April 2024 Announcements

You can access our new website by clicking: https://santaritaart.org/

Editorial:  Keep Learning, Experiencing, & Creating Art

April is here and everyone is hoping for lovely weather.  Some members just want to get away from their studios and begin enjoying warmer sunshine without any wind. Sipping a beverage while lounging out on the patio and gazing at the mountains sounds wonderful. However, most of us are wondrously hitched to art and love anything related.  

Rich Metcalf

When there are opportunities to grow or expand our awareness and our skills, it’s something most of us simply adore. For everyone’s delight, this Eblast is filled with opportunities for those who appreciate being exposed to new ideas, outstanding art, and new ways to create. 

Take a look:

  • A delightful Mix ‘n’ Mingle on April 4th.
  • Artistic master, Tonja Vojacek Sell will present a demo on April 11th at the April General Meeting.
  • An outstanding collection of Master paintings at the East Center, through April.
  • Eclectic pieces from the Printmakers Guild through April at the Desert Hills Center.
  • Mini-workshop painting Watercolor Landscapes with outstanding artist, Leslie Berry, April 10.
  • Class on Oil and Cold Wax, with Janet Johnson & Jeani Gustafson on April 13.
  • Display of wonderful art by SRAL member, Linda Sparks, titled “Et Cetera” at CPAC until April 30.
  • Art competition titled, “Quest” at CPAC, all April, all artists are members of SRAL, with reception on Apr. 5th (5:30 to 7:00 pm).
  • Beginning Apr 9th, new Spring Show at GVR Desert Hills, all paintings created by Art League artists. 
  • Classes at the Tubac School of Fine Art.
  • Workshops and Art Classes at CPAC, and 
  • Many, many activities offered by the SRAL Special Interest Groups.

Get Involved and Enjoy!

Tonja Vojacek Sell

will be our

April Demo Artist

“Heading West”

April 11th From 1:00 - 3:00pm

"I love exploring, and painting is a form of exploration for me. The desire to explore pulls me to the studio, as well as it compels me to travel the world." 

"My work is expressive but controlled. I push the borders between realism and abstraction. I love mark-making, texture, shapes and pattern, visual rhythm, luminous color layering, and strong design."

Tonja has demonstrated for the Santa Rita Art League many times. Her demos have always been well received and inspiring. At our April 11th General Meeting, Tonja will explore water mixed media. In this demonstration, she will show us the unique combination of watercolor and pastels. If you have found traditional watercolor to be too limiting or even frustrating, Tonja will demonstrate how adding pastel to watercolor can create a whole new look and have surprising results! 


Woodland Owl

More information can be found on the Monthly Demo page of SRAL’s website by clicking here. (https://santaritaart.org/monthly-demos/)

Very Important Notice from our Website Wizards

SRAL’s Website


Occasionally, an unforeseen glitch occurs on websites. Usually, it is a link that does not work or a missing photo. If you find one of these on SRAL’s website, please notify one of the Website Managers: Susan Ettl at

SusanE@SantaRitaArt.org or Leslie Berry at LeslieB@SantaRitaArt.org. 


In addition, please note that under the "About Us tab," there is a link to "SRAL Contact Information." This is a list of all officers, chairpersons, and SIG leaders, and their email addresses if you wish to send them a message or ask a question.

Fun for Everyone:

"Mix 'n' Mingle"

Thursday, April 4th - Please join us at the Art Studio, from 3:00-5:00 pm for the reception. The theme is: Something you are currently working on!

Members may bring a snack and/or an adult beverage to share.

Quotes for you to enjoy:

"Art is the only way to run away without leaving home."

-- Twyla Tharp

"An artist cannot fail; it is a success to be one."

-- Charles Horton Cooley

It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see."

-- Henry David Thoreau

We have many creative members. So we would love to publish your own thoughts about art. This is for everyone's enjoyment. We would love to print your inspirational quote. Please send your quote to us for our Eblast. Click Here

Current Art League Shows

2024 Masters Show

at the GVR East Center

The Masters Show continues until

Tuesday, April 30, 2024

The directors of this exhibit are Cheryl Schaeffer and Joyce Cox. They have done a terrific job of organizing this show and presenting it in a marvelous display of historical fine art. This show continues through April, but don't wait until the last minute.

The artists who participated in the show selected six paintings that they thought were truly outstanding. They are pictured below.

