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posted Sep 8, 2020, 8:25 AM by North Tampa Arts League

We asked our member artists what they are currently working on. Here is RICK SOLON; This is on my table...the next step is to make a backdrop for my little village. I did this picture first with the Alabama in white in cruise colors (mid 1940’s) and then with the hull in black liner colors (1920s).  The SS Alabama sailed the Great Lakes from 1909 to 2005.


posted Jun 30, 2020, 7:35 AM by North Tampa Arts League

Who are you and what do you do?  I am Sally Yoder and I spend my days making art; studio painting most mornings, plein air painting once a week or so, and lapidary art every afternoon.

Why do you do what you do?  I create fine art because I get cranky if I don’t, and lapidary art is one of the ways my husband Dan and I make our living.

What’s your background?  My father was a cartoonist in the Army, always an artist and Head Architect for Martin Marietta Corp. My whole family was quite artistic, and clever. I always wanted to teach, but brother went to dental school, sister to art school, and they were laying teachers off in the late 70’s. So, I tried a Business degree but what a bore! (And, I flunked Accounting.) So, I’ve earned licenses in Interior Design and Cosmetology. Then, I spent most of my life styling hair and crafting homeschool curriculum for my four amazing kids, and driving them to athletics. I didn’t start painting until 2007 when I confessed a desire to paint to some amazingly supportive friends who bought me a gift certificate to the Venice Art Center. I started with Classical portraiture and haven’t looked back.

What role does the artist have in society?  I think we are elevated by art, above simple homo sapiens, uplifted to our higher selves.  The arts actualize us; bring us closer to what God had in mind.

How has your practice changed over time? About ten years ago, we bought a property with big, ugly rocks popping up out of the ground.  Dan was enamored with this fossilized coral, but it wasn’t until three years ago when a talented, jovial, wonderful guy who came to purchase some rock invited us to his lapidary shop that my eyes opened.  These rocks are GORGEOUS inside.  There is LIFE in there, millions of years old! I took lapidary classes and our Million Souls Mine was born. Check us out!


What work do you most enjoy doing? I’ve ALWAYS been fascinated with before-and-after’s, makeovers, if you will. Remodeling a room, fresh, new hair, ingredients to meal, canvas to art and now fossil to wearable art – it all thrills me. But, if I’m being honest, smooshing oil paint around soothes my soul. 

What art do you most identify with? Narrative. I love a good story. I even name some of our rocks!

What themes do you pursue?  I asked my kids if they could trade places with anyone, real or fictional, at any time in history for one week who would it be? Then, I painted them as that person.  THAT was fun!


What is your favorite artwork or artist?  Storytellers, of course! Rockwell, James Gurney, Kassan top the list.


Describe a real life situation that inspired you.  That’s what plein air is for.


What memorable responses have you had to your artwork? Making the cover of Community magazine stands out. As for lapidary, I learned wire wrapping from a demanding, older gentleman and am constantly told my work is superior. Being appreciated is a huge heart swell.


Should Art be funded?  Ideally, artists would create so that others are compelled to support, elevate and sponsor their efforts. I think we artists are too often hoisted by our own petard.

Describe NTAL, its mission in your own words.   NTAL is my art family. In our own families we support and nurture each other; we’re honored in celebration, getting together for birthdays, graduations, and weddings.  By joining and participating in NTAL, we support, nurture and celebrate our artistic efforts.  We learn from each other, uplift and inspire each other. Like family.

How do you see your club growing?  Some of you are sick of me saying it, but a challenge EVERY month, portrait sessions, Community projects, and of course, more showing opportunities.

What is your dream project? I’d love to do more murals, tromp l’oeil.

What is the best advice you’ve been given? It takes 10,000 hours to become a master. Be willing to put in the time.

Professionally what is your goal?  I think I’m too old for fame and fortune, but I’d like my art to live on. And, I’d like to be remembered as a mostly happy, uplifting, creatively driven soul.

NEW MEMBER INTERVIEW - Jerrold Dwayne Castro

posted Apr 29, 2020, 7:04 AM by North Tampa Arts League

For our second member interview, we feature one of our newest members, recently stationed at MacDill AFB, Jerrold Dwayne Castro. Jerrold is originally from Guam and is deeply immersed in his art and pulls inspiration from his cultural roots.

 Who are you and what do you do?

 Hello! I am Jerrold Dwayne Castro. I hold a Masters of Fine Arts in Painting and Drawing from the Academy of Art University, SF and a Bachelor degree in Interdisciplinary Visual Arts, from the University of Washington.  I am also Lieutenant Colonel in the US Army—newly reassigned to MacDill, AFB.

 Why do you do what you do?

I have always had a passion for creating art. I feel that it is a big part of my identity. I never feel that I want to paint or draw, but I have to. Like eating or breathing, as long as I can remember, I have always created art and I cannot see myself ever stopping.

 What’s your background?

I am a Chamoru--born and raised on the island of Guam (Guahan). I left my island home with my high school sweetheart in 1998 to start our journey together in Seattle where I received my undergrad degree and a commission into the US Army in 2002. I’ve been stationed in many places within the US and overseas and I have multiple deployed in Iraq. Since our time in the military we have grown our family to four beautiful children.

