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.

April comes like an idiot, babbling and strewing flowers. 
from "Spring," by Edna St. Vincent Millay
                April 2014




Calendar of Events

Saturday, April 5 at 10:30 a.m.
WiVLA Board Retreat
2929 Buffalo Speedway

Tuesday, April 15 at 6 p.m.
WiVLA Membership Meeting 
Presentations by 2013 ECO Fund Recipients
Cary Reeder and Anne Rita Taylor
Museum of Printing History
1324 W. Clay Street
For a complete list of upcoming events, visit the WiVLA calendar online.
We're on Facebook!
Did you know WiVLA has a Facebook page?  We do, and we want you to LIKE us!


Our Facebook page is an excellent tool for informal communication among members.  Do you have a show coming up?  Post it on our page. Are you teaching a workshop or selling equipment?  Post it on our page. Do you have something to brag about or share?  Why not post it?


To find us on Facebook, click here, then LIKE us and post a greeting to all your WiVLA friends.

In This Issue

~ Picture from the Past

~ WiVLA News:  Stay informed.  Get involved.

~ Announcements:  Who's doing what?

~ Review:  Laura Lark

~ Calls for Entry:  More opportunities than ever!

~ Quick Links:  Connect with the Houston arts community.

Picture from the Past

From 2009, left to right:  Patti Berg, Cary Reeder, Cathy Nieman.  

If you have a photo that you would like to submit to Voices, please email it, along with an informative caption, to  We'd love to print it in our next issue!

A Note from Your President

Regards, WiVLA women,
Looking toward the future and planning its course are our major objectives in year twenty. An excerpt from the WiVLA files in the U of H Archives reads: "In the future, our hopes are to provide studios, writing suites, workshop space, a gallery, a gift shop, and a library."  What a wonderful, lofty dream to aspire to.

The 2014 Board of Directors will come together this month to develop a path for our future growth. We will meet for a day retreat and work to establish a positve course of  action to keep WIVLA moving forward. One of the new realms we are entering is social media.  Please share with us on Facebook and Twitter.  Lend your WiVLA voice to our cyber conversation.
Start the day with a journal in your hand. Journals are the can opener to creativity. Carolyn Dahl

Every time I attend the Sketchbook group, I am inspired. I learn new tidbits and facts that encourage my creative endeavor. The best part is the open conversation that fills the room with enthusiasm.  Now we have another new opportunity.  Join the Visual Journal group.

I wish everyone a creative, productive April.

Best regards,

Postscript: The artist is nothing without the gift, but the gift is nothing without the work.  (Emile Zola)

Number one on my cultural bucket list:  Release new work out into the world for others to see.

Contribute to Voices

Are you participating in an exhibit or a reading?  Do you know of a cultural event that would be of interest to fellow WiVLA members?  Have you sold a sculpture or published a poem?  Let us know in our monthly newsletter. 

Posting an announcement in  the newsletter is your foremost method of reaching every WiVLA writer and artist.  Make Voices a part of your networking effort. 

The deadline for contributing to Voices is the twentieth of each month.  Simply send your contribution to  We'll do our best to include your announcement!

Maintain your subscription to Voices! 

Choose to stay informed!  Our newsletter is just one of the benefits of current membership.  In order to continue receiving Voices, please renew your membership today!

da Vinci

Born on April 15, 1452.  Died at the age of 57.

I've Been Thinking

Dear readers,

I've been thinking about my cultural bucket list.
  And it's high time I wrote it down.  Here goes:
 1. Find a new literary agent.  A young, hungry, literary agent.
 2. Publish my first novel, Like the Mischief.
3. Apply to the Hedgebrook Writers in Residence program, Whidbey Island, Washington.  Cross my fingers and await reply. 
 4. Complete my second novel, Man Alive on Everett Street.
 5. Reread James Joyce's Ulysses.  UnderstandUlysses.
 6. Reread Shakespeare's plays -- comedies, tragedies, and histories.  I did it in college; revisiting them is long overdue.

