Home Of Blockbuster Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit to Host Artists Inspired by Vincent Van Gogh for Ongoing Program

Artist, Gallerist, Curator, Poet and Global Advocate Arica Hilton Named as Lead Artist-in-Residence

CHICAGO – Lighthouse ArtSpace Chicago, a new venue for immersive art within Chicago’s historical landmark Germania Club Building, today announced it will present an ongoing Artist-In-Residence program in the venue, located at 108 W. Germania Place. The program is designed to enable both established and emerging artists to engage with the legacy of post-Impressionist master Vincent Van Gogh, in connection with the visually spectacular Immersive Van Gogh exhibit running now through Labor Day. Lighthouse ArtSpace Chicago has named artist, gallerist, curator, poet and global advocate Arica Hilton as the Lead Artist-in-Residence, with additional artists to be announced in the coming weeks.

Working from a light-filled studio within the neoclassical Germania Club, Hilton will utilize her signature acrylic-on-acrylic reverse painting technique to create artwork in a neo-luminist style. Infused with recycled plastic, the works become three dimensional and offer commentary on the dangers of microplastics in the oceans, which Hilton is an outspoken critic of in her advocacy work. In addition, she incorporates 24 carat gold leaf into her canvasses as a nod to the Gilded Age of the 19th century, as well as mirrors that reflect the plastic that has overwhelmed our oceans, rivers, and landfills.

“As an artist, my interest lies in expressing the inexhaustible combinations of visual and spiritual language, “ said Hilton. “There is a raw emotional presence that emanates from the merging of hand, paint, eye and words. Thus, like the tonal qualities in music, my poetry and paintings attempt to touch something universally significant in all human beings – that meditative state of people seeking their light in the elements of nature and the universe.”

Based in Chicago, Hilton is the director and curator of Hilton | Asmus Contemporary, a gallery platform she leverages by representing artists who seek change for a better world. Her life mission is to use her creativity to bring awareness to threats that endanger the delicate balance of all living things. In addition to her paintings, Hilton is currently working on a book of poetry about Vincent Van Gogh that captures the essence of his life and work from the view of the 21st century.

Lighthouse ArtSpace Chicago is dedicated to immersive art presentations, merging the boundaries between entertainment and culture to give visitors the sense that they are encountering art as never before. The venue’s first presentation, Immersive Van Gogh, is a visually spectacular digital art exhibition that has already received widespread critical acclaim. Immersive Van Gogh invites audiences to “step inside” the iconic works of post-Impressionist artist Vincent van Gogh, evoking his highly emotional and chaotic inner consciousness through art, light, music, movement and imagination. The experience was described as “life-altering” and “a savvy, clever and creative show” by Chicago journalist Rick Kogan and “the future of experiential art” by TimeOut Chicago.

The hour-long walk through experience has been designed with health and safety as a priority. Admissions will be limited in line with the City of Chicago’s capacity guidelines with touchless ticket-taking; temperature checks upon arrival; hand sanitizer stations and social distancing markers prominent throughout the venue; and digitally projected social distancing circles on the gallery floors to ensure appropriate spacing. All guests must wear a face covering at all times during their visit to Lighthouse ArtSpace Chicago.

Ticket prices start at $39.99 ($24.99 for children 16 or younger), with timed and flexible ticket options available. Tickets will be on sale for viewings through Sept. 6, 2021. The venue is easily accessible by public transportation and has ample parking in the nearby James House parking garage.

Lighthouse ArtSpace Chicago is operated by Immersive Art Space LP, a partnership between co-producers Corey Ross, Svetlana Dvoretsky, Maria Shclover and Irina Shabshis. The venue also features a merchandise/gift shop and café. Future plans include additional immersive art shows as well as live performances.

For more information about Immersive Van Gogh, visit vangoghchicago.com or call 844-307-4644. Follow the exhibition on social media at @vangoghchicago on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

About the Producers and Creative Team

MASSIMILIANO SICCARDI, Artistic Creator:

Massimiliano studied at the London School of Contemporary Dance of London. But in 1990, he left the world of dance to begin a new journey in the world of video art. Massimiliano quickly became the artistic force behind several visual mise-en-scène for choreographers around the world. He also created video scenographies for numerous prestigious festivals and galas around the world. He also re-constructed the video mapping of the Basilica di Giotto and for the Teatro Petruzzelli of Bari, where one of his permanent installation’s virtually reconstruct the frescoes of the Cupola. Massimiliano is also a celebrated photographer and has had photo exhibitions in Spoleto and Rome, to name a few. He is professor of digital image elaboration at the Accademia di Comunicazione e Immagine of Rome. In 2012 Massimiliano received the prestigious International Award “Romaindanza” for his talent in the visual work of dance theatre. Since 2012, he has been artist in residence at the Carrières de Lumières – Atelier des Lumières where he authored the mise-en-scène of numerous immersive shows. He is currently creating projects within Italy as well as New York, Berlin, Leipzig and Rome.
LUCA LONGOBARDI, Composer:
Italian composer and pianist Luca Longobardi is a classically trained musician who incorporates the contemporary electronic music into his pieces. Born in 1976, Longobardi studied classical music in Italy and New York and went on to earn his doctorate in digital audio restoration in Rome in 2011. His works reveal a strong interaction between classical and contemporary music. The experience he has gained as a theatre musician has increased his interest in the relationship between sounds and spectacle; he has composed music for ballets and films and accompanied installations and experimental art productions (Atelier de Lumières – Paris, Carrière des Lumières – Baux-de-Provence, Kunstkraftwerk – Leipzig). At his multimedia performances and in his recordings, strong experimental electronic music meets pure, ethereal and simple-seeming piano playing that nevertheless relays deep emotions.

