Mid-March 2024 Announcements

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

Presidents' Message

Fellow Artists

The busy 2023-24 winter season for Green Valley is coming to an end. It has been a whirlwind of events! Highlights for the Santa Rita Art League include the addition of 9 new Art 101 classes and several mini workshops.



Jeani Gustafson

Of course, we still had 2 Members Shows, the 19th Eva Briggs show,

monthly SIG group activities, and exhibitions of work held at various GVR centers. And don’t forget the monthly general meetings featuring the live artist demonstrations! Whoa! What a busy time! Hope you all had fun and made some new friends. We did! Now let us repeat, “These events and the activities cannot happen without you!” Our sincere thanks go to all the members who shared their skills and time to make these events possible.

Plans are already underway for next fall’s education programs and the show season. Consider how you can help. The Members Show for December of 2024 will again feature a theme. If you have any suggestions? Send them to the Board by April 1st for consideration. The theme will be announced at the April general meeting, giving you plenty of time to paint your entry over the summer.

For all the members returning to summer homes or just traveling, we wish you a safe journey and look forward to seeing you next fall. For all members who will be here for the summer, let’s keep the creative vibes flowing. Things

will slow a bit but that just gives us more time to create.

Happy Painting!

Arlene and Jeani

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 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 water color 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! 

"Peaceful Warrior"

"Among the Sentries"


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 Experts

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 5:00-7:00pm for the reception. The theme is: Something you are currently working on!

Food and beverages are provided.

Quotes for you to enjoy:

"There is nothing new in art except talent." -- Anton Chekhov

"If I create from the heart, nearly everything works;

if from the head, almost nothing." -- Marc Chagall

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

Friday, March 1st to 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. Two paintings that truly stand out were painted by Cheryl Jackson Schaeffer and Leslie Berry.

This show continues through April, but don't wait until the last minute. The artwork by our members is absolutely remarkable. We are sure that you will be in awe of the quality of each piece. By all means, see this show!

"A Comforting Friend in her Moment of Grief" after: Arthur Wardle, 1892

artist: Cheryl Jackson Schaeffer

"Awakening Girl"

after: Eva Gonzalez, 1876

artist: Leslie Berry

2024 Members’ Judged 

Annual Spring Exhibit

at the Canoa Hills GVR Center

Saturday, March 2nd to Sunday, March 31, 2024

For More Info Contact Jeani Gustafson

This is one of the most popular shows that the Santa Rita Art League organizes each year. The artists in the Art League are very diverse as to the use of materials to make a work of art, including oil, acrylic, watercolor, pastel, ink, charcoal, gouache, or encaustics. In the Members' Show, there are two categories, Representational and Non-Representational.

The paintings selected for ribbons in the Representational category are:

First Place:

"The Cowboy"

by Lee Englund

Second Place:

"First Light on the Pacific Ocean"

by Linda Patterson

Third Place:

"Touched by Love"

by Angelique Gillespie

Honorable Mention ribbons in the Representational category were presented to Pamela Guard for "Barrister," Runi Kessler for "Pretty Good So Far," and Sonya Edwards for "Roo Dog."

The paintings selected for ribbons in the Non-Representational category are:

First Place:

"The Watcher"

by Laurel Sponseller

Second Place:

"Point of Interest"

by John McGraw

Third Place:


by Carol Bender

Honorable Mention ribbons in the Non-Representational category were presented to Nan Lux for "Lean In," Fran Sutherland for "Beach Birds," and Jeani Gustafson for "Many Moons."

The Peoples' Choice Awards were presented to Lee Englund for "The Cowboy" and to Linda Patterson for "First Light on the Pacific Ocean."

The art pieces submitted for the 2024 Members Show are no doubt the very best any of our members have ever seen. It must have been very difficult for the judge to select which pieces were awarded a ribbon. To show you a few examples of the exceptional quality of the art submitted for this show, we include a few more pieces below.


by Barbara Sweeney


by Judy Carver

"Lion Dreams"

by David Preston

"Fall Surprise"

by Karen Workman

"Off the Coast"

by Veronica Johnson

"Embracing Change"

by Judy Lawrence

"Rainbow Ice"

by George Shively


by Joan Belch

"Evening Tide"

by Bruce Wamsley

"Ann Margaret of Vista Del Rio"

by Lynette Patterson

"Flying Low"

by Bonnie Gore

"Dancing Aurora"

by Darilyn Ronn

This fabulous Members Show continues until March 31. If you are visiting shows this coming week, make this your first stop. You will be amazed at the quality of each piece and make sure you tell each artist how much you loved their painting. ENJOY.

Assemblage Special Interest Group Show

GVR West Center Lobby

Saturday, March 2nd to Saturday, March 30th

Assemblage art is a three-dimensional artistic form or medium that typically uses found objects. It is similar to collage, but is not limited to two-dimensional materials. The artists from the Art League's Assemblage Group are presenting their latest collection of challenges as well as their most recent individual works.

This is a "MUST" show for those individuals who appreciate someone's insightful mind. The artists in this exhibit reveal unrestrained imagination when it comes to creating expressive art.

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.

Art 101: Workshops

"An introduction to Printmaking"

Instructors: Karen Keim & John McGraw

Saturday, March 23, 2024

Time: 9:30am to 12:30pm

Number of Participants: 12

Information and Registration for "An Introduction to Printmaking" is on the Art 101 webpage: Click Here


"Make Your Watercolor Landscapes Sing"

Instructor: Leslie Berry

Day: 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 Workshops

"Better Brushstrokes, or How the Brush makes a Painting a Painting"

Fran Sutherland created this class for artists who wanted to professionally expand their knowledge and skills in their quest to create outstanding art. The proper use of art brushes is normally not a priority for an art teacher introducing students to any form of art (other than possibly Chinese or Japanese landscapes.)

However, Fran appears to be a purist when it comes to creating art in its finest form and that's exactly the type of teacher you hope for if you wish to become an excellent artist.

Fortunately the class was small and Fran could easily get around to help everyone and guide them through the exercises.

This workshop also included the various nuances of brushstrokes and by using the various brushes how one can achieve very different results.

Finally, Fran wanted to demonstrate the basics of black ink painting using a Sumi-e brush. Fran completed a masters degree in Asian Art and wanted to show how the emphasis is placed on the beauty of each individual stroke of the brush.

She showed how to prepare the Sumi-e ink, then dropped to her knees, and rolled out some rice paper, then with a loaded Sumi-e brush began showing everyone the basic ink techniques to create a Japanese or Chinese ink wash painting. This was a very, very interesting and exciting demonstration.

It was obvious that Fran Sutherland is a Master Instructor who spends a considerable amount of time preparing for her classes. It was an absolute joy to observe all that was going on. What a fabulous session.

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 1, 2024

Linda Sparks is exhibiting many of her pastels at CPAC during the month of March. 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.


"Ranch Dressing"

"Art of Recycle VIII"

at the

The Community Performance & Art Center

Featuring Works by several SRAL Artists

Location: In the Harry and Ann Paxton Gallery

This show is open until April 1, 2024

"Hollywood Park"

by Cheryl Schaeffer


by Rietta Costa

This is an amazing show of art created utilizing common objects. You will be amazed admiring each piece and wondering how and where each artist came up with the design. It is a stunning and perplexing exhibit.

"Award of Merit"

in the

Southern Arizona Watercolor Guild's

Annual Member's Show. 

Sonya Edwards received an "Award of Merit" at the 56th Annual SAWG Point Show for her painting titled, "Exposed." Sonya added, "Looking at this self portrait makes me a bit uncomfortable...Exposed! I'm curious to see how other people will respond to this."


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:

Exhibit 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.

If you haven't visited the current show, you still have time to experience a wonderful display of fine art. Here are two delightful pieces.

"Western Meadowlark"

by Runi


by Virginia Gonzalez

Now returning to the coming Spring Show at Desert Hills, 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”, 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

Art History for Everyone

The art historians on our staff researched some of the notable contributors to the craft that we love the most --> "ART."

We hope you remember and celebrate each individual.



2 Max Ernest 1891

4 Edward Hicks 1790

5 Jean Fragonard 1732

6 Raphael 1483

9 Victor Vasarely 1908

15 Leonardo da Vinci 1452

15 Thomas Hart Benton 1889

20 Joan Miro 1893

23 William Turner 1775

24 Willem de Kooning 1904

26 John James Audubon 1785

26 Eugene Delacroix 1798

"Young Girl Reading"

by Jean-Honore Fragonard

"Mona Lisa"

by Leonardo da Vinci

"Portrait of the Artist"

by Thomas Hart Benton

"Liberty Leading the People"

by Eugene Delacroix

Other Opportunities for Artists

The Master Gardeners here 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

"Connect to Your Creativity through Abstract Art"

Instructor: Julia Patterson

March 22 - 23, 2024

Additional Workshops at the Tubac School of Fine Arts 

Jodi Reeb: "Encaustic with Photo Collage" March 30-31, 2024

David Simons: "The Palette Knife Approach" April 5 - 6 2024

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

Learning Opportunities at CPAC


"The Expressive Portrait!"

Instructor: Tonja Vojacek Sell

March 26 – 27, 2024

This class will approach portrait painting in an experimental, fun way. Together we will learn to take risks and explore abstraction while working toward the goal of a finished portrait(s). We’ll focus on loosening up, learning how to embrace and utilize “mistakes” while discovering the joy of the journey! I encourage experimentation while creating mixed media portraits from start to finish. We will discover how to improve our classic portrait feature painting skills and how to build up interesting layers by experimenting with a variety of mark making tools. We’ll touch on value and color mixing to improve your confidence while creating expressive but harmonious non-traditional portrait paintings. Click here for more information.

"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.

Art Exhibits at

The Community Performance & Art Center (CPAC)

"The Art of Recycle VIII"

Featuring Works by Arizona Artists

Location: Harry & Ann Paxton Gallery


This show is currently open until -- April 1, 2024

 "Et Cetera"

Featuring Works by Linda Sparks

Location: In the Theater Lobby

This show is currently open -- until April 1, 2024


Featuring Works by Arizona Artists

Location: Harry & Ann Paxton Gallery


April 1 – 30, 2024

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

Click Here for More Information About These Exhibits

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.

We are an informal group for those who are interested in creating three

dimensional artworks. All SRAL members are welcome.

Our group will have a new exhibition in the West Center Lobby from March

2nd through March 31st . Please mark your calendars and come see our new creations! (Don’t let the pool tables in the middle of the gallery stop you from getting up close. We are sharing the space with the Billiards Club until their renovations are complete.)

The Assemblage Group meets on the 2nd and 4th Friday of every month from 1:00 to 3:00pm in the Main SRAL Studio. Come have fun with us in a creative, collaborative environment!


The next Figure Drawing session will be on Saturday, April 6th,

9am to noon. Each participating artist is asked to pay $5.00 to defer the cost of hiring the model. 


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 March

March 21. Dagmar's home at 895 W Calle de Los Higos in Tucson. Take the Congress exit and turn left under the Fwy. Turn left at the signal onto Convento. Then right on Calle de Los Higos. Dagmar invited us to paint her home which has a fantastic mural on one side of Diego Rivera and Frieda Kahlo.

March 28. Mission Garden in Tucson. Arrangements for this venue are still being arranged.

If they will accommodate us, we will get off on Congress and turn left to the signal at Grande and left again. Follow down Grande a few miles to Mission and turn left. The Garden is on your left and usually has parking available very close to the entrance. They ask for a $5 donation.

Happy painting and we hope for good weather!


Our next meeting is Wednesday, March 27, when we will finish the intaglio project by printing our plates with Akua inks on the Blick press. Bring your etched plastic plates or simply join us to see what happens at 9:30am in Room A of the SRAL Studio. 

If you would like to learn about printmaking, consider attending an Art 101 Introduction to Printmaking that will be held in the Studio on Saturday, March 23, 9:30-12:30. There is still space for more beginners, materials provided. Sign up on the SRAL website. Click Here

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