Press Release

New York, NY - October 22, 2018


Artist Tyler Loftis to Auction Off Paintings of Industry Icons to Raise Money for Charity

Subjects for the Inaugural Portraits For Purpose Event Include Muhammad Ali, Alex Guarnaschelli, Kenneth Cole, Deepak Chopra and Françoise Gilot

Painter Tyler Loftis today announced Portraits For Purpose, an art charity auction to be held on Wednesday, November 14 at The Bowery Hotel in New York City. The auction will feature Tyler’s paintings of several famous public figures at the peak of their respective professions, including the late Muhammad Ali, designer Kenneth Cole, model Alina Baikova and chef Alex Guarnaschelli. One hundred percent of the proceeds from the sale of each painting will go to the charity of the subject’s choice, benefiting impactful organizations such as HELP USA, The Humane Society, The Heart Fund and Wellness in the Schools. The auction will be hosted online through Paddle8, as well as in-person the night of the event. Bidding opens on November 1 at

“As an artist, I aim to meaningfully contribute to my community and culture at large,” says Tyler Loftis, painter and host of Portraits For Purpose. “In today’s world, I feel that we need, more than ever, a new way to communicate. To me, empowering art is also empowering communication. I have trained with the greats in painting, and now am privileged to have the opportunity to work with the greats across many other industries, all with the joint purpose of enhancing cross-cultural communication, broadening the impact of our incredible charity partners and bringing awareness to the art of painting.”

Tyler Loftis has built a successful career as an artist in New York City through his meticulous style of painting that focuses on the spatial relationships between objects in his works. Knowing firsthand the hurdles to making it as an artist, Tyler devotes much of his time to creating a lane to success for struggling and emerging artists, young and old. To make the path to a full-time career more feasible for aspiring artists, Tyler hosts All Art Works, a travelling curated show that hangs art by artists of all experience levels to highlight up-and-coming regional artists, create an appetite for visual art in their communities and forge new artist-collector relationships. Portraits For Purpose is a new iteration of Tyler’s mission to raise the profile of art and artists, leveraging the influence of public icons to draw attention to the functionality and presence of visual arts in American culture.

For the inaugural auction, Tyler Loftis will be painting the following sitters:

Kenneth Cole for HELP USA

Kenneth Cole is an American designer, social activist and visionary who believes business and philanthropy are interdependent. His global company, Kenneth Cole Productions, creates modern, functional and versatile footwear, clothing and accessories for inspirational urban lifestyles under the labels Kenneth Cole New York, Reaction Kenneth Cole and Unlisted, as well as footwear under the label Gentle Souls.

HELP USA is one of the nation’s largest homeless service providers and low-income housing developers serving at-risk populations including families, veterans and victims of domestic violence. HELP USA currently serves more than 8,000 people every day at over 50 programs and residences across four states and provides over 3,500 units of permanent and transitional housing.

Muhammad Ali for Street Soccer USA

Muhammad Ali was a boxer, philanthropist and social activist who is universally regarded as one of the greatest athletes of the 20th century. Ali was an Olympic gold medalist and earned the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005 for his willingness to consistently stand up for what he believed in and for his work as a U.N. ambassador for peace. His portrait has been painted from a never-before-seen private family photo.

Street Soccer USA is a non-profit organization under the umbrella of HELP USA that promotes the growth and development of a national network of grassroots soccer programs to fight poverty and empower underserved communities through soccer. In nearly 10 years of existence, their program has positively impacted the lives of over 15,000 youth and adults across 14 cities throughout the USA.

Alina Baikova for The Heart Fund

Alina Baikova is a Ukrainian fashion model who has walked for major fashion brands including Ralph Lauren, Dolce & Gabbana and Hermès. She has been featured in Vogue Australia and Harper’s Bazaar España.

The Heart Fund saves the lives of children suffering from heart disease by investing in solutions and innovations that revolutionize access to care in developing countries. From pediatric open-heart surgery to the building of hospital planes, The Heart Fund collaborates with over one hundred volunteer experts and 120 private and institutional partners in Haiti, India, Mauritania and Côte d’Ivoire.

