By this point, you all know that Hubby and I are always looking for new and different date night ideas to share with you. Looking back at past dates (axe throwing, miniature golf, boat rides, etc.), we realized that perhaps we needed to try something a little more cultural. But looking at flat paintings on a stuffy museum wall is so 2019 (not to mention not very thrilling). That is why I got super excited when I learned about this new fully-immersive art experience that uses 3D/LED lighting and music. It was so cool an idea that our college freshman art major daughter asked to tag along.
“Lasting Impressions,” which is showing now at the Dr. Phillips Center, is an experiential installation of sight and sound that transports guests INTO more than 100 of the world’s most recognizable impressionist works of geniuses. The show, for lack of a better word, features major masterpieces by Monet, Degas, Van Gogh, Renoir, Cézanne, Manet, Seurat, Pissarro and Caillebotte but uses holographic 3D technology (they give you 3D glasses at the theatre) so you feel as if you are right there experiencing what the artist must have felt when they painted these works of art! Degas’ ballerinas’ tutus move as if they are actually dancing. You feel like you are sitting at the table of Renoir’s “Luncheon of the Boating Party.” Snowflakes fall wondrously on Pissarro’s winter landscapes. And don’t even get me started on “Starry Night.” SUPER COOL!
Perhaps the best way for me to describe it is that it’s like being on Disney’s Soarin’ ride in Epcot – but instead of feeling like you are hang-gliding over the Taj Mahal in India, you are drifting through the waterlilies and underneath the Japanese bridge of Claude Monet’s famous painting! No boring flat paintings here!
While I enjoyed this unique experience so much, my daughter (you know, the artist) did have one very strong opinion about it all that I will share so any other art savvy attendees will be forewarned. In a traditional art museum (those flat walls I mentioned earlier), the observer can pick and choose what they want to see. If something doesn’t interest you, you can move on to something that does. You can focus on details you want to focus on; therefore, you are able to create your own experience! But due to the effects and the way that “Lasting Impressions” was put together, you do not have this freedom. Because of this, after about 30 minutes, she did become a bit restless. But I personally think that was the uncomfortable metal chairs we sat in, not the paintings.
The best part is you don’t have to be an art major like my daughter to enjoy this. For 50 minutes, you are whisked away by beautiful images that come to life and dance around in front of you to accompanying music, which is equally as beautiful. It’s relaxing, it’s different, and it makes you stop and think. And if that doesn’t convince you to give it a try, there is also an opportunity before the show to make the experience even more French and immersive by purchasing wine and cheese. Ooh, la, la! Or better yet, treat yourself to the petits fours – those sugary confections will definitely leave a great lasting impression! (See what I did there?)
“Lasting Impressions” is now showing Wednesdays through Sundays at 3 p.m., 5 p.m., and 7 p.m. through Sept. 26 at the Dr. Phillips Center. Tickets are available at www.DrPhillipsCenter.org or through the Bill & Mary Darden Box Office at (407) 358-6603. Adult tickets start at $40, and kids (18 and younger) are $25.