"Flaming June"

by Frederick Leighton, 1895

Artist: Diane Conant

"Little Peasant Girl"

by Heinrich Hirt, 1890

Artist: Karen McDermott

"Drying Clothes"

by Helen Allingham, 1886

Artist: Kathleen Bolivar


by Fidelia Bridges, 1886

Artist: Valerie St. Marie

"Sneak Attack"

by Henriette Ronner-Knip

Artist: Cheryl Schaeffer

"A Comforting Friend in Her

Moment of Grief"

by Arthur Wardle, 1892

Artist Cheryl Schaeffer

2024 Members’ Judged 

Annual Spring Exhibit

at the Canoa Hills GVR Center

March, 2024

This is one of the most popular shows that the Santa Rita Art League organizes each year. In the Members' Show, there are two categories, Representational and Non-Representational.

In our last issue, for some reason, we did not add photos of those paintings receiving Honorable Mention Awards. So for your delight, here they are.

In the Non-Representational category, Honorable Mention Awards went to:

"Lean In"

by Nan Lux

"Beach Birds"

by Fran Sutherland

"Many Moons"

by Jeani Gustafson

In the Representational category, Honorable Mention Awards went to:

"The Barrister"

by Pamela Guard

"Pretty Good So Far"

by Runi Kessler

"Roo Dog"

by Sonya Edwards

We express our gratitude to all the members who participated in this show. This was one of the very best shows that SRAL has presented. We can only hope that next year's show will be even better. "Thank You" to everyone who helped put it together.

"The SRAL Spring Print Show"

in the GVR Desert Hills Lobby

from April 5th to 30th

Come and enjoy the beauty of printmaking.

Art 101: Workshops

Are you a beginning artist and want to learn the basics about different mediums, design, and color? Are you an artist that has wanted to learn a different medium? Then Art 101 is perfect for you. The Art 101 classes offered this fall and winter will be presented by SRAL members volunteering to share their time and expertise. Classes fill quickly, so sign up as soon as you can.

  • Most classes will be held in the SRAL studio, from 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM. A few may have a different time slot. 
  • Materials for classes will be provided by SRAL and include paints, paper or canvas, and an appropriate paint brush. 
  • Participants will need to bring a water container, paper towels, an apron, or any appropriate working clothes.
  • The class size is determined by the instructor; generally, 12 - 18 people. We encourage members to sign up for only one media class per month to enable everyone to participate. This will ensure participants a fuller mastery of the new medium and allow us to accommodate more members.
  • For the Art 101 Workshops registration for each class is on the Art 101 webpage.
  • For the Mini Workshops registration will be on the Mini-Workshops web page.
  •  A small material fee of $10.00 is required to complete and validate your registration. Each class list is compiled on a first come first serve basis. You will receive notification after you have registered. You will then be notified about how and when the material fee is to be paid.

Special Learning Opportunity

"Oil and Cold Wax Class"

Instructors: Janet Johnson & Jeani Gustafson

Date: Saturday, April 13, 2024

Time: 9:00am – 12:00 noon

Maximum Number of Students: 18

For Information and registration for "Oil and Cold Wax Class" send an email to Jeani Gustafson Click Here


"Make Your Watercolor Landscapes Sing"

Instructor: Leslie Berry

Date: Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Time: 1:00 – 4:00 PM

Maximum Number of Students: 12


Information and registration for "Make your Watercolor Landscapes Sing" is on the SRAL Mini Workshop webpage. Click Here

Review of the Art 101 Workshop

"An Introduction to Printmaking"

Instructors: Karen Keim & John McGraw

Karen Keim and John McGraw are both professional artists who have won several awards for their insightful creations. For this workshop they were addressing those members who wanted to learn about printmaking. As a bonus, there were one or two students who had some knowledge of the subject and were eager to help others, resulting in a tremendous amount of instruction.

John and Karen divided their presentation so John covered how to make an Akua print using a hard plastic plate and Akua ink. Karen demonstrated how to make a print using a gel plate and applying acrylic paint.

Everyone in the class was having such a fun time experimenting with the various printing tools and the dazzling colored paints.

Both Karen and John began with the basics, such as the ease of using both methods and using the various tools correctly. Slowly they introduced more sophisticated methods to produce professional prints. Here are a few by the class members.