COREY ROSS, Co-Producer:
Founded in Toronto in 2003 by Corey Ross, Starvox Entertainment has ranked in Profit Magazine’s Fastest growing Canadian companies for 5 years in a row. Starvox produces, manages, represents and promotes cross-over performing arts shows and exhibitions that tour Canada, the United States and internationally. Ross has produced multiple theatrical shows in Chicago including the Harry Potter parody Potted Potter, Evil Dead The Musical, Champions of Magic and Sherlock Holmes. In Las Vegas, Ross produces three shows for Caesars Entertainment—Wow, Extravaganza and Potted Potter. In the world of art exhibitions, Ross produces the Art of Banksy in London, Canada, the USA, Taiwan, and Japan as well as Immersive Van Gogh and Illusionarium in Toronto.

SVETLANA DVORETSKY, Co-Producer:
Toronto’s Show One Productions was founded in 2004 by the enterprising Russian born impresario Svetlana Dvoretsky. Initially focused on classical music, the company has since expanded greatly and is now a leading presenter of high-profile International artists, symphony orchestras, theatre and dance companies and special projects. The company is especially proud of its presentations of Mikhail Baryshnikov, John Malkovich, Michel Legrand, Slava Snow Show, Valery Gergiev and the Mariinsky Orchestra, Vladimir Spivakov and the Moscow Virtuosi, Eifman Ballet, the Vakhtangov Theatre, opera stars sopranos Sondra Radvanovsky and Hibla Gerzmava, and the late baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky. Trio Magnifico Opera Gala – the historic union and once-in-a-lifetime event at The Four Seasons Opera House of soprano Anna Netrebko and tenor Yusif Eyvazov in their Toronto debuts, with Hvorostovsky in his last Toronto appearance – remains an exceptional musical memory in the history of the performing arts in Canada. Dvoretsky is a proud recipient of the Order of York by the Government of Canada for “an outstanding contribution in art and culture.”

MARIA SHCLOVER and IRINA SHABSHIS, Co-Producers:
New York-based Maestro Immersive Arts is the latest creative venture by Maria Shclover and Irina Shabshis, in partnership with Lighthouse Immersive (Canada) to introduce the immersive art genre in major markets across the United States.

Shclover is a classically trained pianist who later became a finance and international business professional, after graduating from NYU Stern School of Business. With extensive finance experience under her belt, Shclover founded Maestro Artist Management in 2004 that initially concentrated on presenting classical music and special events.

Shabshis joined Maestro Artist Management in 2005, with a classical music background and vast computer science experience. Maestro Artist Management focused on providing a bespoke experience to international artists and over the years became one of the leading boutique artist management companies that presented international tours of such legendary classical musicians as Yuri Bashmet, Olga Kern, Denis Matsuev, Mischa Maysky, Vadim Repin, Vladimir Spivakov and Dmitri Hvorostovsky. Together, the company presented more than 1,000 events and sold more than 700,000 tickets, working with international stars such as Michel Legrand, John Malkovich, Mikhail Baryshnikov and many others. As a presenter of some of the world’s best talent in the international performing arts, the company closely collaborated and partnered with some of the most prestigious art organizations, such as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center, The Metropolitan Opera and various Broadway productions.

In 2012, Shclover and Shabshis formed a non-profit organization, Cherry Orchard Festival Foundation, to introduce international theatrical projects and acclaimed performers to American audience. Festival has been a summer staple in New York and beyond, and received rave reviews from critics and audiences, welcoming such prominent international companies and projects as Gesher Theatre (Israel), John Malkovich and the international cast of Giacomo Variations (Austria), The Theatre of Nations (Russia), Vakhtangov State Theatre (Russia), Jaunais Rīgas Teātris (Latvia), Tango Fire Dance Company (Argentina), Rafael Amargo Flamenco Company (Spain), The Moscow Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra (Russia), Max Raabe & Palast Orchester (Germany), Theatre-Atelier Piotr Fomenko (Russia) and many more. In 2018, Shclover and Shabshis founded yet another venture, the Russian Film Week USA, an annual showcase of both independent and artistic films that represent the dynamic landscape of Russian filmmaking today. The festival received a resounding welcome from critics and audiences, and will take place digitally in January 2021.

About Vincent Van Gogh
Legendary Dutch painter Vincent Van Gogh (1853 – 1890) is recognized as one of the world’s greatest and best loved artists. He was born in the Netherlands to his father, Theodorus Van Gogh, and his mother, Anna Cornelia Carbentus, a moody artist whose love of nature, drawing and watercolors was passed on to her son. He worked at his uncle Cornelis’ art dealership when he had already been fluent in French, German and English, as well as his native Dutch. He fell in love with English culture when he was transferred to the Groupil Gallery in London in 1873.
During his short life he painted more than 2,000 artworks ranging from ordinary household items and self-portraits to surreal landscapes that inspire awe. Van Gogh was a post-Impressionist painter whose work — notable for its beauty, emotion and color — highly influenced expressionism in 20th-century art. He struggled with mental illness and remained poor and virtually unknown throughout his life.
He was tragically admitted to a psychiatric hospital after offering his severed ear to a woman at a local brothel. For hope, he turned to painting and nature, until one day when he went out to paint in the morning with a loaded pistol in his hand and reportedly shot himself in the chest. In his 37 years alive, Van Gogh only sold one painting, The Red Vineyards, to his brother Theo.

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