As a follower of Tuesday Post, you know that I am named after Lieven Gevaert, a changemaker during the Industrial Revolution.
During the Barokke Influencers, Antwerp city festival of tradition and renewal, I learned something new about him: he worked with members of De Pelgrim, a progressive association of modern artists during the interbellum.
Members of De Pelgrim acknowledged that industrialization was giving a lot of benefits. But they wanted to get it rooted in solid spiritual foundations, a North Star for progression. They used community art as a way to inspire, and Christianity offered them the guiding principles.
Lieven Gevaert worked with Pelgrim artists to serve one of his missions: designing plans and art pieces for Sint-Lievens College in Antwerp. Proposals for the design plans were part of De Pelgrim exhibition in KMSKA during the Barokke Influencers Festival.
Lieven Gevaert was convinced that youth needed education in Flemish. It was not available. At that time, qualitative education was in French, the language of the elite. Flemish was just the language of the ordinary people.
Education in Flemish was a way to empower youngsters to take responsibility in all layers of society and become proud citizens in a democratic society. The website of Sint-Lievens College tells its history (click here).
Lieven Gevaert took a hand in the architectural process of Sint Lievens College. The architect Jef Huygh teamed up with a founding member of The Pelgrim, Flor Van Reeth, and other members of the Pelgrim.