 7. Tour the Louvre.  Preferably over the course of a week.
 8. Attend Puccini's Tosca at La Scala in Milan.
 9. Hear jazz at the Blue Note in New York (or in Milan, after the opera).
10. Visit the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market.  It's held every July.  If you don't know about  it, learn more at  You'll want to go, too.
A girl can dream, can't she?  But a woman cando, especially when she has the support of other like-minded women.  WiVLA provides creative and financial support every year to two lucky recipients of the ECO Fund Award.  I strongly encourage qualified members to apply before the April 11th deadline.  Who knows?  Maybe your name will be drawn and you'll fulfill one of the dreams on your artistic bucket list (see #3, above).  Wouldn't that be wonderful?

If you have a cultural bucket list that you'd like to share, why not drop me a line?  I'd be happy to include it in the next newsletter.  Until then, in the words of Steven Tyler, Dream until your dreams come true . . .

Your editor,
Cathy Lachin

April is National Poetry Month

Inaugurated by the Academy of American Poets in 1996, National Poetry Month is now held every April, when schools, publishers, libraries, booksellers, and poets throughout the United States band together to celebrate poetry and its vital place in American culture. Thousands of organizations participate through readings, festivals, book displays, workshops, and other events. For more information,


Born in April of 1564 in Stratford-upon-Avon.  Died in 1616.

Maya Angelou

American poet born April 14, 1928.

WiVLA News


Applications are now being accepted for WiVLA's 2014 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 15, 2014 meeting. The application form is available at  Just click on the "Membership" tab.

Completed applications must be postmarked by APRIL 11, 2014. E-mail your application to, or mail the application (postmarked by April 11th) 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 workspace, 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 2014 ECO Fund awards. Contact for more information.

Cary Reeder and Anne Rita Taylor to be April Presenters
You are cordially invited to attend WiVLA's membership meeting on Tuesday, April 15, when guest speakers will be members Cary Reeder and Anne Rita Taylor, winners of the 2013 WiVLA ECO Fund Awards in art and literature, respectively.
Cary's presentation, Inspired by Art Idols, is the result of a trip she took to New York City last October.  It was there that she hoped to be inspired by her art idols, Edward Hopper, Charles Sheeler, and Andrew Wyeth, for her next series of paintings. Cary spent three days on an art marathon, seeing the American Modern exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art, the American Legends exhibit at the Whitney Museum, and any other art that she could fit in.  Her presentation will be about her trip and the initial stages of her new series.
Anne will talk about her literary endeavors after winning the ECO Fund Award last year.  She created a zine about her experience, titled "An Invitation: The Mayborn Literary Non-Fiction Conference."  Copies will be available for perusal at our April gathering.

The VCR Show:  Vision. Collaboration. Retrospection.
A Twentieth Anniversary Celebration   


Although the Twentieth Anniversary Planning Committee has yet to secure an appropriate venue for The VCR Show, we feel confident that the perfect home for this special show will soon be found.  In the meantime, please use the following information in order to help you plan your entry or entries.  Any questions you have may be directed to Cathy Lachin
Call for Entry:
  • WiVLA invites women to submit pieces for consideration in a curated art and literary exhibit celebrating the organization's twentieth anniversary. Venue and dates TBA.
  • You must be/become a current WiVLA member in order to respond to this call for entry.
  • See other eligibility requirements below.
  • The theme of the anniversary show is The VCR Show:  Vision. Collaboration. Retrospection. 
  • Vision:  These will be new, previously unshown 2D and 3D pieces by current members.
  • Collaboration:  These will be new collaborative (writer/writer, writer/artist, artist/artist) pieces by current members.  Visual pieces may be 2D or 3D.  Significant collaborative pieces previously exhibited at WiVLA shows may also be submitted for consideration.  If your collaborator from a previous show cannot or prefers not to participate, you may submit your piece singularly in the "Retrospection" category.
  • Retrospection:  These will be significant 2D or 3D pieces by current members previously exhibited at WiVLA shows. 
  • Literary Offerings:  These will be new, previously unpublished works by current members, excerpts from which will be printed and displayed in the gallery.  Excerpts will be determined by the literary curator. 
Bio, Visual Curator Kellye Sanford:
Multi-disciplinary visual artist and graphic designer Kellye Sanford works in a range of media, from painting, printmaking and sculpture, to photography, digital imagery and book arts. Her work has been exhibited in gallery, university and museum settings and has appeared in books, magazines and newspapers, and on websites, television and billboards.


