William Blair & Company donated two paintings by Erik Wahl—a dynamic on-stage artist—to MEF. Together, we have decided to auction off the paintings to benefit Midtown & Metro kids.
William Blair has gone above and beyond in helping to make a positive impact on MEF’s fundraising goals, program offerings and volunteer network. The donated paintings are the latest in their generous contributions to advancing MEF’s mission.
William Blair hosted Erik Wahl at an event for its clients. Wahl speaks on the corporate lecture circuit about subjects such as creativity, change, leadership and the psychology of performance. His standard practice is to give the paintings that he creates on stage to the company that hosts him. Some companies keep them in their executive offices, but Wahl suggests that they be used to auction off and raise money for charities. The Erik Wahl Foundation estimates that over $1.5 million has been raised so far from donated paintings.
How the auction will work
The bidding will start at $600 per painting. In order to place a bid, email Chelsea Davis or call (312.738.8300 x 23) and indicate if you are bidding on the painting of the Statue of Liberty or Albert Einstein. We will close the auction on May 22nd to the highest bidder.
- 48” tall by 32” wide
- Acrylic on canvas, stretched on a wooden frame
You can follow the bidding on MEF’s Twitter & Facebook page using the hashtag: #erikwahl4MEF
Below is a video tribute to Abraham Lincoln by Erik Wahl:
He is an American graffiti artist, speed-painter, author, speaker, and entrepreneur based in San Diego. He owns The Wahl Group, a consultancy firm, and has spoken at conventions by Microsoft, Disney, NBC and Honda. Wahl makes paintings of thinkers, leaders and cultural icons such as Michael Jordan, Steve Jobs, and Bono during his presentations. In 2011, he made a 10,000 square-foot Mona Lisa in a desert near Los Angeles. Wahl wrote the book Unthink: Rediscover Your Creative Genius in 2013.
When Wahl was in grade school, his teacher told him that "art was not his strength," so Wahl stopped painting. He attended the University of San Diego, earning a Bachelor's degree in business. After completing his education, Wahl joined the corporate sector. He was partner at a corporate firm for eight years before losing his job when the dot-com bubble burst in the early 2000s. At the age of 30, Wahl had no work or money and felt "imprisoned", so he started painting to "reinvent" himself. Wahl decided to combine business and art. This led to work as a motivational speaker, graffiti artist and running his own consulting firm, The Wahl Group. Wahl occasionally paints for charities. In 2011, he announced that his artwork had raised over $1.5 million for charitable causes around the world. In 2012, Wahl painted a portrait of Marilyn Monroe in three minutes at a graffiti art auction in front of an audience. This painting was bought by Pink and Carey Hart for $10,000. The proceeds were donated to Linda’s Voice, a non-profit that raises awareness for ending domestic abuse globally. In May 2013, he donated his painting of Lady Liberty in a live auction to benefit One Fund Boston, an organization founded by Governor Deval Patrick and Mayor Tom Menino for the victims of the Boston Marathon tragedy. The painting was sold for $10,500. At the launch event of his book in West Hollywood in 2013, he made a painting of Einstein in front of the audience. The painting was auctioned at Charitybuzz and the proceeds of the painting were donated to After-School All-Stars.