Harvest Season Morgan.JPG

Lynn Morgan
"Harvest Season in Napa", Fall Challenge 


Welcome to the blog feature of our Santa Rita Art League (SRAL) website. We hope to use this feature as a way to connect our creative community and share new ideas. In the blog posts you will find member news, challenges, techniques, tools, and everything art related our members would like to share.

If you have an idea for a blog post, go to the "Contact" item on the top menu and submit your idea. We'd love to hear from you.

January 2 - February 16, 2022, the Santa Rita Art League Masters Show will return to the GVR West Center gallery. This year's exhibit will have more then 20 new paintings on display as well as several Artists' Choice Award winning paintings from previous shows. Rich and Altie Metcalf, longtime members of SRAL as well as great volunteers, are the co-chairs of the show.

The Masters Show has been an annual event, except for 2021, for many years. Often times a particular artist or a theme is chosen. Then the SRAL members do the research and select a painting to recreate as precisely as they are able with color, shapes, edges and texture used by the original master. Copying old masters is a time-honored tradition for developing artistic skills. This year was an open theme and the paintings chosen for the exhibition have not been seen in any previous Masters Show.

The show is not only beautiful but educational. Learn a little history about the master painters and their inspiration. as well as admire the discipline and enthusiasm of the current day SRAL members in recreating a masters painting. Don't miss this show!

Artists' Awards from previous Masters Shows painted by SRAL members Altie Metcalf, Rich Metcalf and Jan Holland.

"Bibemus Quarry" by Paul Cezanne, 1898 (Altie Metcalf) Cezanne painted several landscapes of this quarry which was near to his home in Aix-en-Provence, southern France. Art historians believe this is where Cubism was born.

"Sunset in the Mountains" by Birger Sandzen, 1922 (Jan Holland) Birger Sandzen was born in Sweden but after studying art in France, he emigrated to the U.S. He was offered a teaching job at Bethany College in Kansas. He loved Kansas so much that he spent the rest of his life there. During his lifetime he painted over 2500 oil paintings and 500 watercolors as well as hundreds of lithographs and block prints. He was often referred to as the Van Gogh of America.

"Yvette Gilbert" by Henri de Toulouse Lautrec, 1884 (Rich Metcalf) Toulouse-Lautrec loved the theaters and cafe-concerts of Paris. One of the performers he most admired was Yvette Gilbert who sang in various venues, including the Moulin Rouge and at Le Divan Japonais. In between sets, Ms. Gilbert would pose and curtsey between rounds of applause. This pose wearing her pale makeup became her trademark. She later became an actor in Hollywood.

Pictures and Narrative provided by

Hugh Beykirch

When Eva Briggs—known among her closest friends as “little Eva”—passed away in the year 2003, she stipulated in her last will and testament that a bequest of $20,000 be given to the Santa Rita Art League of GVR (SRAL). Neither she nor those who had known her imagined the profound affect her generous gift would have on the art world and many practicing artists in Green Valley, AZ, and southeastern Arizona.

Hugh Beykirch
Jan 28, 2005 Green Valley News

Her largess came with very specific instructions that some believed to be rather quirky. The League was instructed to have an annual abstract art competition over the course of twenty years. The total annual prize money was stipulated to be $1,000 with the first prize being $500, the second prize in the amount of $300, and $200 rewarding the third-prize winner.

"Woodland Meditation"
2005 Entry
Jean Makela

All submissions to the annual contest needed to be representative of abstraction and could only be 36” by 36” in size. She was adamant about the adherence to the size of the paintings submitted because of her desire for participants “to get out of the box.” These were her own words. While the execution of submissions had to be abstract, Eva Briggs left the choice of medium up to individual entrants—that is, paintings could be in watercolor, oil, acrylic, mixed media, etc.

"Celestial City of Uncompleted Dreams"
2005 Entry
Ann Over

An annual show was deemed viable if it consisted of at least ten entries. Interested members of SRAL formed the first special interest group (SIG) of the League in 2004 and called themselves the “abstract BRIGGade.” Inspired by the formation of such group, many other SIGs have sprung from the idea in the past seventeen years.

"Magic Rocks"

2005 Entry

Ann Mason

Eva would have been astonished when beholding the first show in 2005 in which 49 artists participated and submitted a total number of 79 entries. For the first event, artists were permitted to enter as many as three paintings. Due to space limitations at later venues, the number of entries needed to be restricted. Nevertheless, during the first sixteen years of celebrating Eva Briggs, there was never a reason to cancel the show for lack of interest in the art community. It was the Covid-19 Pandemic of 2020 - 2021 that brought about the cancellation of The Seventeenth Annual Eva Briggs Abstract Art Competition now to be held in February 2022.


2005 Entry

Bonnie Nelson

Entrants and celebrants have come and gone; sadly, many dear artists and participants have joined Eva in death. They, along with Eva, look over our shoulders as we prepare to soldier on and listen once again to little Eva’s wish for us to “get us out of the box.”

Thank you, Eva Briggs!

Updated: Sep 7, 2021

This is an SRAL Members Only event.

Our Fall SRAL Art Challenge Theme for September, October & November is - Seasons.