Sanford is the president of the artist board and past chairman of the executive board of DiverseWorks ArtSpace,Houston's contemporary art center dedicated to commissioning new visual, performing and literary art.


She is also program manager for communications design at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. She has served as a designer and consultant for Baylor College of Medicine, The Women's Fund for Health Education and Research, Rice University, and Houston Public Library Foundation. Before joining MD Anderson she worked as a designer, illustrator and photo stylist for the Houston Chronicle, where she specialized in upscale fashion, lifestyle and features.


As a freelance book designer specializing in literary fiction and poetry, Sanford has completed more than 60 book projects for more than 15 publishers, including Texas A&M University Press, SMU Press, Book Club of Texas, and DeGolyer Library.


She has received awards from the international Society for News Design, Associated Press, International Newspaper and Marketing Executives, University and College Design Association, Public Relations Society of America and others.


Sanford served as WIVLA's sixth president for two terms, during which the organization celebrated its tenth anniversary. She served on the advisory board its inaugural year.


Bio, Literary Curator Karleen Koen:
Karleen Koen is the author of four novels.  The most recent, Before Versailles, was included among the best historical fiction of 2011 by The Library Journal and RT Book Reviews. Other novels are:  NY Times best-selling Through a Glass Darkly, Now Face to Face, and Dark Angels, an Indie Next bestseller.
Her books have been Book-of-the-Month Club and Doubleday Club selections as well as Book Sense picks, Border's New and Notable, and The Historical Novel Society Editors' Choices.
They have been published by Random House, Crown Publishing, Avon Books, Kensington Books, Sourcebooks, Three Rivers Press, Books on Tape, Random House Audio, and Brilliance Bookcassette, as well as published in other countries.


Koen is an experienced and award-winning magazine editor and writer/editor and also the cofounder of Women in the Visual and Literary Arts (WiVLA) in Houston.  She was a Helene Wurlitzer Foundation Writing Fellow Summer 2011.


Fees for submissions:
  • $20 for one entry, literary or visual
  • $35 for two entries, literary or visual, or one of each
  • $40 for three entries, any combination of literary and/or visual
Submission requirements:
  • Online submissions of entries and of jpg images (300 dpi) are required.  File name shall be title of piece.  No mail-in or in-person submissions will be accepted. 
  • 3-D installations must include two views of each piece. Size restrictions will be determined once venue is secured.
  • 2-D art must be wrapped canvases or framed pieces, installation ready.  Size restrictions will be determined once venue is secured.
  • Each literary piece must be submitted as a pdf file, double-spaced, Times New Roman, 12-point.  File name shall be title of piece.  Each piece must be fewer than 720 words.   
Art Work:
  • All 2-D works must be wired for hanging.
  • Artists with 3-D pieces must supply their own pedestals.
  • All works must remain on display for the entirety of the show.
  • All works must have a label on the back or underside with artist's name and contact information, title of work, and medium or media employed.
  • All work must be original, the sole work of the artist(s), and completed without supervision.
  • The curator's decisions are final.  The curator reserves the right to exclude specific pieces if the content is considered inappropriate for the exhibit or venue or if they are not properly prepared.
  • Titles cannot be changed.
  • Entry fees are NOT refundable.
Entries will be accepted as soon as the show's venue is secured and announced.  At that time, the official prospectus will be posted on the WiVLA website, along with all pertinent dates.  Online entry will be available. 
Board Opportunities:  Lend Your Voice!
The Board of Directors is actively seeking candidates for the following board positions:  Literary Co-Chairs (two openings); Historian; Communications Chair.  Any interested party must be current on her WiVLA dues and must have been a member for at least one year.  The board meets on the second Monday of each month, excluding December, at 6:00 p.m., at the Trini Mendenhall Sosa Community Center on Wirt Road.  Our gatherings are friendly and lively, creative and insightful, energizing and productive.  If your talents and skills lend themselves to one of these positions, please contact any of the board members listed below.  Serving on the board is a wonderful opportunity to get to know other WiVLA members and to contribute to the organization in a meaningful way.  Let us hear from you!

