Step inside Van Gogh’s work and do-it-yourself with the ‘probably these’ guys

Until a few weeks ago, the whole virtual reality thing never appealed to me. As much as I love being a creative who likes to daydream, I am a realist at heart and strive to live each moment as it is, rather than pretending to be somewhere else or experiencing other emotions or activities than what actually happens. Then during a (free) press event I tried the VR aspect of Van Gogh: the immersive experience† Ghost, puffed up.

Suddenly I was meandering through the French countryside – a place I’ve always wanted to visit, and now more than ever – taking in the vibrant and painfully beautiful landscape, trying to reach out and touch the foliage. It was truly unforgettable and right away I absolutely “understood” the whole VR thing.

The ‘360-degree art experience’ is on display at the Scottish Rite Temple in the Central Business District until June. Even if you’re not a fan of Van Gogh or even an art lover (which is confusing to me, but you are), you’ll probably enjoy it. After a gallery-style intro, attendees are guided through a series of immersive rooms. In one room, Van Gogh’s paintings have been recreated in life-size 3D vignettes. In another, his paintings are projected onto the walls and combined with his words, as well as soaring music, creating a sensory experience matched only by the later VR option (which costs $5 extra, but is 100 percent worth it) . There is also the option to color in one of Van Gogh’s paintings and have it scanned in an online gallery. There is something for everyone, but I don’t want to give away all the surprises. Be sure to check it out the next sweltering day when you want to be somewhere other than outside.

Meanwhile, I’ve been working my way through “Probably This Housewarming: A Guide to Creating a Home You Adore,” the new book by New Orleans-based bloggers Beau Ciolino and Matt Armato. Many will know the pair from their long-running lifestyle blog ‘Probably This’. The book revolves around design, DIY and entertainment (and is structured as such), offering their hard-won tips and advice on the topics. The book is fun, approachable and offers budget- and tenant-friendly projects. Just reading the table of contents is entertaining. For example, here are just some of the chapter titles:

  • “The finishing touch to make it *Chef’s Kiss*”
  • “How to Make a Thicc Snack Board”
  • “Getting a crowd tipsy on a budget with Sangria”

If you’re furnishing, renovating or entertaining on a budget, this is the DIY book for you.

Are you at the Jazz Fest this weekend? Do you hate VR? Are you a fan of Beau and Matt? Email Melanie at to discuss.

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