About SRAL

The Santa Rita Art League of GVR (SRAL) welcomes two-dimensional artists in any media and promotes an awareness, appreciation, and development of talent in various forms of visual art. Membership is open to all members and tenants of Green Valley Recreation, Inc.

Benefits include monthly meetings with demonstrations by regional and national experts, use of a professionally equipped studio, free educational sessions as well as fee-based classes, open groups for plein air and specialized in-studio painting, and juried and non-juried opportunities for members to exhibit their work.

Dues are $35 for the calendar year. Membership Applications, are available online or in the studio.

A board of directors, consisting of all elected officers and chairs of standing committees, manages SRAL according to its by-laws.

Thanks to Georgia Doubler for compiling SRAL’s history, excerpted below.

 SRAL: An Artist’s Dream

In March 1978, Green Valley art teacher Gloria Hammond voiced her dream of forming a local art league. Her immediate goal was to promote and encourage friendship, artistic growth, and development.

Ultimately, Hammond wanted the league to offer exhibitions, demonstrations, and programs where members could show and share their particular talents, techniques and individuality, while learning about local and regional art exhibits. Hammond felt such a league would build Green Valley’s reputation and attract outside artists who could give art lessons and display their art in special shows.

The league officially formed in May 1978 and held its first meeting at the Catalina Savings and Loan. Each member was to adhere to the objectives of the league; the group was to be non-partisan, non-political, and non-profit; and the group name would be “The Santa Rita Art League.”

 Highlights Since 1978

1978 - SRAL held a “Starving Artist” show of unframed painting humorously priced under $25,000.

1979 - Dee Wilhenny worked on by-laws. The first purposes stated in Article 2 were “to promote awareness of art in all forms to its members and encourage and support the development of artistic talent in the youth of the community.”

1979 - 80 - SRAL held a sale earning $485 that funded 15 scholarships to students recommended by their schools.

1980 - SRAL had 75 members. Board meetings were held at First Western Bank where the first constitution and by-laws were approved, and general meetings were held at St. Francis of the Valley Church or at Great Western Bank.

1983 - 84 - SRAL dues were $10.00. A bank on Continental Plaza hosted several SRAL shows.

1986 (approximately) - SRAL became affiliated with Green Valley Recreation, Inc. (GVR). Then President James Starkey met with GVR and arranged to make East Center the official meeting place for SRAL. Under program chair Zieg Warner, SRAL purchased a demonstration mirror for East Center.

1987 - Gloria Hammond was made an Honorary Member.

1988 - Winston Mani taught SRAL’s first workshop and became the first newsletter editor. Later editors were Murph Ranspot, Ann Gillingham, and Amada Willingham.

1989 - Roy Swanson taught SRAL’s second workshop.

1990 - SRAL’s paid membership reached 82.

1992 - 1995 - The Greater Green Valley Arts Council honored SRAL member Eva Briggs (age 82 in 1992) with its “Distinguished Artist” award.

2000 - 2001 - SRAL initiated its shows at GVR social centers. President Pat Roach and Murph Ranspot met with GVR administrators to discuss opening a studio for SRAL.

2001 - 2002 - Eva Briggs and Joe Moody started giving demonstrations at SRAL. Other early demonstrators included Marilyn McQuarrie, Bob Millar, Helen Holt, Beth Ray, Janell Christman, and Barbara Gurwitz.

2003 - Eva Briggs died, leaving SRAL a legacy of $20,000 to fund 20 years of an abstract exhibit and competition. Murph Ranspot and Pat Roach organized an “Old Master” show held at West Center. One visitor commented, “It is like walking into a great museum.” This show was repeated in 2004 and again in 2012.

2004 - 2005 - Ann Over launched a popular and on-going “Conversations” series to discuss issues in art. She later started a film series on the lives and work of various artists. Tom Allen started winter paint-outs for plein air painters.

2005 - SRAL held the first Briggs Abstract Competition. In addition, GVR started converting a former storage room at Santa Rita Springs social center into a dedicated studio for SRAL.

2005 - The SRAL studio opened. Presidents Pat Roach (2005) and Harriet Ayer (2006) urged SRAL members to use the studio regularly to justify GVR’s space allocation. SRAL launched an ongoing monthly nude figure drawing workshop as suggested by Donna Kroschel and Donald Weston.

2006 - The SRAL added its own website. Sara Todd served as the webmaster.

2007 to present - SRAL continues growing (200+ members), adding activities, and improving the studio. Improvements include better lighting and air circulation, sinks, special disposal containers, plastic table covers, a hanging system for displaying art, rental lockers, easels, a demonstration projection system, and an honor-system library started by Ursula Suess that contains both books and DVD's.

2015 to present - SRAL officially became the “Santa Rita Art League of GVR”.

Latest Update: 04/22/2017