 What role does the artist have in society?

I believe that artists reflect the world around them. They are commentators of life, and naturally, they influence the people through the conversations that their work produces. I honestly believe that the inborn creative drive that artist have to reflect and respond to their personal experiences brings value and gives substance. So, I would say, that the artist's primary role in society is to make our lives richer and have meaning.

 How has your practice changed over time?

From a skills perspective, I believe that I have grown so much through my studies and many, many hours of practice. However, as a whole, I believe that I as my views changed over time, so has my work. Having been in the Army my entire adult life and having travelled in different parts of the world, being exposed to different cultures, I have a better appreciation of my Chamoru heritage and culture. I want to celebrate my culture through my work.

 What work do you most enjoy doing?

I love to paint, but I find that the focus required for me to produce the type and quality of work I want requires more time and requires mental stamina. I can tell you that I enjoy sitting at a coffee shop with my earbuds on and just drawing in my sketchbook. That is much harder to do with a six month old in the house now and since we are just settling into the area, so I find myself doing late nite sessions in the studio. 


What art do you most identify with?

Figurative Art. My thesis project, Inafa’måolek: To Make Good was completely figurative. I did a lot of research looking at figurative works from the old masters to modern and contemporary artists. I find it interesting in how different artists interpret the figure and using the figure to communicate the message they are trying to articulate. It is both baffling and inspiring—a challenge that I will continue to undertake.


What themes do you pursue?

Naturally, I am drawn to figurative work since much of my studies involved the classical figure. But I will paint or draw almost anything that inspires me. I love the aspects of light and atmosphere—both in landscape and the figure. I enjoy playing with value and color harmony. I love to be surprised by quality marks in a piece. I appreciate powerful concepts behind a work so I try to make sure that the context is clear in any piece I create, be it contemporary, narrative, classical, and to a certain degree, abstract.


What is your favorite artwork or artist?

I have many favorite works of art—so I can’t really pull one in particular. I am, however, from a family of artists so many of my favorites artists that I am related to: Ronald J. Castro, Richard R. Castro, Jeff Harris, Frank Perez—But some well known artists I appreciate are: Ann Gale, Zack Zdrale, Antonio Lopez Garcia, Richard Schmidt, Jeremy Mann, Michelangelo, Rembrandt, and Banksy to name a few.

 Describe a real life situation that inspired you.

My family has property on the northern beaches of Guam. It is secluded in that majority of the land is surrounded by a military base and the remainder is wildlife refuge. Every Sunday for as long as I can remember, my family would meet at the beach and enjoy the day. I grew up walking the jungle, combing the beach, learning how to fish as hunt, and understanding the importance of being with and supporting family. Growing up the way I did inspires me every day.

 What memorable responses have you had to your artwork?

I remembered during my first solo show where I presented my thesis project for my MFA, as I was introducing my body of work to the visitors, I took in the moment as my family was standing there and listening. I saw how proud they were of me, knowing how hard I worked to produce the work and attain my degree. They didn’t have to say anything but that was the best response and one I will never forget.

 Should Art be funded?

Yes!! I also believe that funding from government should not be the only way to invest in the arts. Funding for the arts should include private, community, industry, and entrepreneurs sources since everyone has an interest to ensure that art continues to enrich our lives.

Describe NTAL, its mission in your own words.

The NTAL is a group that strives to provide collaborative relationships between artists and community through engagements, education, and support to enrich the Tampa area.

 How do you see your club growing?

Having spent many years in the military, I’ve come to know many service members who are extremely talented in the arts. Reaching out to that community is a great way to “grow the ranks” in the NTAL. I also think that NTAL has the potential to grow through integration of artists that have roots in the area but may have moved. I believe that the best way to influence this group is to find them while they are young (middle and high schoolers) and show them the benefits of supporting their local art league. The message that “home is where the heart is” holds truth to a degree that is unrivaled.

 What is your dream project?

In a sense, I’m working on my dream project. I see my body of work as an evolving project that explores my culture and my identity as a Chamoru. I’ve already done my first series of this exploration, looking at the colonial aspects of my culture, but I have many other ideas where I can tell the Chamoru story and celebrate my culture.

 What is the best advice you’ve been given?

I get a lot of advice from so many great people...but I would honestly say that the advice that I follow the most is one that I can't pin down who told me—maybe an artist, maybe a saint, someone in the Army, or a combination thereof—I am not sure: "Slow down, have patience, and trust the process." I’ve tried to follow this philosophy in many aspects of my life—but it can be challenging to do so the military. When I do, however, it seems to work.

 Professionally what is your goal?

This should be my final tour in the military and I am very excited to move towards a new chapter in my life where I can place more attention in my art and teaching at the post-secondary level. That being said, when I retire from the Army, I want to teach art back home at the University of Guam and be more productive in my body of work.

