Several people injured after art exhibit falls in DeVos Place

ByJames I. Robertson

Jun 29, 2022

The Grand Rapids Fire Department says it happened in the Beyond Van Gogh exhibit at DeVos Place on Wednesday afternoon.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Several people were injured inside the Van Gogh exhibit at DeVos Place on Wednesday afternoon, according to the Grand Rapids Fire Department.

Lt. William Smith told 13 ON YOUR SIDE that an exhibit fell on some visitors just after noon.

We are told that several people were injured by a fallen wall panel that is part of the exhibit.

John Tellem, the media representative for the exhibit, told 13 ON YOUR SIDE that a woman was inside the education room, which is the first part of the art installation. Inside this room, guests learn more about the Dutch painter Vincent Van Gogh and learn about the immersive experience.

Tellem says the woman felt weak, so she grabbed hold of a pipe and drape which caused artwork to fall.

It also says that the installation is back and working now.

The exhibition features more than 300 paintings by Van Gogh projected onto the walls and floor of DeVos Place from June 14 to July 9.

The exhibition comprises three distinct rooms. The first room, known as the “Introduction Room”, is where you can learn a bit more about Van Gogh. It features correspondence with his brother, panels of letters written in his own words, and enlarged paintings that show individual brushstrokes.

The second hall of the exhibit is known as “The Waterfall Room” and acts as a portal between the first hall and the main exhibit. It is filled with splashes and dots of color that run down the walls, intermittently forming one of the artist’s self-portraits. The room is meant to prepare guests for what will happen in the final room.

And then the main event is the room where one is truly immersed in the work of Van Gogh. This is where you can experience a 35-minute loop of Van Gogh artwork swirling across the walls, floors, and monoliths set up in the exhibition.

The work is presented alongside music by contemporary artists.

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