Sketchbook Gathering
6:00 P.M. - 8:00 P.M. 

Join your WiVLA friends as we sketch, journal, paint, etc., in our sketchbooks. The gatherings thus far have been fun, relaxing, informative, inspiring, fruitful, thoughtful, humorous, generous, safe, adventurous, supportive . . .


Please join us Monday the 7th.  If you choose to work in your sketchbook, that's fine.  If you want to use a different sketchbook or create on plain, separate papers, by all means, bring those.


If you'd like to work toward a completed sketchbook to submit to the Sketchbook Project, we will be happy to supply you with information regarding that.  Here's a helpful link:


According to their website, "The Sketchbook Project is a global, crowd-sourced art project and interactive, traveling exhibition of handmade books. [Their] mission is to allow anyone to be able to participate in art and to create a collection of work that represents the current state of artists worldwide."


AND DON'T EVEN SAY, "BUT, I'M NOT AN ARTIST."  Because we have people from all kinds of backgrounds in our community -- poets, novelists, essayists, painters, sculptors, photographers.   We use the word "sketchbook" as a loose term for a record of our experimentation in creativity. Join tens of thousands of people in this global, traveling art library.


Just bring your supplies and a willingness to have fun breathing artsy air. We always come away with smiles on our faces.  Se y'all on the road!  


Gift Baskets in the Works for Twentieth Anniversary Celebration! 
Wouldn't you love to own a piece of a fellow WiVLA member's work?  Or have a truly unique opportunity to promote your own creations? WiVLA's Twentieth Anniversary Planning Committee is pleased to announce its plans to create dazzling, art-centric gift baskets to be raffled off during our celebration in the Fall of 2014.  Details about ticket sales will be forthcoming, but, in the meantime,we are soliciting donations from our talented membership in order to fill the baskets.  Be imaginative -- any piece of your own creation is welcome, including 2D and 3D work in your choice of medium or media, photographs, books, altered books, chapbooks, framed or unframed pieces.  Zita Giraldo has offered to lend her boundless talent to assembling the baskets (we plan to offer three -- small, medium, and large), so they are sure to be lovely.

You may bring any contributions to the WiVLA general meetings -- Cathy Lachin will happily collect them.  Gift baskets have been both highly coveted and immensely successful in the past, so scour your studios, ladies, for the perfect piece(s) to donate! 

For Sale:  WiVLA Tote Bags

Black cloth bags, imprinted with the WiVLA logo in white, will be for sale at every meeting.  Be sure to get one - they're excellent library bags, mini grocery or shopping bags, perfect for packing sketchbook supplies so every tool will be handy when you go out sketching.  There are a multitude of ways to use them, and they're a bargain at $12 each.  Flaunt your WiVLA pride -- get one soon!

Visual Journaling Group
Are you a visual journaler?  Do you journal your experiences, thoughts, and feelings visually?  Do you supplement your writing with imagery, color, or lettering?  Do you want to begin a visual journal?

