people who are dropping by to have something to eat before or after."
Despite arriving in the middle of the pandemic, the exhibit remained popular during its entire run. Gabbard explained that it's a testament to how exhibits like Immersive Van Gogh are received by the community and that they could expect more shows like this to come to Camp North End.
"Nearly 80% of the people who have bought tickets for this have never bought a ticket from Blumenthal before," he said. "Massimiliano Siccardi, who created this, has a number of other shows that are beginning to be seen here in North America. "We've had people including movie studios who have talked to us about taking some of their productions and or some of their product and converting it into digital immersive shows."
While there is more fun to be had with immersive exhibits at Camp North End, Gabbard said much of the art on display from Van Gogh, including picnic tables, will be gifted to the community.
"There's a description of art deserts that is applied to some neighborhoods, they just don't have public art or things that will stimulate especially our kids," he said. "We're trying to identify neighborhoods, where we can place these things that they can have maximum impact."