Photo of artist Mark Pedras
Mark Pedras was one of the artists who created work for this year's Painting for Miracles auction benefiting UC Davis Children's Hospital.

Sacramento artist Keri Goulart says every day that she is grateful for the health of her child. She knows not all parents can say the same. This is why she contributes her time and talent to Painting for Miracles, an annual art auction that brings the region's creative community together to benefit Childrens Miracle Network and UC Davis Childrens Hospital.

Goulart and more than 25 other artists representing diverse styles — graffiti, multimedia, airbrush illustration and more — donated pieces for this year's October 14 event, which generated more than $10,000 for UC Davis Children's Hospital. All works were created on wood and interpreted stories from children who overcame significant medical challenges at Children's Miracle Network hospitals nationwide.

Artist Mark Pedras interpreted the story of a girl who overcame eye cancer and recovered her sight. The experience led to a strong appreciation for the beauty of what the child sees every day — especially sunsets.

“My inspiration was what made her happy,” said Pedras. “The upper portion of the piece is clearly a sunset. In the lower portion, the sunset stretches to places where it couldn't possibly be to show that light comes from wherever you want it to come from.”

Painting for Miracles was started last year by ZAP Creative Group's Julie Knudsen, who wanted to bring Sacramento artists together for a good cause. Her idea was to have them all create their works at the same time and in the same place.

“We host two painting days where we supply all of the materials and the food to keep everyone going. We share trade secrets, help each other, work on our own and talk a lot. It's pretty amazing. Everyone has a different approach, but our goal is the same — to help raise money for children through the love of art,” she said.

All participating artists were sponsored by regional companies, including the printing firm American Lithographers. Company president Tom Tripp says he participates to encourage up-and-coming artists and to support UC Davis Children's Hospital.

“It is a very fun event with a lot of talented artists whose work deserves to be seen,” said Tripp. “I also think it is important to give back to the community, and I can't think of a better cause in our community than Children's Hospital.”

Tripp understands firsthand the difficulties of having a child with health issues. His 7-year-old daughter Megan was born with VATER syndrome, involving a variety of birth defects that can include anomalies of the spinal column. She required several surgeries at a Bay Area hospital early in life.

“The pain is hard to forget, and the miracles are hard to repay,” said Tripp. “Every time I drive down Highway 50 and see the UC Davis Children's Hospital sign I say 'thank you' to the people working there who help make kids' lives more normal and full.”

Megan Tripp also participated as an artist in Painting for Miracles. But, rather than put her art up for auction, the work is proudly displayed in her dad's office.

“I just couldn't part with it,” Tripp said.

Photos courtesy of Jeff Burkholder