Van Gogh Alive on O'Connell Street

O’Connell Street

By Em Worthington

Van Gogh’s works have been admired across the globe for over a century, but the ground-breaking Australian tour of Van Gogh Alive has taken things to another level — and we proudly hosted Adelaide’s turn right here on O’Connell Street in North Adelaide.

Part of the Illuminate Adelaide event, the multi-sensory experience allowed families to explore Van Gogh’s artistry. It took six weeks to construct the gallery and then people of all ages were able to immerse themselves in his work from June to mid-September at the former Le Cornu site. The vibrant exhibition had a huge impact on the local businesses, as explained by Katie Lawrence from iconic hotel, The Archer.

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O Connell Street High Res By Cath Leo 151

“Van Gogh Alive was fantastic for us, particularly as we were in direct vicinity across the road. For the public, it was a once in a lifetime opportunity to experience the magic of his work and the exhibition was on a huge scale. Being interactive made it particularly great for kids who loved the twinkly lights and the sunflower room and so many families came to the area, especially during the school holidays,” Katie says.

“With so many people flocking to the area, it was a great opportunity for us to give them a taste of The Archer’s hospitality. We had paid parking available directly behind the venue, so a lot of people popped in to use the 25 percent discount that we provided to ticket holders; and we saw record numbers through the door, which resulted in a record food week in week two of the exhibition — even higher than December and Christmas last year, which was amazing!

“We hired new staff and switched to all-day dining as traffic increased and themed things around the hotel to add to the festivities, including a Gogh Time gin cocktail, which was yellow to tie in with the sunflowers,” Katie smiles.

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Even since the exhibition ended, Katie says the positive impact on the area has remained. “A lot more people now know just how great an experience it is to visit and we’ve had return customers and an increase in our daytime trade, which is wonderful.

“More people have cottoned onto our ongoing seniors discount and we’ve also started doing some exhibitions of our own in our dining room in partnership with the Adelaide Arts Society to embrace the interest in local art. We’ll continue regularly rotating this art and offering pieces for sale, too, so a trip to the pub for a bite to eat just became even more interesting!” Katie says.

“We love what the exhibition has done for the area and it really helped to draw awareness back into our beautiful street. That paired with the live music on weekends, the floral displays and big billboards really helped to put out the message that there’s so much life in O’Connell Street and we can’t wait to keep showing people a good time!”

The Archer

60 O’Connell St, North Adelaide

Open every day except Monday

11:30 am to late

Facebook: The Archer Hotel

Instagram: @the_archerhotel