Please email Cori Austin if you are interested:  We are a small group of visual journalers, experienced and inexperienced, who plan to come together monthly to share pages, ideas, backgrounds, techniques.  We would love to have you join us. 




The Sketchbook Project Tour Arrive in Houston!

April 10, Lawndale Art Center, 11 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Several WiVLA members (including Lane Devereux, Rona Lesser, and Cori Austin) have sketchbooks on this tour.  Stop by and enjoy them and a wide and numerous variety of others. Watch a short video clip: 

Color Up/Color Down ~ Art Installations ~ Exhibition for Spring 2014 ~ Curated by Jo Zider

Russ Pitman Park, Bellaire, TX:  How nature teases our senses!  How does an artist respond to the theme, COLOR UP/COLOR DOWN, within the context of a nature conservancy?  Now a sixth-year tradition, this evolving group of artists called Municipal Dirt, will explore materials as media which translate the statement of nature and that of artist into a visual public experience for "Art in the Park."  Take a detour from traffic to the calming ambience of a stroll through the four-acre oasis of Russ Pitman Park.  Enjoy the tranquility of leaves rustling under your footsteps, fluttering wings, and then silence as you pause to hear the laughter of children on their own exploration of nature's abundant curiosities and glimpse into the artists' world of COLOR UP/COLOR DOWN.

In keeping with the mission of the Nature Discovery Center, the artists celebrate the function of observation and understanding of nature, while exploring the systems that create form, surface and color within the park, whether it is by natural formation or artist's impetus.  Interest in this exploration and commitment has been made by the following internationally-recognized visual and performing artists:  Karen Brasier-Young,  Margaret Braun, Vachu Chilakamarri, James Ciosek, Jordan Dupuis, Daniel Esquivel-Brandt, Tonatiuh Esquivel-Silva, Orna Feinstein, Jeff Forster, Mikey Georgeson, Lydia Hance, Mark Hirsch, Kathryn Kelley, Ann Johnson, Mari Omori, Loueva Smith, Carol Scott, Paul Tecklenberg, Justin Varner, Jason Villegas, June Woest, Jo Zider (curator), and Grace Zuniga.

The exhibition runs through May 1, 2014.  You may join the Nature Discovery Center Adult Lecture Series for a guided tour with curator, Jo Zider, Wednesday, April 2, at 7 p.m. 

Russ Pitman Park is located at 7112 Newcastle, just north of Evergreen, in the City of Bellaire; therefore no pets, alcoholic beverages or smoking are allowed on the grounds or parking areas. Park hours are 6 am - 9 pm, every day.   For more information, contact the Nature Discovery Center at 713-667-6550, or
 Jo Zider at  or 713-294-6259.
~ Karen Smith is proud to announce she moved into Silver Street Studios. Come celebrate her birthday on Saturday, April 12 from 2 to 5 pm. Location is 2000 Edwards Street, Studio 319.  Everyone is invited. Please feel free to stop by anytime. Questions call 713.444.1005. Come wander around during this Come and Eat Cake and the Second Saturday Silver Street Studio Open House.
~ Karen Smith is also pleased to announce that her art is now hanging in Galeria Regina. Located at 1716 Richmond Avenue (inside the 610 Loop). Please feel free to stop by Saturday or Sunday from 1 - 5 pm.
~ 50 Shades Beyond Gray: Color Your Writing, Infuse Your Future, the Houston Writers Guild’s 2014 Agents & Editors Conference, will be held on Saturday, April 12th. Registration is $100 for members and $125 for nonmembers. The conference will take place at the Marriott Sugar Land Town Center, 16090 City Walk, Sugar Land, TX 77479.  For more information,
~ The Houston chapter of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) will hold their annual conference on April 26 & 27, 2014. They have a great lineup of editors and agents this year since this is also their 25th anniversary. For more details please see:

Additionally, if you are interested in resources for illustrating children’s books, please do check out Diandra Mae’s blog. She is the illustrator coordinator for SCBWI Houston.
~ Interesting blogs for women in the arts:  Women Writers, Women Books - Interweaving the Conversation, Deepening the Connection (web address is an online magazine for women writers AND artists. It posts personal and fact-filled how-to essays (and is open to submissions) about the creative process, publishing issues, and marketing ideas from women writers at all levels of experience; two literary journals open to submissions (one for personal essays; another for poems, prose, and art); and marketing services and support. 