Alex Katz for Studio in a School

Alex Katz, born July 24, 1927, is an American figurative artist known for his paintings, sculptures, and prints. His work has been the subject of more than 200 solo exhibitions and nearly 500 group exhibitions internationally since 1951. His work has been featured in major museums and institutions including the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Whitney Museum of American Art.

Studio in a School’s mission is to foster the creative and intellectual development of children and youth through quality visual arts programs, directed by arts professionals. Studio also collaborates with and develops the ability of those who provide or support arts programming and creative development for youth both in and outside of schools. The organization fulfills its mission through two divisions: Studio in a School NYC and the Studio Institute.


Jojo Mayer for Solinetz

Jojo Mayer is a Swiss-born drummer who started playing drums at an early age and had his first public performance at age 2 sitting in with his father’s band. At the age of 18 he received his first international exposure when touring with Monty Alexander and backing up jazz legends such as Dizzy Gillespie and Nina Simone. His seminal work with his group NERVE has established him as one of the leading innovators on the instrument. In 2014, Modern Drummer Magazine listed him as one of the “50 Greatest Drummers of All Time.”

Solinetz works to improve the living conditions of hundreds of refugees in Switzerland by bringing local people and refugees together to combat prejudice and xenophobia and to promote more solidarity in society.


Alex Guarnaschelli for Wellness in the Schools

Alex Guarnaschelli is a world renowned chef who began her international culinary journey at Michelin three-star restaurant Guy Savoy in Paris. She is executive chef at Butter, where she has created her own eclectic American and green-market inspired menu. Guarnaschelli is a recurring judge on the popular Food Network series Chopped and a former Iron Chef champion. She is also the author of the cookbooks Old-School Comfort Food: The Way I Learned to Cook (2013) and The Home Cook: Recipes to Know by Heart (2017).

Wellness in the Schools is a national non-profit that teaches kids healthy habits to learn and live better. The organization partners with public schools to provide nutrition and fitness education, healthy scratch-cooked meals and active recess periods. Its approach improves student outcomes and drives systemic, long-term change, shifting school cultures.

Françoise Gilot for the Jonas Salk Legacy Foundation

Françoise Gilot is a French painter of the School of Paris. She published the best-selling book Life With Picasso about her ten-year relationship with the artist and their artistic collaborations. She has published, taught and lectured extensively in both the United States and abroad. Gilot continues to exhibit her work around the world, including at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the Musee Picasso in Paris.

The Jonas Salk Legacy Foundation is dedicated to preserving and extending the reach of Jonas Salk’s life and work and improving global health. Dr. Salk led the team that developed the first effective polio vaccine before going on to found the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, one of the world’s top biological research institutions. The foundation is committed to building on Dr. Salk’s unselfish devotion to helping humanity by collaborating on making available his collections of papers and historical artifacts, participating in educational programs and projects, and exploring the continued application of his scientific and philosophical vision.

Rubin Singer for The Humane Society

Rubin Singer is an American fashion designer who comes from a Russian fashion dynasty. His eponymous brand, Rubin Singer, was founded on the principles of edgy and sophisticated design that shaped Singer’s aesthetic approach and creative vision from a young age. Singer is not in the business of making clothes, but curating how someone is to look and live in the world. He has dressed many celebrities, including Alicia Keys, Shakira, Gigi Hadid and Beyoncé at her Super Bowl XLVII halftime performance.

The Humane Society is the nation’s most effective animal protection organization, providing hands-on care and services to more than 100,000 animals each year and professionalizing the field through education and training for local organizations. The Humane Society is the leading animal advocacy organization, seeking a humane world for people and animals alike.


Deepak Chopra for LIFE Camp

Deepak Chopra, MD, the founder of The Chopra Foundation and co-founder of Jiyo and The Chopra Center for Wellbeing, is a world-renowned pioneer in integrative medicine and personal transformation. Chopra is Board Certified in Internal Medicine, Endocrinology and Metabolism, a Fellow of the American College of Physicians, and a member of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists. He serves as a Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of California, San Diego. Chopra has authored more than 85 books, 25 of which have been New York Times bestsellers. TIME magazine has described Dr. Chopra as “one of the top 100 heroes and icons of the century.”

