Blumenthal Arts goes immersive

Entertainment The Arts

April 8, 2024

Blume Studios

Blume Studios debuts this fall, with an immersive exhibition about space travel in Charlotte’s Iron District.

by Michael J. Solender

Charlotte’s cultural scene is blasting off into a newly established immersive space. Blumenthal Arts announced Monday it is opening a dedicated home for experiential programming with the creation of Blume Studios.

Blumenthal Arts President and CEO Tom Gabbard says the organization will be the first tenant and partner to occupy space at the Iron District, a 55-acre tract under development on the northwest edge of uptown. The site, once home to Charlotte Pipe and Foundry Co., is expected to undergo a transformation similar to the mixed-use real estate development project at Camp North End. 

“We’re excited to activate this space and be a catalyst in the growth here,” Gabbard says,  noting the success of the 2021-22 Immersive Van Gogh hosted at Camp North End. The exhibition helped solidify the organization’s plans to make immersive and experiential programming a key component of their go-forward offerings. 

“We saw a huge appetite for immersive entertainment with the success of Van Gogh,” Gabbard says. “The question of ‘what’s next?’ has been on everyone’s mind, and for the past two years we’ve been exploring opportunities on how to bring the best creative programming to Charlotte. We’re poised to be a leader in the future of experiential art.”

Immersive experience fans won’t have long to wait. SPACE EXPLORERS: THE INFINITE opens in the new Iron District space on Sept. 20 and runs through November 10, 2024.

Participants equipped with virtual-reality goggles will experience life aboard the International Space Station through 360-degree videos captured in space as it orbits more than 250 miles above Earth. During the journey, voyagers will have astronaut encounters and views of the universe including Earth. The odyssey is designed to leave a lasting impression. 

Participants wear virtual reality goggles in the SPACE EXPLORERS: THE INFINTE, an immersive exhibit coming to Charlotte's Iron District from Blumenthal Arts.

Tickets range from $29.95 to $69.95. The standard experience is 45 minutes; a premium experience is about one hour. Admission is on a timed entry basis. There is a minimum age requirement of 8 years old. 

Visitors will find multiple opportunities to engage beyond the ticketed experience. Two art installations, both free and available for public viewing, will be featured. Gaia by Luke Jerram is familiar to those who experienced the massive Earth artwork as it was suspended in Founders Hall last year during the Charlotte International Arts Festival. The artwork is 1.8 million times smaller than the Earth, with each centimeter of the internally lit sculpture describing 18 km of the Earth’s surface. The view is representative of the Earth as it appears from the moon.

Groundswell by Matthias Schack-Arnott will also be on view. This sound-art installation allows viewers to individually or collaboratively influence “oceanic waves of sound.”

Blumenthal Arts is recruiting local Charlotte artists to create additional installations. The organization is also planning pop-up themed retail shopping and food and drinks.


More information, including ticket sales for The INFINITE is found here.

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