From April 25th until April 28th 2012 we celebrate the twentieth anniversary of Ithaka.
Ithaka is a visual arts exhibition for young artistic talent. It is a chance to show your art for the first time to a diverse public. Visual arts is to be understood in its broadest sense. Ithaka is an initiative organised by LOKO Culture, the culture department of the student union of Leuven. It is set up by volunteers and students with an appetite for culture. The entrance is free.
Each year the look for a deserted location which can be an inspiration for both the artists and the visitors. This year Ithaka will take place in De Kartuizerij, a protected Carthusion Monastery in Leuven. The Carthusion Monastery is located in the middle of three streets: the Bankstraat, the Heilige-Geeststraat and the Tervuursevest. The monastery is being separated from the Mariapark by the Sint-Franciscusweg that connects the Bankstraat with the Tervuursevest. It is protected both as a monument and as a landscape.
The Carthusian Monastery was founded in the fifteenth century. The Carthusians are said to be the most severe order within the Catholic Church. They live in exclusion every day of the week, except on Sundays. The Carhusians were forced out of their monastery during the Austrian reign of Flanders. During the French Revolution the monastery was damaged by an explosion and in the twentieth century the monastery was restored. In 1953 De Kartuizerij was protected as a monument by the Belgian government. In 1976 the garden of the monastery and the adjacent Maria park were protected as a landscape.
In 2004 the Carthusians sold the monastery to the KU Leuven. The university wants to turn the site into a Child Convent Center but this goes hand in hand with protest by the neighbourhood. In the meantime Ithaka gets to occupy the building with twenty young artists.
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