April 2016

How I Spent My Thousand Dollar Windfall
You won't want to miss our April 19 membership meeting as we hear from 2015 ECO Award winners Cori Austin and Sandi Stromberg. Now you might be wondering what in the heck is the ECO fund. It's WiVLA's very own Educational and Cultural Opportunity awards. Each year, one $1000 award is given to a write and another $1000 to a visual artist. The only catch is that you MUST apply and you must have been a member of WiVLA for two consecutive years to apply. Previous winners are ineligible. This year's lucky winners will be drawn from the qualified applicants (see application attached below) at the April 19 meeting. Join your fellow members to hear a very interesting and inspiring presentation from last year's winners.

We will meet at the Printing Museum on April 19 at 5:45, as always. Remember that the parking lot across the street is no longer accessible.  We will start with light snacks and wine with the meeting beginning promptly at 6:15 pm. Please bring your friends!

2016 ECO Fund Applications Due April 9
Applications are now being accepted for WiVLA's 2016 Educational and Cultural Opportunity awards. Two $1,000 awards will be given—one to an artist and one to a writer. All individuals who have been dues-paying members for two consecutive years are encouraged to apply. Previous winners are ineligible. Applications will be reviewed for consistency with WiVLA's mission and goals by a committee that includes previous ECO Fund award recipients. This year's lucky members will be drawn from the pool of qualified applicants at the April 19, 2016 meeting. The application form is available here.

Completed applications must be postmarked by APRIL 9, 2016. E-mail your application to eco@wivla.org, or mail the application (postmarked by April 9th) to: WiVLA ECO Fund Award,PO BOX 130406, Houston, TX 77219-0406

Previous winners have used the award to attend classes and workshops, purchase equipment, improve their work space, install community art, research books, travel, and more. The award has made a significant difference in the artistic lives of all the past winners. Don't miss the chance to participate in the 2016 ECO Fund awards. Contact info@wivla.org for more information.
President's Message
As April begins WiVLA women across Houston, to Cypress and across the Atlantic to Scotland are working on their collaborations. Others realizing the deadline for the “Intent to Collaborate” has been extended to April 30 are grateful for the opportunity to still find a partner before the deadline.

On this first day of April – April Fool’s Day – no fools us – are preparing our edible books or getting ready to attend the festivities tonight from 7 to 9 at the “Books2Eat Festival” at the Printing Museum. The exhibit "Inspired by Her Quote" will be taken down today. This gorgeous exhibit in the Houston Public Library was curated by Jo Zider and Peggy Sexton who basically did it all from start to finish. We are grateful to both of them and can't thank them enough for all their effort. A special thanks to Jo for assembling the show catalog and to Cindy Rasche for helping with the installation of the show and to Peggy for staffing the refreshment table during the opening.  I would also like to thank Paige Moore for compiling the chapbook and Sandi Stromberg for her support and editing of the chapbook and Mary Harlan for the introduction to the chapbook.  And finally, thank you to all the artists and writers who submitted their work without which the show would not have been possible. 

Beginning today, April is lining up as a month of merriment, simple pleasures (like eating and drinking with friends) and windfall time for two lucky WiVLA women when we make our ECO Fund awards at the April 19 meeting. Before we give this year’s award - $1000 each to a WiVLA writer and a WiVLA artist – we will hear from last year’s winners Sandi Stromberg and Cori Austin who will tell us how they spent their money. Those who have not sent in their ECO Fund applications have until April 9 to do it. If you have been a member for two years consecutively there is simply no good reason, not to apply. If you have never won a thing – well, this may be your year.