To imagine that the prints shown above were created after a few minutes of instruction by two fantastic instructors is simply amazing. The students were excited about what they were learning and this writer got the feeling that they wanted to learn even more. To sum up this class, I'd say it was very exciting, informative, with much discovery, and best of all it was a capital "F U N."

We must thank John and Karen for an outstanding art class.

SRAL Members' News

"Et Cetera"

at the

The Community Performance & Art Center

Featuring Works by Linda Sparks

Location: In the Theater Lobby

This show is open until April 30, 2024

Linda Sparks is exhibiting many of her pastels at CPAC during the months of March and April. Linda is a very skilled pastel portrait painter as well as having the ability to capture animals in their natural surroundings. Her show of fine art is a must to see if you wish to view what a master artist can achieve.



The Community Performance & Art Center

Featuring Works by Arizona Artists

Location: Harry & Ann Paxton Gallery


The show is open until April 30, 2024

Reception: Friday, April 5th from 5:30 to 7:00pm

Quests are part of everyone’s life in one form or another. Artists explore different media, techniques, etc., others investigate their heritage, or want to learn about ancient civilizations. Some people want to travel to meet people of other cultures or see animals that only live in certain places. The list is endless.

This exceptional exhibit of art, places the spotlight on several SRAL artists to interpret the title of the show. And we can proudly say that these artists have done an outstanding job.

Below are a few examples.

"Solace Amongst the Saguaro"

by Leslie Berry

"The Edge of Darkness"

by Barbara Sweeney

"Double Trouble"

by Maureen Kirk-Detberner

"Ancient Anasazi Encampment on Wotan's Throne?"

by Rich Metcalf

Click Here for More Information About These Exhibits


Lockers and slots for storing art supplies, canvasses, etc. are available for rental in the SRAL studio. Yearly fee for a locker is $20, and $15 for a slot.

There are a limited number of lockers and slots. If all are rented, a waiting list will be kept and filled as available.

Fees can be paid by filling out a rental application (available in the studio or on the website by clicking here) to include with your cash or check payment; both should be left with the studio monitor. 

For more information, please contact Valerie St. Marie: Click Here 

SRAL Art Shows You Must Prepare For:

Exhibits at Desert Hills GVR Social Center

The current Winter Open Exhibit at Desert Hills will be taken down on Tuesday, April 9th between 1pm and 3pm. Remember to pick up your artwork during that time slot, as this is also the time our new Spring Exhibit will be hung.

The eagerly-awaited Spring Show at Desert Hills

Please follow SRAL requirements for what can be displayed, and check that frames and hanging hardware are in good condition. Framed dimensions must be LESS than 36”, in either direction. By limiting the size of individual entries, we are able to hang exactly 24 paintings in a visually appealing manner. 

Each artist may enter 2 paintings, listing them in order of preference for inclusion, that's just in case we have more than 24 paintings entering. 

Include title, medium, price, (or NFS); your name and contact information, as you want shown on your title card. Send your entry information to Jan Harnish, no later than April 5th. This is a "first in, first hung" process. Those artists who contact Jan Harnish first have preference over those who contact her later.

You can contact Jan by Clicking Here

Other Opportunities for Artists

The Master Gardeners in Green Valley applied and received a grant to create a Veterans' Garden. They plan to have several 4'x8' mural panels. They would also like a mural painted on one side of a building. They are looking for artists to volunteer with the murals. All paints and supplies will be provided by the grant. The Master Gardeners will seal all the wood. While they have some ideas for the murals, they would like assistance with refining the designs and enlarging them to fit on the panels or the side of the building. Artists from La Posada are also working on this project. A dear friend, Skip Perkins, is in charge for La Posada. If you want to volunteer for this project, contact SusanE@SantaRitaArt.org.

Learning Opportunities at 

Tubac School of Fine Art

The Tubac School of Fine Art is offering workshops from a variety of artists. Please click below for information.

