Until a few weeks ago, the whole virtual reality thing never appealed to me. As much as I’m a creative who loves to daydream, I’m a realist at heart and strive to live each moment as it is, rather than pretend I’m somewhere else or that I’m experiencing emotions or activities other than what is actually happening. Then during a (complimentary) press event, I tried the VR aspect of Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience. Mind, blown.
Suddenly I was ambling through the French countryside — a place I’ve always wanted to visit, and now more than ever — taking in the vibrant and achingly beautiful scenery and trying to reach out and touch the foliage. It was truly unforgettable and instantly, I absolutely “got” the whole VR thing.
The “360-degree art experience” is on view at the Scottish Rite Temple in the Central Business District until June. Even if you aren’t a fan of Van Gogh or even an art lover (which is confusing to me, but you do you), you’ll probably enjoy it. After a gallery-style intro, attendees are lead through a series of immersive rooms. In one area, Van Gogh’s paintings are recreated in life-sized, 3-D vignettes. In another, his paintings are projected onto the walls and paired with his words, as well as soaring music, creating a sensory experience that is rivaled only by the later VR option (which costs $5 extra, but is 100 percent worth it). There also is an opportunity to color one of Van Gogh’s paintings and have it scanned into an online gallery. There’s a little something for everyone, but I don’t want to give away all of the surprises. Be sure to check it out on the next sweltering day when you want to be anywhere but outside.
Meanwhile, I’ve been making my way through “Probably This Housewarming: A Guide to Creating a Home You Adore” the new book by New Orleans-based bloggers Beau Ciolino and Matt Armato. Many will know the pair from their long-running lifestyle blog “Probably This.” The book centers on design, DIY and entertaining (and is structured as such), offering their hard-won tips and advice on the subjects. The book is fun, approachable and offers budget- and renter-friendly projects. Even just reading the table of contents is entertaining. For example, here are just a few of the chapter titles:
- “Finishing Touches to Make It *Chef’s Kiss*”
- “How to Make a Thicc Snack Board”
- “Getting a Crowd Tipsy on a Budget with Sangria”
If you are decorating, renovating or entertaining on a budget, this is the DIY book for you.
Are you Jazz Festing this weekend? Do you hate VR? Are you a fan of Beau and Matt? Email Melanie at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss.