Design Exchange Museum, Toronto, Canada

Updated: Jul 7


ArtsHelp in Partnership with the United Nations Habitat and Design Exchange, Bell Media’s ETalk presented the Icons With a Purpose exhibition at the Design Exchange Museum in Toronto.

Titled, Icons With A Purpose, the free two-day exhibition debuted the work of newly appointed ArtsHelps artistic director Sophie Brussaux, exploring and celebrating the key concepts of sustainability and equality central to the 17 Sustainable Development goals for 2030 adopted by the United Nations. Thousands of guests lined up to catch a glimpse of Sophie’s solo exhibition, which comprised a series of portraits of contemporary icons, each representing one of these goals.


Rendered in a Vibrant pop art stylization, Brussaux’s portraits of icons ranging from Michelle Obama and Angelina Jolie to Leonardo Dicaprio and Priyanka Chopra evoked the individual personality and aura of each person. Celebrating their philanthropy and contributions to sustainability and humanitarian ideals, the portraits were a means of fusing art and activism together.

Guests were also treated to a number of digital interactive experiences celebrating the UN’s 17 global goals including a series of exclusive fireside chats with Canadian creative trailblazers focusing on creative practices and incorporating sustainability within art and design. The award winning event concluded with Brussaux and

ArtsHelp being awarded the prestigious United Nations Habitat Award by UN Habitat Global Advocate Reza Pourvaziry.


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