In the month of March, 1978, a small group of Green Valley artists met to form an art club. Inspired by the beauty of their surroundings, they named it Santa Rita Art League (SRAL), and by June 8th of that year they held their first official meeting, courtesy of the local bank, Catalina Savings. There, the group laid out the goals and aspirations for SRAL – and born in these early days was a foundation for serving an art community then, and 45 years hence! Their motto “We have climbed the hills; yonder are the mountains.”
At the core of SRAL’s goals were enrichment, education, artistic development and community. The founders made the club inclusive – it would be serving beginning and experienced artists alike. This commitment was key for the growth and success of SRAL. The club held exhibitions and monthly artists’ demonstrations. They participated in the County Fair, organized shows of individual artists at local galleries; made field trips, held a Christmas bazaar, and in support of Sahuarita’s High School senior class, chose candidates for an art scholarship.
1998 was a pivotal year. SRAL joined Green Valley Recreation, Inc. They now enjoy a dedicated studio space for the membership. The league grew in size and in the ensuing years, the scope of activities. Workshops, classes, special Interest groups (SIGs) and regular opportunities to exhibit one’s art became fixtures of the program. Juried, judged and open exhibitions became tradition, and at the heart of SRAL, an enduring spirit of volunteer-ism.
SRAL succeeded, from its very inception, because of its volunteers. Our mission, still, at Santa Rita Art League, is to continue the legacy as a uniquely inspired nonprofit resource for the creatives and artistically-minded residents of Green Valley. We are proudly united with our founders.
“We have climbed the hills, now we are ready to climb the mountain!” was the revised motto in 1979.
Here is to our predecessors’ commitment, talent, and vision.