  Jane Mulholland

Windows Deadline Extended to end of April
Note that the time to submit the "Intent to Collaborate" form has been extended...again. The Board has "opened the window" even more to April 30 and during that time you may submit your intention to collaborate along with your submission fee. All submissions must be postmarked by April 30. Link to the prospectus here

Now with more time to find a collaborator, we hope to see more participation. The Brazosport Center for Arts & Sciences Gallery is very large with lots of wall space to fill. So now’s the time, THINK BIG.
There may be concern about getting your work delivered for installation. Not to worry, we are arranging a transport caravan. At this time we have two SUVs committed for the task and we are sure to find another volunteer or two. Details about Houston pick up will be announced in time for you to make arrangements.
Now is the time for you to get to work! At closing of Intent to Commitment, you have three months to prepare your CD image and written work for the July 2, 2016 deadline. Check the prospectus for details concerning submission details. You can send image and written work on one CD or if more convenient, you may send separate CD’s, just make sure you indicate your collaborator.  Also,WRITERS, don't forget the EXCERPT which will be exhibited by the art work in the gallery.
This is a wonderful opportunity to show off who and what WIVLA is all about and expand the visibility of our individual talent.
Here are all the dates you need to know for the Windows Collaboration:
Feb 8 - April 30, 2016 -" Intent to submit" with entry fee due
           This is a newly extended timeline for submitting the form with your intention and partner.  See attached entry form.
Jul 2, 2016 - Deadline for image submission
Sep 10, 2016  - Deliver art & excerpt to Brazosport Art Center
Sep 17, 2016  - Windows Opening Reception Anthology & Reading
Oct 9, 2016  - Pick up art at Brazosport Art Center. 
This exciting opportunity to partner with a visual artist or writer is getting closer. Find your partner now! So far, the following collaborators have announced their intentions (through January 30):
Densie Bossarte (artist) and Pat Morgan (writer)
Mary Riggs Ramain (artist) and Jere Pfister (writer)
Josena Arquieta (artist) with Jane Mullholland (writer)
Zita Giraldo (artist) with Jane Mullholland (writer) 
Peggy Sexton (artist) with Diana Weeks (writer)
Judith Shamp (artist) with Lilibeth André (writer)
Jo Zider (artist) with Paige Moore (writer)
Anna Phillips (writer) and Marguerite Baldwin (artist)
Gladys Bullock (writer) and Lane Devereux (artist)
Rona Lesser (artist) and Linda Stelljes (writer)
Lillian Tharp (artist) and Kathleen Merritt (writer)
Patti Richardson (visual) and Leigh Owen (writer)
Lane Devereux (writer) and Carol Watson (artist)
Sandi Stromberg (writer) and Luisa Duarte (artist)
Kay McStay (writer) and Jennifer Segel (artist)
Marcia Patrick (artist) and Tayyba Kanwal (writer)
Millie Hast (writer) and June Russell (artist)
Cori Austin (artist) and Varsha Saraiya-Shah (writer)
Janice Smith (artist) and Roberta Sadja (writer)

Still looking - Billie Duncan (writer) looking for artist

WiVLA Book Group Meeting Time Set
 The WiVLA Book Group will meet for the first time on April 23 (Shakespeare’s Birthday) from 12:30 - 2:30 pm at Trini Mendenhall Community Center, 1414 Wirt Road, at the corner of Wirt and Westview.

The first book will be In Montmartre, Picasso, Matisse and Modernism in Paris 1900-1910, by Sue Roe. Everyone is welcome to attend. Please come ready to discuss this book and with suggestions for other books to read.
A thrilling account, In Montmartre captures an extraordinary group on the cusp of fame and immortality., Through their stories, Roe brings to life one of the key moments in the history of art, according to Amazon.If you are interested in joining our book group, please email josena@josenasart.com.

New Memoir Highlight of  March Meeting
When Lax arrived at the Writers in Residence program at Hedgebrook on Whidbey Island, she thought she had completed her memoir and intended to spend the month writing her novel. A call from her editor quickly dispelled that idea. “She did not like the revision, “ Lax told us. Dispirited she dragged herself to dinner to meet the six women who were also attending the residence program. As luck was with her, she sat next to Gloria Steinem.

