April 2015

ECO Fund Stories to Highlight April Meeting
Our April meeting promises to be quite interesting with presentations from last year's two ECO Fund winners - Cathy Lachin and Jo Zider.  The meeting will begin at 5:45 pm (a new time) with refreshments at the Printing Museum at 1324 W. Clay Street, followed by the program start at 6:15 pm.  In case you didn't know, the ECO Fund is the Educational and Cultural Opportunity Fund and is a benefit of membership in this fine organization.

Cathy Lachin, recipient of the 2014 ECO Fund literary award, will present an account of her research expedition last fall to the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola, just outside St. Francisville.  Cathy will share her experience as a spectator at the biannual prison rodeo and her first-hand observations of the inside of the largest maximum security prison in the United States.  After a brief report and a four-minute video, she will read passages from her novel-in-progess, Man Alive on Everett Street.  

Jo Zider, recipient of the 2014 ECO Fund visual artist award, used her funds to complete an art installation at the Rothko Chapel called "Mending Circle Labyrinth."  The installation was in commemoration of International Women's Day and Jo was able to use the grant from WiVLA to purchase material to create an elegant carpet for the bone labyrinth.  Jo will share a 15 minute video and series of still photographs to give fellow WiVLA members an idea of the experience of walking this very special labyrinth. 

Members Lane Devereux and Cathy Lachin (our writer speaker for April) at the VCR Show in November.
ECO FUND Applications Being Accepted Now!
The ECO fund is the EDUCATIONAL AND CULTURAL OPPORTUNITY FUND and this is one of the benefits of membership in WiVLA.  Each year, WiVLA awards $1000 for one artist and $1000 for one writer. To apply, you must have been a member for two consecutive years since January 1, 2013. Also you may apply only once, either as an artist or a writer, in a given calendar year (January 1 – December 31).The ECO Fund can be won only one time by a member. Incomplete applications and applications postmarked after the calendar year will not be considered. All entries will be reviewed for eligibility. The application deadline is Friday, April 10 and winners will be chosen by lottery at the April 21 member meeting. Click here to see the guidelines and print the application. 

Funds may be used to attend classes or workshops, acquire equipment that will further your creative development, create a community service project or support any other endeavor that will further your creative goals. Recipients must make a 15-25 minute presentation during a member meeting. Both recipients will present during the same meeting. The program will explain how the money was used and how this enhanced their creative growth. Recipients are asked to share tips, suggestions, breakthroughs, frustrations, and successes, as well as materials such as brochures, slides, photos to support their presentation which other members might find useful.
April Cartoon By Dorothy Colp,
Our WiVLA Cartoonist
Cartoonist and Member Dorothy Colp is a graduate of Savannah College of Art and Design and is currently building her business as a sequential artist. 

WiVLA Diary:
April Means Poetry

Like tastes in art, tastes in poetry vary dramatically. Since April is Poetry Month, our literary co-chairs, Sandi Stromberg and Maryann Gremillion, invited our WiVLA members to share their favorite poets and poems with us to celebrate.  We hope you will enjoy these poems through the links included here and we will all celebrate Poetry Month together. Enjoy!.

Member Dodie Meeks was the first to respond to our call for favorite poets with her poet - Billy Collins. She says that she finds him "warm and witty on a chilly gray day" and that  "Another Reason Why I Don't Keep a Gun in the House" is one of her favorites.

Vice President Cori Austin shares her thoughts on her favorite poet: "Mary Oliver has a way of creating deep understanding by melding humanity with nature. Using the wild natural life of the forest and animals, she references our emotions, misunderstandings, desires, needs, and struggles, helping her readers to understand themselves more deeply, more clearly.  "The Journey" came to me in a magazine while I was on the treadmill at the gym.  I had to stop walking and read it without distraction.  How did Ms. Oliver know I needed that poem at that precise moment?  I don't know, but "The Journey" helped me save my life.  And yes, there were tugs at my ankles, voices calling me, and the nights were wild.  From there,  finding the wide expanse of her poetry, from the well-known "Wild Geese" to her "When Death Comes" has helped me focus on what is most important on my journey."