 To see more of Jerrold's art:

and follow me at:


posted Apr 19, 2020, 10:50 AM by North Tampa Arts League

NTAL Member Alan Metzger has a number of recent achievements. At the FL State Fair, Alan received two 3rd place and a 1st place award. "Festive Day", "Blue Eyes" and "Monarch in the Sky" were the paintings, shown below. At the Strawberry Art Show, "Old Bike" received a 2nd place ribbon. "Corral Gang" was accepted into the 2020 American Academy of Equine Art Juried Exhibition last month in Aiken SC. “I was planning to go up for the artist reception, but it was cancelled because of the virus. They sent out a video of all 51 paintings accepted. Mine is about 4 minutes into the video. I'd like to share it with our group. I also received a first place award in the "floating vessels" show at Carrollwood Cultural Center, and sold the painting "Sail with Me". But that show is closed to the public also. Michele Stone also did a video of the exhibition.” See the links below to video.

Dotty Banker wins Leaders Choice Award

posted Apr 19, 2020, 8:31 AM by North Tampa Arts League

NTAL artist, Dotty Banker, won the Business Leaders Choice Award at the 2020 Strawberry Festival for her painting Blaze of Fall. Dotty says, "I spotted this abandoned farm in my travels in New York while visiting my brother and painted this picture on returning home from photos I took. Thank you Business Leaders and the Strawberry Festival."


posted Apr 15, 2020, 7:32 AM by North Tampa Arts League

IT’S WORLD ART DAY and NTAL thought that our first interview should be our Founder, John Henne. Here is his interview done by our President, Diane Harm.

As the Founder of the North Tampa Art League, could you tell us how the concept of the organization came about?   At the time, I was a member of the Artist Advisory Committee of Hillsborough County.  We had an initiative to start Art Leagues in different parts of town.  My responsibility was North East Tampa. 

2006 Board of Directors

What was the original Mission of the organization?   The mission now is the same as the original mission:  To develop and support the arts in general and to make North Tampa a more vibrant art Community.


What if anything would you change?  I think the NTAL has had wonderful leadership.  I think the local demand is not very high, not sure what to do about that.


Who are you as an artist and what do you do?  I love the satisfaction of creating something I can be proud of.   The idea of introducing a new method in my painting is very satisfying.  I’m always trying to push the envelope to create something special.


What is your background?  Early on I always like to draw and paint.  Didn’t do much art during my career of data processing and accounting.  Managed to retire at age 50 and started my journey to become a respected artist.


What role does the artist have in society?  Not sure about society in general.  Art for seniors, however, can be very useful.  Art is as challenging as folk would like it to be.


Has your practice changed over time?   I guess I work harder than I use to because my time is more precious.


What work do you enjoy doing most?   Trying to figure what makes a successful piece of art and at the same time exploring the world of “Abstract Realism”.


What art do you identify with?  Abstract realism.


What themes do you pursue? Usually, single subject, fairly close up, emotional, colorful.  I know it when I see it.


What is your favorite artwork or your favorite artist? florian nicolle, Tibor Nagy, Tes One


Describe a real life situation that inspired you?  Looking at artwork online, in books and magazine and attending art shows.


What memorable responses have you had to your artwork?  Satisfying a client.


Should art be funded? I think so?


What is your dream project?   Creating art to be displayed in a successful gallery.


What is the best advice you have been given?  Work hard and free up my mind.


If you could give one piece of advice to artists, what would it be?   Work hard, free up your mind and  keep trying to create art that you can be proud of.


Professionally what is your goal?  Keep improving and selling art.

Art Challenge Winners

posted Apr 15, 2020, 7:25 AM by North Tampa Arts League

Here are the winners of the March Art Challenge - Reflections, First Place - Virginia Butler, Second Place - Dotty Banker and Third Place - Sally Yoder


posted Apr 7, 2019, 2:37 AM by North Tampa Arts League   [ updated Mar 10, 2020, 10:32 AM ]

Best in Show - Incoming by Diane Harm
Best in Painting - Corral Gang by Alan Metzger
Best in Photography - Atlantic Beach Predawn Elements by Steve Sparks
Best in Mixed Media/3D - Tuskegee Airman by Arnold Swepson
Best in Drawing/Pastel - Ybor Alley by Joan Garcia
Honorable Mention - Elijah (The Real) McCoy by David Mack
Honorable Mention - The Artist, as Rembrandt by Sally Yoder
Honorable Mention - The Heart of Ybor: The Colonel by Lynn Rattray


posted Apr 6, 2019, 8:56 AM by North Tampa Arts League   [ updated Mar 10, 2020, 10:31 AM ]

Last night was the opening reception for the NTAL Annual Membership Show, MASTERPIECES. Here are the winners:
Best in Show - Incoming by Diane Harm
Best in Painting - Corral Gang by Alan Metzger
Best in Photography - Atlantic Beach Predawn Elements by Steve Sparks
Best in Mixed Media/3D - Tuskegee Airman by Arnold Swepson
Best in Drawing/Pastel - Ybor Alley by Joan Garcia
Honorable Mention - Heart of Ybor: The Colonel by Lynn Rattray
Honorable Mention - The Artist, as Rembrandt by Sally Yoder
Honorable Mention - Elijah (The Real) McCoy by David Mack

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