LIFE Camp (Love Ignites Freedom through Education) is one of the leading violence prevention and intervention organizations in America. By providing young people and their families educational, employment and social opportunities they might not otherwise have, LIFE Camp develops young leaders and provides youth and families with positive alternatives to violence, bullying, and other forms of anti-social behavior.

“Working with Tyler has been an unexpected awakening within myself,” says designer Rubin Singer. “He is an artist in the truest and purest sense. Through my ‘sitting’ for him, we got to know one another. His insightfulness and perspectives reminded me of how important it is to see with your heart and not only with your eyes. His pure talent is only elevated by his exceptional skill, which is compounded into a concrete creative truth through the philosophy of his art. I’m glad I can now call this immensely gifted painter a friend.” 

“I am so happy that Portraits For Purpose is raising awareness for art while supporting incredible charitable organizations like Erica Ford’s LIFE Camp,” says integrative medicine pioneer Deepak Chopra, MD. “I do believe that art has the power to heal the mind, body and soul and I applaud this project’s goal of making art more accessible to more people everywhere.” 

“To continue to preserve and curate my father’s legacy, laudable causes such as Street Soccer USA play an essential and vital part of my life,” says Khaliah Wertheimer, daughter of Muhammad Ali. “My father always said ‘service is the rent we pay for living here on Earth.’ My continued service and commitment to Street Soccer USA is an integral part of my effort to preserve and cultivate the love and compassion that my father shared with anyone in need.” 

“Sitting for Tyler was an enriching experience for me,” says drummer Jojo Mayer. “The creative process was accomplished by a constant verbal exchange of viewpoints and an exploration of our theories about today’s cultural environment. This dialogue rendered many parallels between his work in fine arts and mine in music. To me, it confirmed that true artistry transcends interdisciplinary protocol and craft.” 

The auction will be hosted by online auction platform Paddle8. Paintings will be available for viewing on an ongoing basis on Portrait For Purpose’s Instagram (@portraitsforpurpose), as well as at beginning on November 1. Bidding will begin online on November 1 and run through November 13. All bids will then be transferred to the auction event on November 14. One hundred percent of proceeds will benefit the charities involved in the event.

Press Contacts

For all press inquiries and media requests, please reach out to Nico Ericksen-Deriso at (212) 337-8870 or

If you are interested in attending the event, please reach out to Michael Coleman at

About Tyler Loftis

New York City-based painter Tyler Loftis has trained at the New York Studio School and the New York Academy of Art. Tyler extensively studied with iconic 20th century artists, putting him in direct connection with an unbroken line of European artists. He also has traveled at length throughout Europe studying the old masters. This exposure and learning gave birth to Tyler's unique painting style. Rooted in meticulous observation of how the subject matter interacts with the surrounding space, Tyler paints slowly and deliberately, with large works often taking months, sometimes years, to complete. Originally from Michigan, Tyler is the founder of The Fire Barn Gallery in Grand Haven, Michigan, and the creator of All Art Works, a traveling curated show that showcases art by artists of all experience levels. Tyler has spent his career helping artists in the Midwest show and sell their artwork and is passionate about bringing art to the forefront of culture in art deserts throughout the United States by highlighting local talent and the functional and cultural impact art can have in these communities. To see Tyler's work, visit

About Paddle8

Founded in 2011, Paddle8 brings the tradition-bound auction world into the 21st century. Offering a seamless online process, Paddle8 makes collecting and selling art online an easy, efficient and enjoyable experience. Paddle8 features specialist-curated auctions, non-profit auctions, private and buy-now sales in the categories of Contemporary Art, Prints and Multiples, Photographs, Street Art and Collectibles. Paddle8 is especially proud to partner with more than 350 nonprofit organizations worldwide to present their benefit auctions to a global community of 500,000 collectors, helping each organization expand its fundraising results.