New Phoenix Children's Hospital and Chris Saper Unveil Portrait of Founding President Daniel Cloud, MD

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Portrait Artist Chris Saper Tackles Posthumous Painting of Larger-than-Life Kids' Health Care Leader and past President of the American Medical Association. Throughout the United States, commissioned portrait art has had a resurgence and underscores a powerful and timeless tradition of love, honor and respect - there's no better way to honor a leader, a husband and a father.

The painted portrait has long been a tradition of recognizing those whose lives have special meaning to us. It’s not a photograph nor is it produced by a machine. It’s a unique piece of original art, rendered by an artist’s hand.

When it comes to pictures, most of us think jpgs, pngs and bitmaps - Chris Saper thinks canvas, oils and brushes. The Arizona portrait artist unveiled her commemorative portrait of Daniel T. Cloud, Jr., M.D., one of Arizona's most dedicated health and medical leaders, on February 24 at the new Phoenix Children's Hospital. Robert Meyer, President and CEO of Phoenix Children's Hospital honored founding physicians, Trustees and, community leaders who brought Arizona's first children's hospital to life in 1983 under Dr Cloud's leadership. Also welcomed was the team of original administrators, which included Chris Saper in her former capacity as a health care executive.

"Dan Cloud was my friend and colleague for 27 years - and always supported my subsequent career…and first love…as a portrait painter. It was a tremendous challenge and weighty responsibility to try to create a painting as vibrant and multi-faceted as the man himself," said Saper.

Working closely with Dr. Cloud's family, Chris brought into the painting many symbols of Dan's life, including the honorary ring he received as President of the American Medical Association. A desk in the background of the painting holds a framed photo symbolizing his devotion to his family, a copy of his 1998 novel, and yearbooks from the college and medical school he attended. "You did an amazing job capturing all the things that meant so much to Dad and us. It is so special and my dad would have loved it and loved knowing you painted it for the hospital. I know you put an incredible amount of time, effort and love into the portrait and the result is amazing", said Dr. Cloud's family.

About the Artist
Prior to starting her commission portrait practice twenty years ago, Dr Cloud appointed Chris Saper as the first associate administrator at Phoenix Children’s Hospital when it prepared to open in 1983.

Today, Saper’s portraits are held in more than 300 private and corporate collections throughout the United States. Saper’s work has garnered numerous local and national awards and has been widely exhibited; two of her recent portraits will be included in the Portrait Artists of Arizona’s inaugural exhibit at Tempe’s Gammage Auditorium, opening March 8, 2011.

Author of North Light Books’ Painting Beautiful Skin Tones in Color and Light (2001), For Love or Money: a Business Handbook for Portrait Painters and Mostly Monochrome Saper’s new instructional book, Mastering Realistic Skin Tones in Oil Portraiture, will be released by North Light Books in January 2012.

In addition to Saper’s portrait commission schedule, she is an active teacher and public speaker. She serves on the faculty of the Portrait Society of America, and teaches portraiture at the Scottsdale Artists’ School and the Mountain Artists’ Guild in Prescott, AZ. Saper holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Art and a Master’s Degree in Health Care Administration.

About Daniel T. Cloud, M.D.
For many years Dr. Cloud had a vision for establishing a children’s hospital in Phoenix, shared by Valley pediatricians and community leaders alike. That vision became a reality when Phoenix Children’s Hospital opened its doors in 1983, and Dr. Cloud became the founding president.

“Dan’s leadership, compassion, and determination all worked together to make Phoenix Children’s Hospital a reality,” said Saper.

Dr. Cloud was Arizona’s first pediatric surgeon in 1955 and the first Arizonan to become president of the American Medical Association, serving from 1981-1982. He served as a commissioner of the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Hospitals, AMA delegate to the World Medical Association, president of the medical staff and chief of pediatric surgery at Good Samaritan (now Banner) Regional Medical Center, and president of the medical staff of the Arizona Crippled Children’s Hospital. Dr. Cloud passed away in August, 2010.

For more information and to see additional portraits visit

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