Van Gogh's paintings come to life at this incredible art museum. Come take a tour.

Do you remember your last trip to an art museum?

If we're talking typical art museum, you probably walked around an expansive but sterile space, looked at some pretty paintings from a respectful distance, then went to the gift shop to buy a magnet of one of those paintings for your fridge. Okay, I may be personalizing that last part a bit, but you get what I'm saying. On the whole, a day at an art museum can be lovely, but it's often not terribly memorable.

Perhaps that's one reason why museum attendance has been steadily declining across the United States since the early 2000s, especially among the younger demographic. Another might be that, since technology satisfies most of our entertainment whims in the comfort of our homes, it takes something truly extraordinary to motivate us to leave them.


But what if you could literally step into a painting and experience it all around you a la "Mary Poppins"? Something like that would surely be worth the trek.

The Van Gogh exhibit at The Carrières de Lumières Workshop of Lights. Photo via E. Spiller/Culturespaces. Used with permission.

That's exactly what The Carrières de Lumières, an art center in the south of France, is offering as part of a new series of art installations it's doing in collaboration with Culturespaces.

The exhibition, called Atelier des Lumières or "Workshop of Lights," takes the art of well-known artists and styles and creates a totally immersive experience by blanketing the space's 75,000 square feet and 50 foot-hight walls with it.

Right now, and through January 5th, 2020, you can wander through the mesmerizing, and often chaotic world of Vincent Van Gogh.

Photo via Culturespaces/E. Spiller.

When patrons enter the space, they go on a journey through the different stages of Van Gogh's creative life, which anyone who's seen his work before knows varied significantly.  "The immersive exhibition evokes Van Gogh's inordinate, chaotic and poetic inner world and emphasizes a permanent dialogue between shadow and light," the press release for the exhibit notes.

At this exhibit, you can actually walk through his "Wheatfield with Crows" and see the wind rustling the stalks.

Photo via Culturespaces/E. Spiller.

Or watch his "Almond Blossoms" rustling in the trees.

Photo via Gianfranco Iannuzzi/Culturespaces.

Then follow them as they blow off into the wind.

Photo via Culturespaces/E. Spiller.

You can be totally enveloped by his "Irises."

Photo via Culturespaces/E. Spiller.

And stroll past actual lapping waters in his "Starry Night Under the Rhone."

Photo via Culturespaces/E. Spiller.

Don't worry, his most famous "Starry Night" is there, too. In fact, it's the star of the show.

Photo via Culturespaces/E. Spiller.

Photo via Culturespaces/E. Spiller.

Photo via Culturespaces/E. Spiller.

If all that wasn't cool enough, the exhibit also has an incredible musical component that takes the experience to a whole other level.

You're basically getting a trip to an unforgettable museum and a trip to the symphony all at once. You'd be hard-pressed to find a more culture-filled experience.

Now while you do have to book a flight to the south of France to witness this immersive exhibit, based on the praise from patrons who've already visited, it's well worth the trip. Plus you'll be in Provence afterwards which isn't too shabby a place to spend a few days.

However, if you (understandably) can't swing an international trip, there are plenty of awesome interactive exhibits and museums you can check out in the states instead. Here are just a few:

Visual art can take on so many different forms, and, thanks to technology and innovation, artists today are busting through the limitations of previous generations. If you step outside your comfort zone and support them, the experience will no doubt leave a lasting impact and remind you that some things are worth leaving the house for.

Motherhood is a journey unlike any other, and one that is nearly impossible to prepare for. No matter how many parenting books you read, how many people you talk to, how many articles you peruse before having kids, your children will emerge as completely unique creatures who impact your world in ways you could never have anticipated.

Those of us who have been parenting for a while have some wisdom to share from experience. Not that older moms know everything, of course, but hindsight can offer some perspective that's hard to find when you're in the thick of early motherhood.

Upworthy asked our readers who are moms what they wish they could tell their younger selves about motherhood, and the responses were both honest and wholesome. Here's what they said:

Lighten up. Don't sweat the small stuff.

One of the most common responses was to stop worrying about the little things so much, try to be present with your kids, and enjoy the time you have with them:

"Relax and enjoy them. If your house is a mess, so be it. Stay in the moment as they are temporary..more so than you think, sometimes. We lost our beautiful boy to cancer 15+yrs ago. I loved him more than life itself..💔 "- Janet

"Don't worry about the dishes, laundry and other chores. Read the kids another book. Go outside and make a mud pie. Throw the baseball around a little longer. Color another picture. Take more pictures and make sure you are in the pictures too! My babies are 19 and 17 and I would give anything to relive an ordinary Saturday from 15 years ago." - Emma H.

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Photo by Daniel Schludi on Unsplash
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The global eradication of smallpox in 1980 is one of international public health's greatest successes. But in 1966, seven years after the World Health Organization announced a plan to rid the world of the disease, smallpox was still widespread. The culprits? A lack of funds, personnel and vaccine supply.

Meanwhile, outbreaks across South America, Africa, and Asia continued, as the highly contagious virus continued to kill three out of every 10 people who caught it, while leaving many survivors disfigured. It took a renewed commitment of resources from wealthy nations to fulfill the promise made in 1959.

Forty-one years later, although we face a different virus, the potential for vast destruction is just as great, and the challenges of funding, personnel and supply are still with us, along with last-mile distribution. Today, while 30% of the U.S. population is fully vaccinated, with numbers rising every day, there is an overwhelming gap between wealthy countries and the rest of the world. It's becoming evident that the impact on the countries getting left behind will eventually boomerang back to affect us all.

Photo by ismail mohamed - SoviLe on Unsplash

The international nonprofit CARE recently released a policy paper that lays out the case for U.S. investment in a worldwide vaccination campaign. Founded 75 years ago, CARE works in over 100 countries and reaches more than 90 million people around the world through multiple humanitarian aid programs. Of note is the organization's worldwide reputation for its unshakeable commitment to the dignity of people; they're known for working hand-in-hand with communities and hold themselves to a high standard of accountability.

"As we enter into our second year of living with COVID-19, it has become painfully clear that the safety of any person depends on the global community's ability to protect every person," says Michelle Nunn, CARE USA's president and CEO. "While wealthy nations have begun inoculating their populations, new devastatingly lethal variants of the virus continue to emerge in countries like India, South Africa and Brazil. If vaccinations don't effectively reach lower-income countries now, the long-term impact of COVID-19 will be catastrophic."

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