Program Chair Zita Giraldo loves Christopher Morley's poem "To A Child."  Literary Arts Co-Chair Maryann Gremillion offers us Galway Kinnell's Saint Francis and the Sow.  Newsletter editor Harriet Riley shares her favorite poet Wendell Berry and his well-loved poem, "The Peace of Wild Things."

President Jane Mulholland tells us that she has committed to read a poem a day in April. She's traveling during the first part of April and plans to pack “The Rising Tides,” an old worn paperback of 20th Century Women Poets with an introduction by Anais Nin. She says, "My mother  often read poetry to me as a child and I was put to bed with Eugene Field’s, “Wynken, Blynken and Nod;”  and still find,  ”sailed on a river of crystal light into a sea of dew,” a breath-taking idea.  Poetry fills my memories of fifth grade and as a school girl, I learned more about the heartbreak of the Civil War from Stephen Vincent Benet’s “John Brown’s Body” than from any other source. I loved reading E.E. Cummings while I was pregnant with my first child. At my fortieth high school reunion I was sitting by a woman who I don’t ever remember talking with before.  She said to me, “Do you know the poet Stanley Kunitz?” I did not. She suggested I find a copy of his poem, ‘The Layers.’  How she knew I would really like this poem and then all of his poems, I do not know. But “The Layers” is a poem I use in every retirement workshop I have ever facilitated, reminding: “I am not done with my changes.”
If you didn't contribute to this article, enjoy these and find your own favorite poem this month!

President's Message

The most important date in April for WiVLA members is April 10. This is the deadline for submissions to the ECO Fund. The submission form is on our website under the “Membership” tab. If you have been a member for two full consecutive years – 2013 and 2014 and are currently a 2015 member you are eligible to submit for the drawing at our April 21 meeting. Our speakers in April are artist Jo Zider and writer Catherine Lachin who were our 2014 ECO Fund recipients. (See meeting announcement in this newsletter) You won’t want to miss this meeting and hear how they spent their grant.

The ECO Fund is only one example of the many opportunities WiVLA affords us.  At our March meeting we were guests of artist Margaret Smithers-Crump at Hunter Gather Project where she also has her studio and a thriving framing and art conservation business with her husband. It is always a privilege and a special event when we are invited to an artist's studio and this was no exception. All who came were moved and inspired by Margaret's work and her lyric presentation.

Our last two speakers artists Mari Omori (February) and Margaret Smithers-Crump made poetic presentations giving WiVLA a head start on Poetry Month. After the March meeting I over heard one of our WiVLA poets tell Margaret, "You are a poet and an artist." 

Both talked about how nature informs their work: Mari spoke of  living two months in a Buddhist temple where she was alone in nature; and Margaret talked about growing up in Canada where she lived most of the year on an island.  Both discussed the evolution of their lives and art. Mari uses mostly natural materials "humble, raw, earthy, fragile everyday materials," while  Margaret works in plexiglas and makes beautiful images evoking the natural world. 

Mari concluded by introducing us to the Eastern concept of "Wabi-Sabi" where it is understood that all things are impermanent, imperfect: "Nothing lasts, nothing is finished and nothing is permanent." This understanding leads to becoming comfortable with ambiguity and contradiction. It is her daily practice to make a drawing every day.

When Margaret finished our tour of her studio and her work she said she wanted us to know how grateful she was for being a woman artist in Houston at this time. She reminded us that our mothers and certainly our grandmothers, if they were creative, did not make art but did needlework and other handiwork; and said how lucky we are today to be able to pursue our creativity in many arenas. 

I am grateful to both of these speakers and to WiVLA for giving us the opportunity to meet both of them. It seems to be a good year for great inspiration., whether it comes from artists, nature, fellow WiVLA members or poetry….Happy April!
 Jane Mulholland


Help Us Prepare for a WiVLA Juried Show

Visual Co-Chairs Jo Zider and Peggy Sexton are putting together a proposal for a juried show by WiVLA artists. In the proposal they would like to link to websites of WiVLA artists so they can see the caliber of our artists and get an idea of what to expect in the show. If you are willing to have us submit your website as part of the proposal process, please send your website address to: visual@wivla.org for inclusion in the proposal by April 25.  Thank you!