Steinem gave the book its name, “Uncovered.” But moreover she told Lax about the research Carol Heilbrun had done during the height of the feminist movement concerning women’s stories. Heilbrun said that women lacked agency – the capacity to exert their own voice or have a turning point in a situation without it being proscribed by society or a man. Without turning points, there is no story, no journey.  Lax realized that there had been many points in her life when she might have taken a different direction, but did not.

When she was sixteen she went to a lecture about Hassidism at her liberal synagogue in Dallas. By the time she was in college she was becoming a part of the Hassidic community on campus and found that their proscribed role conferred standing as “A Woman,” gave belonging to the group, and in return you earned God’s eternal love. Her marriage to a Hassidic boy she scarcely knew, was arranged and held in her grandparent’s home when she was nineteen. It was the early 70’s and she said she was in rebellion against her 60’s family. The Hassidic were “soldiers of God.”  In less than ten years, Lax had seven children. When her seventh child was three months old she found out she was pregnant.

During the thirty years she was married she was always covered except in the most intimate moments: “If you see hair on a Hassidic woman it is a wig.” The “Law” was always there, “life of poetry in motion” with constant repetition and shame of being hidden both in dress and behind the partition in the synagogue where women sat and were not allowed to sing during services. The one place women had a voice was in the home. Lax always kept a journal and wrote and wrote often without her own voice but repeating the pronouncements of the Law.

There was no choice – the Law proscribed all and where there was a lack of clarity, you went to the Rabbi. When she found herself pregnant after the seventh child, she said all she could think of was that she could not do it: “Get it out, get it out.” Her doctor agreed that she might not survive another pregnancy. But abortion was against the Hassidic Law.  Lax and her husband went to see the Rabbi. When he agreed to ending the pregnancy he also said she should have a tubal ligation so that he would never be put in this position again. With no little irony, Lax told us, “He made it about himself.”

Lax’s story is about finding herself and her voice as well as looking back to those times when she might have taken a different direction. Her clear compassionate voice about her experience, her life unfolding through a thirty year marriage as a Hassidic Jewish woman to finding her voice in writing and her sexuality as a Lesbian woman had us riveted and very moved. We were enthralled, because at least to me, I began to relate my life to hers; not in the particulars but in the lack of agency in my own experience. And perhaps, at least in part thanks to WiVLA we are continuing to become and to exert our own special voice.

If you'd like a free excerpt from Uncovered, click on this link provided to us by Leah from the Advocate, one of the largest and oldest gay magazines in America. The book is available at local independent bookstores and on Amazon.
Leah Lax reading and sharing from her book, Uncovered, at the March meeting.

Books2Eat on April Fools TODAY!
 Are you hungry for some delightful and delicious creative work?  You are invited to see all the edible works of art based on books and reading. Any edible book idea is eligible, a favorite title, character, or event or a pun involving a book. Join the Houston Book Arts Guild and WiVLA for an evening of eating our words!  This evening will be the local festival as part of the International Edible Book Festival, which occurs annually throughout the world.
 When:  Friday, April 1, 2016, 7-9 pm
Where:  The Printing Museum, 1324 W. Clay, 77019
 Go to the website for more ideas. See you there!!

WiVLA Library Show "Inspired by Her Quote" Huge Success
WiVLA members and guests admire the art at the "Inspired By Her Quote" Library show at the opening in honor of International Women's Day.

WiVLA  presented a very special show at the Houston Public Library - Central Library for the month of March, 2016. The theme was "Inspired by Her Quote." Heavy rain predictions did not stop the show on March 8, International Women's Day with a reception beginning at 4 pm.

