Lighthouse Immersive is proud to announce it raised $250,000 to support Ukraine through Immersive Shevchenko: Soul of Ukraine showings in multiple North American cities. Emboldened to assist Ukraine with its ongoing crisis, Lighthouse Immersive, the producers of the Original Immersive Van Gogh, arranged to have an existing immersive exhibit celebrating the work of Ukrainian artist, poet, philosopher and public figure Taras Shevchenko brought to North America.
Premiering March 15 in Toronto, Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Boston; April in Pittsburgh and Cleveland; ticket sales from Immersive Shevchenko directly supported First Theatrical Charitable Foundation, which focuses on humanitarian needs of Ukrainians with a specific focus on elderly arts and culture workers and other social priority groups who have been left without adequate support at this time and to the National Bank of Ukraine Fund.
In 2021, Ukraine-born Lighthouse Immersive Associate Producer Valeriy Kostyuk, working with a Ukraine-based team including Producer Natalia Delieva, Creative Director Tais Poda, Composer Timur Polyansky, and Curator-Consultant Dmytro Stus, developed and launched an immersive exhibit of Shevchenko’s work in Odesa. Kostyuk sought to apply the artistry and innovation that Lighthouse Immersive practiced with Vincent Van Gogh to one of Ukraine’s most beloved cultural figures. He was able to work with the National Museum of Taras Shevchenko in Kyiv to obtain access to their collection of paintings, resulting in a one-of-a-kind sensory experience that President Zelensky himself visited before the war began. Lighthouse Immersive worked with the Ukrainian producers in Kyiv and Odesa to bring the exhibit to North America so they can share Ukrainian art and culture with audiences abroad while raising funds for a righteous cause.
“I was happy to find a way to use my experiences producing in North America to promote Ukrainian artists,” comments Kostyuk. “Ukrainian culture is as beautiful and moving and important as the culture of any other country in the world, and Shevchenko is, in many ways, a father of the independent Ukrainian nation. I have been moved and inspired beyond words by the endurance and resilience of the Ukrainian people in this moment and I am deeply thankful to the incredible team in Ukraine who partnered with me on this project, as well as to the producers at Lighthouse Immersive for standing with me in this moment.”
The war continues in Ukraine as invading Russian forces continue to encounter fierce resistance. Amidst the bombardments and firefights, workers at the National Museum of Taras Shevchenko crate away valuable pieces of artwork in the exact same containers used to shield them from invading Nazi forces in 1941 to hide the valuable national artwork from the invading Russian Military forces as gunfire erupts just down the street. An artist, poet, writer and political activist of the mid-19th century, Shevchenko was known for expressing themes of Ukrainian oppression by the Russian government in his art.
“It was inspiring to see everyone come together to support the people of Ukraine and be able to donate to Ukrainian charities including the National Bank of Ukraine Fund, Ukrainian Red Cross Society, and First Theatrical Charitable Foundation,” says Lighthouse Immersive Producer Corey Ross.
Taras Shevchenko (March 9, 1814-March 10, 1861) is largely considered a cultural trailblazer of the independent Ukrainian nation. Born a serf, Shevchenko was freed in 1838 while a student at the St. Petersburg Academy of Art. A master of Ukrainian painting/graphic art and a spiritual leader, Shevchenko was the founder of critical realism and the folk element in Ukrainian fine arts. Shevchenko’s creative output primarily reflected the socio-political reality of the Ukrainian people of that period and largely expressed themes of Ukrainian oppression by the Russian government and calls for Ukrainian liberation.
About Lighthouse Immersive
Lighthouse Immersive creates, produces and distributes innovative digital immersive art experiences through its experiential entertainment multiplex digital art galleries, aiming to cultivate community and creativity through large-scale events and exhibitions of all art forms. Lighthouse Immersive offers versatile spaces for creators to present their work while engaging audiences in unique art experiences that encourage dialogue and inspire new artistic creations. Lighthouse Immersive has produced the world premiere of Immersive Van Gogh, Immersive Frida Kahlo and Immersive Klimt: Revolution to more than 21 North American cities. Recognized as the leader in immersive art experiences, Lighthouse Immersive custom-designs each of their venues, named Lighthouse ArtSpace, to distinctly envelop the various architectural settings they inhabit. It operates galleries in a range of historic venues including refurbished industrial and retail spaces. Since 2021, the company has opened or is opening 21 new galleries in North American cities including New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Las Vegas, Boston and Denver, and is currently expanding into additional markets. To date, Lighthouse Immersive has sold 5 million tickets to Immersive Van Gogh across North America, with Artnet calling it “one of the largest coordinated art phenomena of all time.”