WiVLA and Fresh Arts: A Great Partnership
The WiVLA Board recently voted to join the Fresh Arts Alliance.  Fresh Arts is a 501©3 organization dedicated to strengthening the sustainability and vibrancy of Houston's arts sector by bolstering the capacity and professional practice of artists and arts organizations and enhancing the public's engagement with the arts. Their mission aligns with WiVLA's and there are many benefits for organizations like ours which are all listed on their website.
Also - don't forget that we now have WiVLA membership cards for our members to get discounts on products purchased at 
Jo-Ann Fabrics and other places that offer discounts for members of arts organizations. The cards will be available at each monthly meeting. 

Members June Russell, Becky Soria and Piyali Sen Dasguptaat the VCR Show in November.


Literary and Visual Workshops
Interested in spending a day with writers, sharpening your skills, being inspired, perhaps trying a new genre? Join us for one or more of the workshops below.
We’re also encouraging non-members interested in knowing more about the organization to sample WiVLA offerings at a slightly higher price, but the extra $10 can be applied to membership. So invite a friend or acquaintance!  
To register for any of these workshops, click here:   http://www.wivla.org/workshop_regform.htm

If you have questions, email your Literary Co-Chairs at literary@wivla.org!

A Recipe for Flash Fiction
If you’ve wondered about this genre, whose popularity is increasing, make a date to spend the morning with Marie-Pierre Stien on Saturday, April 11. You’ll learn how to write these short pieces and how to get them published.

 Stock, Spices and a Pinch of Arsenic: A Recipe for Flash Fiction
Trini Mendenhall Community Center, 1414 Wirt Road
Saturday, April 11, 9 a.m.-noon
Members: $45; Non-Members: $55 
Limit: 20
Flash fiction, story-telling in less than 500 words, is particularly well-suited to the short-attention span of the digital age. In this workshop, you will experiment with a basic recipe for generating shamelessly punchy first drafts. You will work individually and as a group to produce several first drafts and develop one or two into complete stories. The emphasis will be on experimentation and creativity. You will also receive specific information on how and where to publish your stories in the digital world.
Marie-Pierre Stien is a writer and illustrator living in Houston, Texas. You can read her flash fiction at https://medium.com/@pmneist  or visit her site at http://mpsink.com/
To register click here:  
 If you have questions, email your Literary Co-Chairs at literary@wivla.org!

WiVLA Sketchbook Group Meetings
Monday, April 6, 2015
Trini Mendenhall Community Center
1414 Wirt Road (NE corner of Wirt/Westview)
Spring Branch
6-8 pm
Saturday, April 11, 2015
Sculpture Garden, across from MFAH
Montrose at Bissonnet
2-4 pm

meet at the tables/chairs area
Join us as we sit with each other on either or both of these days, sharing ideas and techniques.   Sometimes in quiet camaraderie, sometimes in wonderful conversation, we capture what we see and translate it onto our paper.  Bring a sketchbook and whatever kind of drawing tool you prefer – pencil, thin line marker, pen, graphite, etc.  Use what works for you.  For the Monday meeting, bring an object or a photo to sketch.

If you have any questions, contact Cori Austin
281-731-2711     artjournal50@gmail.com

(Sketch by Cori Austin)

Looking for Lively Interviews

While you're visiting WiVLA's newly-redesigned website, www.wivla.org, please notice there's a tab labelled "Featured Member."  If you click on it, you'll see that it says "Coming soon!"  Your newsletter editor is looking for members who will consent to an interview to be posted to this section.  WiVLA members are always curious to know more about one another -- who we are, where we're from, what we do, how and why we do it. To volunteer, just contact newsletter@wivla.org.  Click here to read our profile of member Dodie Meeks:  http://wivla.org/profile.htm


AmazonSmile. You Shop. Amazon Gives.
WiVLA members, did you know that:
  • Amazon donates 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to the charitable organization of your choice.
  • AmazonSmile is the same Amazon you know. Same products, same prices, same service.
  • Support WiVLA by starting your shopping at smile.amazon.com.
We've all shopped Amazon at one time or another.  Why not make let AmazonSmile make a donation to our organization the next time you make a purchase? 

