Vancouver’s Dimensions Art Gallery features 3D-style paintings and optical illusion art exhibits that you and your friends can take photos of yourselves in.
Located in downtown Vancouver, not far from the Vancouver Lookout and Gastown, the venue is a recent addition to the local arts scene. It offers a unique, interactive space to explore.
Dimensions 3D and Optical Illusions Art Gallery
Opened in July, 2020, Dimensions Art Gallery proudly calls itself the first 3D painted interactive art gallery in the country. It’s a small attraction that features a collection of unique paintings and other exhibits that are fun to experience and provide exceptional selfie-style photo opportunities.
At the gallery there is one main room. In it you’ll find about 14 exhibits. In the entrance area there is a single small exhibit, plus an area where you can leave your belongings in a cubby-hole-style shelf. Another small room presents an optical illusion where you can make yourself and your friends appear either very big or tiny. In another small room you are surrounded by mirrors.
Each piece in the gallery was designed by a different artist, several of whom are local. There are about 16 exhibits in total, with about four that are fully three-dimensional. The others are paintings that are designed to look sort of 3D.
Location and Admission
Dimensions Art Gallery is located at 432 West Hastings Street, right next to Gastown. It’s just a short walk away from Waterfront Station which makes it convenient to get to using public transit.
As of early 2022, tickets must be bought within an hour-long timeslot. Up to just 16 people can be inside the gallery at one time. The venue’s admission prices are below.
- Adults (ages 16+): $22 Monday to Thursday and $25 Friday to Sunday
- Children (ages 5 to 15): $12 Monday to Thursday and $15 Friday to Sunday
Children ages 4 and younger are free. All tickets are good for one hour (so make sure to arrive at your scheduled time and not later). However, if there’s space available in the next time slot you can sometimes be allowed to stay a little longer. Unless it’s really busy though, an hour is usually more than enough time.
As of early 2022, the gallery is only open Thursdays to Sundays, but remember that admission is $5 cheaper if you go on Thursdays.
What to Expect Inside the Gallery
The Dimensions Art Gallery is really just one large room, although there are a couple of “sub-rooms” that are their own exhibits. There is also an entrance area, and it does have one small exhibit. The rest of the exhibits are spread out around the main room against the walls.
Some of the exhibits are more “standard” types of art on the wall but with 3D twists to them. Others are more intricate with larger illusions. There is a sideways room, an “infinity” room with a ton of reflections, and an Ames room which distorts perspective to make people appear much taller or shorter than others.
Because of the interactive nature of the gallery guests are allowed to be hands-on with the exhibits. With some of the exhibits, in fact, you are encouraged to touch them. There are plenty of opportunities for fun photos at the gallery.
What are Some of the Exhibits?
There are more than a dozen exhibits at the gallery. We’re told that some of them might change from time to time. So when you go, the exhibits might not all be the same as when we went.
When we visited in the fall of 2021 there were two rooms with their own exhibits inside. One was the “infinity” room which is full of mirrors. The other was the “Ames” room which makes you look taller or shorter depending on which side of the room you stand in.
Another exhibit when we visited was the sideways room which makes you look like you are standing, sitting or lying on the wall of a room, not the floor. That room had just three walls, so it was really just part of the larger main room. There was also a bathroom area with no mirror. It was designed to make your friend look like your reflection.
Other exhibits at the gallery are scenes that you can put yourself into. With one you can make yourself look like you are falling (or flying) above a city far below. A couple of others are comic-like scenes that you can be a part of. One involves a pirate ship, where you can sit on the plank. Another makes you look like you’re battling a fire-breathing dragon!
All of the exhibits are designed for you to either experience in some way, or insert yourself and have your photo taken in it.
Other Attractions You Might Like
Expect to spend about half an hour at the Dimensions Art Gallery. After that you’ll probably want to do something else as well.
Other fun things to do in the area include the following (all of which are very highly recommended):
- Check out the 360-degree views of the city and surrounding area at the Vancouver Lookout which is just a 2-minute walk away.
- Enjoy the multi-dimensional flying experience at FlyOver Canada at Canada Place.
- Join an outdoor adventure game with Vancouver Mysteries. They start and finish not far from the Dimensions Art Gallery.
- Go on a guided walking tour with Forbidden Vancouver. The tours also take place close by.
- If you like boats and museums, then the Vancouver Maritime Museum is an interesting place too. It’s not near the Dimensions Art Gallery like the above places are. It is though just a short drive away.
Tips and Advice
Below are some suggestions to help you make the most out of your 3D and optical illusions experience.
TIP #1: Expect to stay for up to about half an hour in the gallery. You might stay longer if you are in a big group, or if the place is crowded, or if you really love taking selfies, and lots of them. For most people though, about 30 minutes is good.
TIP #2: Go with a group of friends. You need at least one person to pose and another to take the photos. With a couple of the exhibits, it’s best with two people in the photo, so it’s good if there is a third person.
TIP #3: Don’t forget to take your camera (or your phone). There isn’t a lot of point in going to this gallery if you don’t take photos to show off to your friends later. And yes, you can take as many photos and as much video as you want (within the one-hour time-limited period of your stay).
TIP #4: If you’re serious about taking photos and maximizing your experience, expect to lie down on the floor for a bit. Consequently, don’t wear your best clothes (unless you plan to be the person with the camera for those scenes).
TIP #5: With a couple of the exhibits, to get the best photos, you might have to do a bit of exercise (like putting yourself into awkward positions on the floor or against a wall). Be careful not to hurt yourself!
For more information about the attraction visit the Dimensions Art Gallery website.
Other articles that might be of interest include the following:
- Vancouver Rainy Day Activities
- Metro Vancouver’s Top Attractions
- Vancouver’s Calendar of Events
Other places to admire art in the region include the following: