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The Art Lover

Show your support with a small, simple donation and we will thank you on our dedicated patrons page.

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Have a drink with us!

Keep our gallery thriving and reward yourself with a tea or coffee in your very own VanGoYourself mug, beautifully printed with our logo.

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Sponsor a painting

Help us to add another fabulous painting to VanGoYourself so that more people can discover the amazing collections inside museums and galleries.
We will contact you to let you know which painting you have sponsored and you will see your name credited on the paintings page of our site. You can then check back regularly, at any time, to see how your painting is doing and look at any recreations made.

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The VanGoYourself SuperFan

Get everything in one beautiful package for a special price.


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The Cosmopolitain

Support us to release paintings from more countries. Your donation will allow us to build an exciting set of images from a range of countries and collections across Europe. Tell us which countries you would like to see represented on VanGoYourself and we will focus our efforts in that direction. We will contact you to let you know which set of paintings we have added and your name will be credited alongside ALL the paintings added as a result of your donation.

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Your very own Pop-Up VanGoYourself event

Have your own exclusive pop-up VanGoYourself event, designed to take place for you and your friends or colleagues in Brighton, Barcelona or Berlin.

On an afternoon of your choice, members of the VanGoYourself team will arrange everything for you to recreate a famous painting in a fabulous historic location in one of the three cities. We will bring all the props and costumes, take all the pictures, do all the organising and bring the drinks and snacks! All you need to do is turn up with your group, have fun and create your own art.

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Putting your company in the picture

VanGoYourself and your team at your next staff meeting, conference or party. We will help you by providing top tips and ideas on how to make your recreation fun for everyone and get the best result for your team. We will feature your re-enactment in our VanGo’d gallery and credit your company with a logo and link to your website so everyone knows how much you love the arts.

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Sponsor VanGoYourself

Is your business looking to support the arts? Do you believe in the power of art to transform lives? Do you want to be associated with a fun, friendly, creative art project that is transforming the way people connect to culture? This is a unique, one-off opportunity to become the VanGoYourself headline sponsor and get your company logo on our site and all our associated communications with both the public and our community of hundreds of museums and galleries across Europe.

> 01 Co-financiers

Making VanGoYourself work for your event

13 | 07 | 2015
Making VanGoYourself work for your event
It’s still Monday. Never mind. Fun might seem as distant a memory as a Greek getting a ten-pint round in at the moment, but I thought I’d write about something most people might not know about for today’s blog: namely a VanGoYourself event, which you might even be able to witness and which, as I hinted in my previous post, is as cool as a shark in a swimming pool when it’s done correctly.
VanGoYourself, when it was first pondered more than a year ago, got the green light partly because of the energy it brings: sociability and playfulness are at its core, making it a good craic as part of a (shudder) team bonding session, festival, make-and-play session for kids, wedding, barmitzvah or…I won’t go on. For galleries and museums, it’s an excellent chance to showcase the works they hold. We sometimes suggest that collections pick a masterpiece that they think their beloved audience would particularly enjoy recreating. Equally, a lot of the research from our teammates at Europeana shows the value of opening up treasures from collections that people might not normally get to see, as many venues have become famous on the strength of two or three masterpieces, perhaps to the detriment of more of their artworks earning their spot in the sun and the greater learning and inspiration that entails.
I’m in danger of veering off on another tangent here - more on opening up collections in another post, I suspect - but the point is that the paintings need to be relatively simple to recreate and, ideally, portray between one and four people, as any more sitters can make things tricky unless there’s a large group who all want to pose together. Get in touch with us if you'd like advice on this. Like a night out with Prince Harry and Joey Barton, costumes and props also play their part, and that’s a particularly creative treat for the staff at venues who decide to hold a VGY event. When the Chippenham Museum in Wiltshire put one on, they chose artworks that contained items children could create and wear, such as jewellery and head dresses – good ol’ King Henry, A Young Prince and Two Women from Naples (the Italian version of Two Fat Ladies, junked after the pilot because it just wasn’t as interesting) provided the artworks.
Brilliantly, the organisers printed the chosen paintings on large sheets of paper and hung them about the room, then set up “making stations” in front of them, adorned with materials and cloth for the little cherubs to do their worst with. Having publicised it on Facebook, Twitter, local radio and around the town, the day turned out to be a real success, which was a joy to hear about and bodes well for other museums who might wish to try it in the future. There’s even a Storify of all the tweets about it here
It doesn’t take the glamour of Wiltshire to make this work, though. Luxembourg’s Cercle Cité – surely named after a biscuit – held one to celebrate the country’s National Museums Day, and someone promptly turned up to this mass after-work social event with a rubber chicken. It’s not clear whether they deployed it before or after they’d had one of the VanGoYourself cocktails, but seeing as the drinks were based around Vincent Van Gogh’s pleasingly potent poison of choice, absinthe, it’s a good bet there was a bit of fowl play by the end of the evening.
The other example I should mention while I’m at it, although I’m wary that it’s the start of the week and my waffle can only push your patience so far, was one we helped put on at the (inhale now) Stadtmuseum Simeonstift Trier in Germany, when a VanGoYourself expert met up with organisers to decide what paintings they should poke people into sending up. This was part of the 8th Museum Night held by four cultural spots in the Trier, and was at least partly responsible for this stirring recreation of a 19th century prison scene. There were articles in the local paper, competitions to win a canvas with the best recreation and all sorts.
Basically, if you’re a collection who’d like to host this sort of fun event or someone who’d like to see this happen at your local museum or gallery, get in touch. And if you’d like us to bring the creative spark to your company or event, we’d leap for joy if you’d consider one of the rewards on the right.
Monday down, seven days to go, get involved if you can - the more the merrier.
Ben Miller


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