Arts Help partnered with Design Exchange, Bell Media’s ETalk and the United Nations to present ‘Icons with a Purpose’ exhibition at the Design Exchange Museum in Toronto.

Titled, Who Is Sophie, the free three-day exhibition debuted the work of newly appointed ArtsHelps Artistic Director, Sophie Brussaux. The exhibition explored and celebrated the key concepts of sustainability and equality central to the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals for 2030.

Thousands of guests lined up to catch a glimpse of Sophie’s debut exhibition, which comprised a series of portraits of contemporary icons, each representing one of these 17 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 Arts Help and Brussaux receiving recognition from the United Nations Habitat by UN-Habitat Global Advocate Reza Pourvaziry.

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