Ottawa’s Imagine Monet Exhibit Just Opened & Here’s A First Peek Inside (PHOTOS)

Prepare to walk through paintings at this magical immersive exhibit in Ottawa. The Imagine Monet exhibit is now open in Ottawa, and it will transport you right into the world of the iconic artist.

As the father of impressionism, Monet created colorful pieces that captured the feeling of a moment and these moving projections of his work bring them to life in a new way. As you read the information boards upon first entering the space, you’ll learn that he wanted to remove boundaries in his pieces and literally take the painting out of the frame.

The newest attraction in Ottawa has turned a gallery in the EY Center into a moving work of art, and if you’re wondering what it’s like, here’s a first look.

Information boards at the entrance of the Imagine Monet exhibit in the EY Centre. Information boards at the entrance of the Imagine Monet exhibit in the EY Centre. Megan Renaud | narcity

You’ll enter the immersive experience from a dark hallway, where information boards are showcased and lit up (available in English and French). They give an explanation of Monet’s paintings by him, how they reflect the stages of his life by him, and how they will be displayed in the next room. The works come alive as you step into a world of colour.

Walking through paintings in the Imagine Monet immersive experience. Walking through paintings in the Imagine Monet immersive experience. Megan Renaud | narcity

The room is laid out like a circle, with no real beginning or end, so you can continue to move around the space and admire the artwork from different angles and viewpoints. At the entrance, there are two racks of straw sun hats that you’re welcome to wear as a fun way to further transport you back in time and into Monet’s world.

"Impression, soleil levant" painting displayed at Imagine Monet with guests wearing straw hats. “Impression, soleil levant” painting displayed at Imagine Monet with guests wearing straw hats. Megan Renaud | narcity

The projection show is split into three parts that are played on a continuous loop with corresponding music. The room briefly goes dark between sets as the music changes slightly to showcase the next series. The sounds feel calming and almost meditative as you admire the moving paintings.

Landscape painting by Monet projected on a wall for Imagine Monet experience. Landscape painting by Monet projected on a wall for Imagine Monet experience. Megan Renaud | narcity

The first installation highlights Monet’s life, displaying works of art that show his family, garden, various landscapes, and reflections. If you spot the Impression, Sunrise paining, a red globe over water, you know you’re seeing the exhibition from the first set.

Walking through immersive Monet art exhibit in Ottawa. Walking through immersive Monet art exhibit in Ottawa. Megan Renaud | narcity

Throughout the exhibition, paintings appear to float around you. At times you can admire multiple pieces of his art by him and at other points in the display, you’ll see different angles of the same painting. The second part of the series showcases more moody pieces of buildings, haystacks and trains.

"The Gare St-Lazare" train painting by Monet. “The Gare St-Lazare” train painting by Monet. Megan Renaud | narcity

Get ready to see some lilies. The third section focuses on his garden in Giverny, France and his true dedication to painting these flowers in various light and forms.

Immersive projection of water lily painting at Imagine Monet in Ottawa. Immersive projection of water lily painting at Imagine Monet in Ottawa. Megan Renaud | narcity

One of the information boards reads, “Monet wishes to capture the passing of time, the changing light… the floatingness of the moment…” and it truly feels like that has been accomplished in the way the art is presented. Paintings are shown from different perspectives, even zoomed in at times, so you can experience the captured moment in a new way. The close-up shot of the “Woman with a Parasol” painting felt especially moving.

"Woman with a Parasol" painting by Claude Monet projected on a wall. “Woman with a Parasol” painting by Claude Monet projected on a wall. Megan Renaud | narcity

Once you’ve spent time walking through art and admiring works from many different angles, you’ll exit from the opposite end of the room into a little gift shop where you hunt for your favorite paintings printed on bags, aprons and journals.

Imagine Monet: The Immersive Exhibition

Posing in front of a Monet painting at the immersive art experience.

Posing in front of a Monet painting at the immersive art experience.

Megan Renaud | narcity

Price: $31+ per person

When: June 16 to August 14, 2022

Address: 4899 Uplands Dr., Ottawa, ON K1V 2N6

Why You Need To Go: You can watch Monet’s dream of taking the painting out of the frame come to life as pieces of art move and dance around you.

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