Selecting the artists we will support and the works we will acquire will be the responsibility of four experts. Two of them work at M Leuven, while the other two are external. We are proud to present them to you. Let’s meet them.
Hicham Khalidi is director of ‘Van Eyck’, Multiform Institute of Fine Art, Design and Reflection in Maastricht. He was previously the associate curator of Lafayette Anticipations in Paris, head of exhibitions at STUK (Leuven) and director and artistic coordinator of TAG (The Hague). As a curator, Khalidi worked on the group exhibition ACT II at the Sharjah Biennale in Beirut (2017), the Sydney Biennale (2016) and he was head curator of the Marrakech Biennale (2014).
Eva Wittocx is head of department and senior curator of contemporary art at M Leuven. She previously worked as curator at STUK (Leuven) and S.M.A.K. (Ghent). In addition, she is curator and co-founder of the live arts festival Playground, which M organizes annually with STUK. In 2017, Wittocx represented Belgium at the Venice Biennale with artist Dirk Braeckman.
Louis-Philippe Van Eeckhoutte is an independent curator based in Brussels. In early 2010, he was active in New York, where he worked for Greenspon Gallery, David Zwirner Gallery and the Swiss Institute. From 2010 until 2018, he was gallery director at Office Baroque in Brussels. In 2018, he was the artistic director of the Brussels Gallery Weekend and curator of the first edition of Generation Brussels. He is likewise founder and editor of the interview series Drawing Room Play.
Valerie Verhack is curator of contemporary art at M Leuven. Until 2019, Verhack was a member of Le Salon, an online platform about the Brussels contemporary arts scene about which a book has just been published. In 2011-2012, she coordinated the Vanhaerents Art Collection in Brussels. She previously worked as a curator at the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium.
Alright, supporting Belgian artists. How precisely are we going to do that?
We, everybody together, are going to buy works by Belgian artists, but that part was probably already clear. The works will be incorporated into the Cera Collection and the collection of the City of Leuven, both of which are being managed by M. The museum will thus be able to ensure that the works are conserved in the best possible conditions and that they can be exhibited. Our partners, the City of Leuven and Cera, are investing € 100 000 in the project. We are looking for an additional € 10 000. And that is where you come in.
Why is this all so important?
Well, for the following reason: without art there are no institutions, exhibitions, artworks, or presentations. Art feeds our imagination, helps us gain a new perspective and broaden our horizons, especially in our current context of uncertainty and loneliness. The artists’ many voices shape the art world today and the art that we want to present in our institutions tomorrow and in the future. Variety and multiplicity are essential, also for the art lover and the museum visitor You can read more about this in the column by Eva Wittocx, curator of contemporary art at M.
What part do you play?
The donation amount is up to you: the more the better, but we are grateful for any amount. We really mean this, every donation, however small, will make us very happy. If we may give you a tip: donations of € 40 and above are tax deductible. This means that of a € 40 donation, you only pay € 22 out of your own pocket. And in return you feel good because you support contemporary artists. Talk about a win-win, right? You can make a donation via the webpage of the King Baudouin Foundation.
And do we know what we are going to buy?
Good question. We will only know the complete selection in March. Of course we will keep the donors informed. What we can already tell you is what the choices will be based on. You can read about that in the answer to the question below.
But we aren’t just going to buy anything?
Of course not. We will make a selection based on a number of well-considered criteria. We will focus on upcoming artists who have a connection with Belgium. Since the initiative is based at M, a certain connection with our contemporary art policy is not unimportant. We will also try to ensure a diverse selection, both with respect to disciplines, media and artistic profiles. When we talk about ‘upcoming’ talent, we do not mean artists who are just starting out, but artists who have already had some success but are not yet known among the general public.
Oh right, so who will choose the works?
Four experts. Two of them are the curators of contemporary art at M: Eva Wittocx and Valerie Verhack. The other two are external: Hicham Khalidi (director of the Jan Van Eyck Academy in Maastricht) and Louis-Philippe Van Eeckhoutte (freelance curator and consultant, Brussels). If you are curious about the experts and why they get to decide, you can learn more about them here.
Will you have a chance to see the artworks?
From March to September 2021, the acquired works will be exhibited in a room at M. Once we know the exact dates, we will let you know. Another tip: subscribe to our newsletter. Then you’ll be sure not to miss it.
Can you deduct it from your taxes?
Yes! Donations of € 40 and above are tax deductible. This means that of a € 40 donation, you only pay € 22 out of your own pocket. Not a bad deal, eh? We will ensure that you receive a tax deduction form via the King Baudouin Foundation. So what do you think?
When you want to make a donation, you get redirected to a page of the King Baudouin Foundation. Is that normal?
That is indeed the case. M Leuven cooperates with the King Baudouin Foundation to receive the donations and to issue the tax deduction forms. That is why you are referred to a King Baudouin Foundation page to make your donation.
How exactly does the co-ownership work?
If you make a donation, you will become the emotional co-owner of the artworks we acquire. So who will be real owner? The artworks that we buy with the crowdfunding resources will become part of the collection of the City of Leuven, which is managed by M. The works we buy with the 50 000 budgets that Cera and the City of Leuven are investing will become part of the collections of Cera and the City of Leuven, respectively. These collections are managed by M.