~ Mixed Media Mandala Workshop with Caroline Marcos, Saturday. April 5, 2-5 p.m., The Green House Gallery and Art Center, 9304 Hammerly Blvd.
This workshop will introduce participants to mandalas, what they are, and how they've been used in different cultures, traditions, and spirituality. Caroline will explain how mandalas have been used in the field of art therapy, and, finally, each participant will create her own original piece using mixed media.   She will teach how to create, textures, and layering using watercolors, collage, and derwent inktense water-soluble pencils on bristol paper.  Caroline will be happy to share the process of her own work and various techniques and materials that students would like demonstrated. $45, materials included. Registration is required. To sign up, email Caroline at   For more information about the Green House Gallery, visit their Facebook page.  


Review:  Laura Lark

WiVLA's March program featured Houston artist and writer Laura Lark.   Lark presented slides that depicted the evolution of her "dot portraits" and explained how her work has been influenced by feminine images in the fashion magazines that pervaded her youth.

According to, Lark
 "earned an MFA in Painting, an M.A. in Creative Writing / Literature and a B.A. in English and American Literature from the University of Houston. [She] explains her work by saying, “As an artist and writer, I find that with each body of work I am trying to create a personal narrative. Large, obsessive works reflect memories of teenage angst, ennui, and loneliness; a hand drawn ground of psychedelic patterns—memories of fabrics and posters from my youth—surrounds isolated figures. And figures in some works, although based on personal photos or magazines that my mother used to thumb through, become facets of my persona, both real and imagined: the entitled white suburbanite; the whiny victim; the bold, independent outsider/warrior; the accident-prone geek; and the empty woman who does nothing but stuff her face, only seeking comfort.”  Lark's work has been viewed internationally in solo exhibits in both nonprofit and private galleries. 

Many thanks to Zita Giraldo for delivering yet another engaging program.

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). 
Deadline extended:  Fresh Arts is currently seeking exhibition proposals for its 2014-15 exhibition series:  "We encourage emerging artists of all mediums, art collectives, or independent curators to apply for an exhibition at Fresh Arts.  Fresh Arts is a uniquely flexible and open exhibitions environment and each 6-week show comes with a $250 honorarium, a free Fresh Arts Artist Memberhsip, and lots of support!"  Deadline to apply:  Sunday, April 6, 2014.  For complete details, visit
CAFE' for Artists! 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).  
- The Collagist - A monthly journal published on the 15th of each month since August 2009. Each issue contains short fiction, poetry, essays, book reviews, and one or more excerpts from novels forthcoming from (mostly) independent presses. By publishing online, The Collagist seeks to provide access to powerful, progressive literature by both new and established writers to an ever-expanding audience. 
- Flyeaf - An innovative bimonthly publication printed on a gatefold sheet. Each short story is self-contained with its own original cover art and illustration. 
- Bitter Oleander - - The Bitter Oleander Press has been providing the poetry reading public with a highly deep-image driven poetry since 1974. 
WiVLA 2014 Board of Directors

President Cathy Nieman 
Vice President Jane Mulholland

Secretary Rona Lesser     

Treasurer Josena Arquieta
Membership Joyce Marie      

Communications [Open Position]
Programs Zita Giraldo      

Newsletter Cathy Lachin     

Visual Arts Theo Billings
and Luisa Duarte   


Literary Arts 
[2 Open Positions]   


Social Media Ima Oduok         

At-Large Cindy Rasche  

and Peggy Sexton   
Historian [Open Position] 

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