 WiVLA writers and visual artists created original work based upon quotes from women in society:  humorous, vicious, provocative, or at least memorable.  Visual artists in the show included: Josena Arquieta, Rona Lesser, Janet Reynolds, Peggy Sexton, Jane Mulholland, Jo Zider, Zita Giraldo, Marcia Patrick, Lane Devereux, Lilibeth Andre, Cindy Rasche, and Roberta Sajda.  Writers sharing in the chapbook were: Marie-Pierre Stien, Margo Davis, Jane Mulholland, Gladys Mae Bullock, Harriet Riley, Kay McStay, Patricia Flaherty Pagan, Sandi Stromberg, Roberta Sajda, Jere Pfister, Linda Stelljes, and Lilibeth André,

From left.... Marcia Patrick, Jere Phister and Jo Zider look at the catalog to view WiVLA members' original art.
Lilibeth Andre' reads from her work in the chapbook at the reading at the Library Show opening on March 8.

Thanks to All of You
from Peggy Sexton

“Inspired by Her Quote” is a big success. The Opening Reception was fantastic. I was delighted to see WIVLA members mingling with the Public Library crowd, sharing thoughts about the art, food and drink.
I would like to commend the general public guests for the gracious thoughtful courtesy displayed to us. I particularly enjoyed listening to the comments made about particular pieces of art and was surprised when asked my thoughts about the question: “Has the International Women’s movement been a success”? Many will fondly remember WIVLA members as well as the visual presentation and the tasty buffet.

WiVLA Scoop by the Snoop: April 2016
Although the Snoop thinks she knows a lot, she can use your help. Let her know your scoop: info@wivla.org.

TIt occurs to the Snoop from time to time the things we miss when we fail to show up: Many of our members are eligible for the ECO Fund because they have paid dues to WiVLA TWO consecutive years in a row and haven't won the ECO Fund in the past. Yet, only a handful have entered to date. All you need to do is to fill out the form and submit it by April 9 to be included in the drawing to be held at the April meeting where you don't even have to be present to win.  All you have to do is tell us how you would spend $1000 to enhance your creative development. How easy is that?

The threat of rain kept some away from the Opening of the Library Show "Inspired by Her Quote" but those who came had a rewarding and pleasant evening as we mingled with library regulars and shared an ample repast provided by our members. Forty attended the readings downstairs and left with their copy of the chapbook prepared for the event by Paige Moore with editing assistance from Sandi Stromberg. Upstairs at the exhibit we were Wowed by the catalog of the visual art developed by Jo Zider.

The Snoop wasn't the only one silently weeping as Leah Lax related her memorable and inspiring journey as she talked about  writing her memoir "Uncovered." When asked following the meeting if all audiences had the same response, Leah shook her head and said, "No. But I shared more here than I usually do."

Next event you won't want to miss: "Books 2 Eat," April 1, 7 to 9 pm at the Printing Museum. The perfect event for April Fools Day!

The SnoopIf you shop at Randall's, use the "Good Neighbor" code of 5341 and WiVLA will benefit every time you shop!

       Stay tuned for upcoming workshops!                                                                                              

Prospectus: Windows Collaboration
Click here to see the Prospectus for the September 2016 Windows Collaboration.

Please send in your news - art exhibits, works published by the 20th of each month to be included in the following month's newsletter. Please share your good news with WiVLA members by sending to newsletter@wivla.org.
  • Elizabeth Burnham will have her Yellow Submarine in the Artcar Parade on April 9. The parade starts at 2pm.  The Artcar Ball is April 8 and will take place at I & II Allen Center 1200 Smith St. 6-11pm.
  • Jo Zider's FotoFest Exhibition of photos of bone (clay) installations continues until April 30, 2016, at MECA, 1900 Kane Street, in the Washington Arts corridor, south of Washington near Sawyer. Jo will give an artist's talk on Monday, 18 April, at  6pm.
  • Denise Bossarte will have a solo photography exhibit of her “Found Worlds” at the SEAD Gallery, Bryan, TX from March 3- April 24 with the opening reception on March 3 from 6:30 p.m. – 8 p.m.
  • Denise Bossarte will be teaching Miksang Contemplative Photography Level I at DaVinci Artists Gallery, Tomball, TX May 7 and 8. Contact here for more information.
  • Mary Riggs Ramain is honored to be included in a recent online publication of All About Photo by Ann M. Jastrab, director of Rayco Gallery in San Francisco, CA. Check it out here.
  • June Russell will be singing in The Gilbert & Sullivan Society’s Annual Fundraiser concert Sunday April 10, 4:3 0pm  at Houston Baptist Univ. Belin Chapel.  For tickets go to www.hgns.org after March 29.
  • Editors Note: We know a lot of you are showing your work and getting articles and books published, but you MUST send the information to newsletter@WiVLA.org by the 20th of each month. We want to support you and come to your openings, but we have to know about it!!!