Phone: 520-398-2589

Email: Workshops@tubacschooloffineart.org

"The Palette Knife Approach"

Instructor: David Simons

April 5 - 6, 2024

Additional Workshops at the Tubac School of Fine Arts 

Bill Cramer: "Tucson Plein Air" April 9 - 10, 2024

Amy Brakeman Livezey: "Techniques in Acrylic Paint" April 12 - 14, 2024

For More information  Click Here

Adult Workshops

At The

Community Performance & Art Center - CPAC

"Merging Pastels & Watercolor"

Instructor: Tonja Vojacek Sell

April 16 - 17, 2024

This class is for beginner to advanced students who are interested in exploring water mixed media. This unique combination of common materials promises surprising and exciting results! If you have found traditional watercolor too “color-less,” limiting or even frustrating ~ consider trying this mixed-media approach. Pastels add an exciting layer to watercolor under-painting. Learn to mix these mediums to create a whole new look for your watercolor or pastel painting! Subject matter will vary, and Tonja will walk you through the process step by step to build your confidence and control.

Click here for more information.

2024 Weekly Classes at CPAC

"Studio Sessions"

Instructor: Fran Sutherland

Every Wednesday, February 7 - April 24, 2024

Time: 9:00am - 12:00pm

Click here for more information.


There are 10 Special Interest Groups and all of them are open to the members of the Art League.


On the SRAL website there is a complete description for each SIG.

If you wish to learn more about any of the SIGs, Click Here

Below is additional INFO not on the SRAL webpage.


There are no special skills required to join in with this friendly group. Meeting attendees always find artist support, often with live demos, workshops, and critiques. Come and see what it’s all about.


Next meeting Monday, April 8, 2024 in the studio at 10:00am.   No challenge this month, so bring whatever you like.


Assemblage Art combines mundane, every-day objects in new and surprising ways, gives objects new meanings, and elevates non-art materials into the realm of Art.

Come have fun with us in a creative, collaborative environment!

The Assemblage Group meets on the 2nd and 4th Friday of every month from 1:00 to 3:00pm in the Main SRAL Studio. We are an informal group for those who are interested in creating three dimensional artworks. All SRAL members are welcome. 


The next Figure Drawing session will be on Saturday, May 4th,

9am to noon. This will be the last Figure Drawing session of the 2023/2024 season. Each participating artist is asked to pay $5.00 to defer the cost of hiring the model. 

FYI: The April 6th Figure Drawing session has been cancelled due to the leader and her team of assistants all being unavailable on that date.


This group meets every Monday from 12:00pm to 3:00pm. We are a friendly, supportive, and informal group which allows our members a scheduled time to paint, share ideas, and techniques. We welcome both beginner and accomplished artists alike!


We will meet on Thursday mornings and try to form carpools. Our destinations are special places around Southern Arizona. Meet times will vary depending on the weather. If you are interested, contact Nanci: Click Here

Plein Air Schedule for April

April 4. We will try this again. DeGrazia Compound. 6300 N Swan in Tucson. It is an hour's drive so we will meet at 8:45 at the East Center South lot for carpools and leave at 9:00. The Gallery doesn't open until 10am. take River to Campbell and turn left. Follow Campbell 3.8 miles to Skyline Dr turn right. At Swan turn right and the Gallery in the Sun is on the left.

April 11. Madera Canyon. Meet at Posada Java parking lot at 8:30. It is the SRAL members meeting day at 1pm. Hope it is warm in the Canyon.

April 18. Barrio Viejo. It is going to be very warm today. 86 Degrees looking ahead. Meet at East Center at 7:30. We will leave at 7:45 and arrive there at about 8:15. Exit on Congress, turn right to the signal at Granada and right again. Turn left at Cushing Street and follow Cushing to Meyer St turn right. Drive down Meyer to the park on the right. We can disperse from there.

We have painted there often so some may want to drive elsewhere in the vicinity.

April 25. Agua Caliente. 12325 Roger Rd. A long time waiting for a good time to visit. It is over an hour's drive. We will meet at East Center South lot at 7:45 and leave at 8am. It will be warm but there is shade there. It boasts a lovely palm oasis and lake that has been refurbished. Take Houghton north to Tanque Verde and turn right. Then left on Soldier Trail and right on Roger.

Happy painting and we hope for good weather!


The next Printmakers Guild meeting is Wednesday, April 24th, at 9:30 AM in Room A of the SRAL Studio. John McGraw will lead us in constructing collagraph plates of mat board layered with aluminum tape, masking tape, and contact paper for the raised surfaces. We can print the collagraphs on the Blick press or pin presses using Akua ink. Please join us for some fun. 

The SRAL Spring Print Show will be hung in the Desert Hills lobby from April 5th to the 30th. Come and enjoy the beauty of printmaking.  Click Here

Click here for the list of SIG chairpersons and their e-mail addresses.