DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) — If you are looking for some activities to fill the upcoming Summer schedule, there are two traveling Van Gogh art exhibits coming to town that are creating quite a buzz.
The shows both have similar names, similar websites, and similar experiences where guests are meant to feel truly immersed in Van Gogh’s art. And all those similarities – according to exhibit producers – are creating confusion and making it difficult for people to know which show they are actually buying tickets for.
First, there is the ‘Immersive Van Gogh‘ exhibit that is coming to Dallas in June, created by Massimiliano Siccardi.
“Massimiliano Siccardi is, in my opinion, the Steven Spielberg of these animated instillation art pieces,” Corey Ross, the producer of ‘Immersive Van Gogh’ explains.
“He’s been doing [shows] for 30 years in Europe and millions of people have seen his shows in Europe and we are excited to bring his work to North America and Dallas for the first time.”
The ‘Immersive Van Gogh’ exhibit boasts 500,000 cubic feet of projects that animate Vincent Van Gogh’s works.
“So every surface that you see from the floors, to the brick work, to the columns — all of it is illuminated with Van Gogh’s art,” Ross says. “And the industrial type spaces start to transform with organic images of Van Gogh like sunflowers, clouds and stars.”
“You are completely surrounded and enveloped by the art — so if you dress in white, it is even on your clothes. ”
Then, there is ‘Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience‘ coming to Dallas in August.
“We want [guests] to understand and appreciate the artist, even if they don’t know anything about the artist before they came,” Mario Iacampo, the creative director of ‘Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience’ explains.
‘Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience’ showcases Van Gogh’s work using 10,000 square feet of screens and projections. They also illustrate Van Gogh’s life using virtual reality.
“For example, we recreate his famous bedroom [with virtual reality] so people can walk into his bedroom and feel where he was,” Iacampo explains. “So, people get a feeling for the artist and then, when they walk into the immersive [portion of exhibit] they have some context with the visuals they are going to see.”
Both shows have websites and characteristics that are hard to differentiate.
“Certainly, we are hearing from a lot of customers who have been confused, particularly in New York, but also in other cities,” Ross explains. “It is really disappointing to me that they used such a similar name to ours.”
Amy Rasor with the Better Business Bureau says this is a prime example of when buyers need to do their homework before purchasing tickets.
“I know we feel in these situations a sense of urgency, because we don’t want to miss out,” Rasor explains. “But, doing your research ahead of time is really important. Check our BBB.org to see what kind of ratings those companies have, look at other customer reviews and that will let you know if there have been issues in the past.”
“I think a little bit of Googling will reveal that the other party has quite a few Better Business Bureau complaints against them — and we don’t,” Ross says.
But Iacampo says those complaints have to do with the company that handles the show’s ticketing and not the show itself. He says the production company behind the show is committed to honoring all tickets sold.
“I think the key thing we do different is we tell the whole story,” Iacampo says. “It’s more than just being immersed in video. We try to give people a real context of the artist’s life and then immerse the person in the actual art.”
“I think you should think to yourself very carefully whether you want to see the one by Massimiliano Siccardi, that millions of people have seen and has rave reviews everywhere, including across the US or if you want to see the other one,” Ross says.
Both producers told CBS 11 they will be honoring refunds if you accidentally purchase tickets to the wrong show. However, looking at both websites, the posted policies for both shows state that tickets are non-refundable.
If you want an added layer of protection in the event you do need to ask for your money back, the BBB recommends paying for tickets with a credit card. They say by doing that, if you need to dispute a charge, it is much easier to get those charges reversed.