Spider Road Press, a Houston independent press promoting writing by
and/or about strong women, is having their second annual flash fiction contest. Spider Road Press is once again celebrating excellent, unpublished flash fiction featuring a female protagonist. Contest entries will be accepted from February 15 –May 15, 2016.

WriteSpace is offering several workshops in April  including Saturday, April 2: 
How To Write Emotion into Every Character with CHRIS ROGERS.
April 5: Idea Generator with LAYLA AL-BEDAWI; April 9: Finding the Heart of Your Story in the Novel (and Finding Your Own Heart as a Writer, Too) with KARLEEN KOEN, and Easy E-Book Creation with Scrivener Writer's Software with D.L. YOUNG; April 16: Memoir and Creative Nonfiction with JESSICA WILBANKS and Writers of Color Workshop with ADRIENNE PERRY; April 23: How to Give Minor Characters Major Impact with K.J. RUSSELL; April 24Crafting Flash Fiction with PATRICIA FLAHERTY PAGAN; and every Saturday from 4 to 6:30 Quiet Write Staff Led. 
Go to their website to get more information and prices and register NOW!

 set for APRIL 29, 30 and MAY 1, 2016 at the Marriott Houston Westchase, 2900 Briarpark Drive,.The conference will feature pre- and post- workshops. In addition there will be an opportunity for writers to pitch in 10-minute sessions with agents and editors. The Main Event on April 30 will begin with a Key Note Speaker followed by twelve one hour Break-out Sessions. See more information by clicking here.

Eighth annual Boldface Conference for Emerging Writers will be at the University of Houston May 23-27. The conference is open to any writer who has not published a book or enrolled in an MFA or PhD program in Creative Writing. More information:  http://boldfaceconfere

Katy Contemporary Art Museum is a relatively new museum in our area and it's located in Katy at 805 Avenue B. WiVLA member June Russell says it is worth a visit.

Archway Gallery is celebrating its 40th anniversary on April 16 from 5 to 8 pm at 2305 Dunlavy. The gallery is  also doing a pallette to palate dinner on April 30. For tickets go to the website. Archway has created an installation in the gallery called Branching Out which all 32 artists participated. 

Art Houston, a new magazine dedicated to all types of art, is looking for articles. For general submission guidelines, contact the publisher here.

For the Sake of Art is a biennial wearable art competition that celebrates the vibrant talent of emerging artists and designers. The event is a fundraiser for the University Museum at Texas Southern University. This year, For the Sake of Art will honor Shelby Marcus and the legacy of artist Kermit Oliver, a Texas Southern art graduate who has achieved worldwide acclaim. The event will be Friday, June 10 at the Omni Houston Hotel. For more information, click here.
Writers will find an abundance of resources on this new website created by writing coach Joan Dempsey.

The Houston Writers Guild offers several Critique Circles at different times and locations. For more information, click here.

Need studio space? JoMar Visions is expanding to an amazing new location in Northwest Crossing in Houston! Location at 5247-5249 Langfield Rd, Houston, TX-77040. Be part of a vibrant art community.
See http://www.jomarvisions.com/#!studio-space-for-lease/c1p48
for more information and a map of the studio spaces.
~ Fraction Magazine is an online venue dedicated to fine art, contemporary photography and brings together diverse bodies of work by established and emerging artists from around the globe. They accept submissions
from new and emerging photographers.
~ FreshArts, of which we are members, has many opportunities for artists listed on their website. Check it out!

