BioPak partners with Open Canvas to break stigma around homelessness

July 25, 2018

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Australian artists who have faced homelessness or other adversity have a unique new canvas to show off their work.

Open Canvas, a Melbourne social enterprise, has partnered with environmentally responsible packaging business BioPak to feature their artists’ work on the BioCup Art Series compostable coffee cups range.

Open Canvas founder Dan Rath said the artwork featured on the cups depicted the beauty of nature and the environment.

“For a long time, coffee cups and homelessness have only been linked through the visions of a homeless person begging for spare change,” he said.

“This partnership turns that stereotype on its head – BioPak Art Series coffee cups are allowing our artists to showcase their work to a national audience in a unique way.

“Open Canvas is pleased to be working with an environmentally-friendly, compostable coffee cup producer.”

Six Open Canvas artists have their work featured:

· Brian Marshall’s Otway Coastline

· Renata Bruynzeel’s Weedy Sea Dragons

· David Parkinson’s Birds

· Irene Hwang’s Feathers

· Patrick Francis’s Hawk

· Charmaine Tracey’s Desert Dreaming.

Mr Rath said Open Canvas was created to empower disadvantaged artists and help them earn an income from their art.

“All Open Canvas artists – whether they have experienced homelessness, addiction, mental health issues or disability – are united in their desire to be recognised through their art.”


BioPak founder, Richard Fine said the company was proud to support and promote the arts community with the BioCup Art Series.


“We seek out artists who explore environmental themes at the core of their practice,” Mr Fine said.


“We know that the cups engage coffee drinkers across the country with this changing series.

“The cups feature art that looks at sustainability issues, from what is involved in building a house, to the beauty of Australian bush flowers or the urban environment.”

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