Calls for Entry:  Visual Art
Inclusion in this list does not indicate endorsement by WiVLA. We recommend you research each contest, and contact the sponsor(s). 
~ Archway Gallery is reviewing portfolios of local artists. To apply, please read the information on the Archway Gallery Website,

~ The Visual Arts Alliance announces its 33rd Juried Open Exhibition June 6 - July 3, 2016 at BLUEorange Gallery. Deadline for submissions is May 1. Click here for more information.

~ WCA-CO announces its 2016 national juried show - State of Unions to be exhibited from May 26 to June 12 at the Core Annex, 900 Santa Fe Drive, Denver CO 80204. Go to https://www.callforentry.org.

~ The "Call to Artists" for Pear Scape 2016.(Art Sculpture Trail 2016 in Pearland) opens March 1. Check out this interesting opportunity.

~ Juried Art Services has a digital jurying system. Click on the link above for more information.
~ CAFE' for Artists!  www.CallForEntry.org is a website that lists calls for entries nation-wide.  Descriptions of type of art and theme are listed, as is a link for more information.  Deadlines are included.
Calls for Entry:  Literary Art
Inclusion in this list does not indicate endorsement by WiVLA. We recommend you research each contest, and contact the sponsor(s).

Narrative regularly publishes fiction, poetry, and nonfiction, including stories, novels, novel excerpts, novellas, personal essays, humor, sketches, memoirs, literary biographies, commentary, reportage, interviews, and features of interest to readers who take pleasure in storytelling and imaginative prose.

The Aesthetica Creative Writing Award 2016 is now open for entries, presenting an opportunity for emerging and established writers and poets to showcase their work and further their involvement in the literary world. Short Fiction entries should be no more than 2,000 words. Poetry entries should be no more than 40 lines. Deadline for submissions is 31 August 2016.

~ Poets & Writers has a great database of conferences and residencies for writers. Check it out.

~ A Yahoo group has an ongoing and frequently updated list of creative writing opportunities. Writers can join and the notifications come directly to your email.https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/CRWROPPS-B/info     

~ Winning Writers is another great website for writing opportunities. Check it out by clicking here

Please forward WiVLA Voices to all your friends who might be interested in WiVLA. BRING A FRIEND TO OUR NEXT MEETING!

Upcoming Events

Tuesday, April 19 at 5:45 pm
"How I Spent My Thousand Dollar Windfall"
2015 ECO Award winners Cori Austin and Sandi Stromberg

Unless otherwise noted, member meetings are at the Printing Museum at 1324 W. Clay Street.  We start with refreshments at 5:45 and the meeting at 6:15 pm. For a complete list of upcoming events, visit the WiVLA calendar online.

Tuesday, May 17 at 5:45 pm
"Gold Key Awards"
Recognizing outstanding high school visual artists and writiers

About Women in the Visual and Literary Arts

The mission of WiVLA is to provide an inspiring forum for women to explore and advance their creative development, to promote their work in the marketplace, and to infuse the community with their spirit of cooperation and invention.

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WiVLA 2016 Board of Directors

President - Jane Mulholland          

Vice President - Cori Austin

Secretary - Alicia Young

Treasurer - Lane Devereux      

Membership - Zita Giraldo and Kristine Rivers

Communications -  Mary Ramain

Programs - Lillian Tharp              

Newsletter - Harriet Riley           

Visual Arts - Peggy Sexton
and Jo Zider           


Literary Arts -Paige Moore
and Mary Harlan


At-Large-  Josena Arquieta     


Historian - Rona Lesser

Our mailing address is:
Women in the Visual and Literary Arts (WiVLA)
P. O. Box 130406
Houston, TX  77219-0406


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