  • Cookie Wells is opening new show "Body Language" at Archway Gallery, Saturday, April 11 from 5-8pm. The show runs April 4-30, 2015. Archway is located at 2305 Dunlavy. The paintings, in the true spirit of collaboration, include the poetry of Loueva Smith.
  • Join Cookie Wells, poet Loueva Smith, and choreographer Lydia Hance on Sunday, April 12 at 5pm at Archway Gallery for a night of poetry and dance. Poet Loueva Smith and choreographer Lydia Hance will perform through words and movement to interpret the watercolors of Cookie Wells. 
  • Jo Zider has two small bronze works accepted in a show called
    "20 Cubed" at Southwest University of Visual Arts (SUVA) in Albuquerque, New Mexico. "Evolution of Power Coaster" and "Pentagonal Games"  from the Carnival Days Series combine Jo's original bone simulations of vertebrae and monkeys in comical configurations.
  •  Denise Bossarte, photographer, has two pieces in juried group shows at the Forth Worth Community Arts Center in 2015. "WM Feb 2013 Series 4-01" will be in the Back To Basics exhibit from March 12th- May 2nd, 2015. And "#1 Slipped Boats Series 6-01" will be in the Curvature exhibit from July 10th- August 30th, 2015.
  • Josena Arquieta and Jane Mulholland have work in the Spring Street Studios Show, "Skin in the Game," currently showing through April 18. The show was curated by Angel Quesada.
  • June Russell is leaving March 6 on a 90 day cruise which starts in Tokyo and ends in London with many stops in between. She will be writing a blog as she travels. Join her: junesjunkets.wordpress.com 
  • Karen Anne Smith is proud to announce her Joe Goodbuddy Art opening was on Saturday, March 14, 2015 at Galeria Regina from 6 to 9 pm. Show title is "Abundance of ...". This theme is the abundance that surrounds us such as love, laughter, friendship and more. Please come and see what the "Abundance Of ..." is all about. Location: 1716 Richmond Ave, Houston, Texas 77098. There will also be an art closing on Saturday, April 25, 2015 from 6 to 9 pm. Karen has created a whole new body of work. Everyone is welcome. Refreshments will be served.
  • Member Dorothy Colp, also our Voices Cartoonist, did illustrations for the newly published book, A Journey Through Tea. The book can be ordered here at blurb.com or purchased through Te House of Tea's official website here. 
  • New member Mary Ramain has two pieces at the  Carolyn Garcia Gallery in the Museum District Clinic Eye Clinic,  4704 Montrose Blvd.
  • Share studio space at Spring Street with two other artists. Contact: Josena Arquieta, 713-907-3679;josena@josenasart.com
  • Jo Zider's piece entitled "Focus Patience" from her Urban Relic series will be in the juried show "Nourish," which opened February 6, 6 PM to 8 PM, at the Center for Contemporary Craft.
  • Workspace available: WriteSpace creative writing center, Silver Street Studios #212, 2000A Edwards Street, 77007, is seeking a weekday studio mate. Details: http://www.writespacehouston.org/news/writespace-is-seeking-a-studiomate
  •  Please go to the Printing Museum website and look at the list of workshops and classes, if you are new to printmaking or if you need a refresher. If we are to participate in a print exhibition at the Printing Museum, we must produce works in traditional printing methods. They are not interested in showing photography or mixed media-collage. If you do not see anything of interest to you in the Printing Museum's listing, let Jo Zider know and she can arrange to have a mini-workshop to learn specific techniques of interest to members. The Printing Museum needs to have an interest-level indicator in order to go forward with plans for an exhibit either this year or next.  Jo thanks everyone for participating in the survey at the February meeting. Click here if you were not in attendance and would still like to take the survey. Send the survey to Jo via email by clicking here.

Houston Writers Guild will have their Annual Spring Writer's Conference April 24, 25, & 26 at the Westchase Marriott. Saturday will feature the keynote speaker Jane Friedman on digital age authors and many breakout sessions. For more information and registration go to their website.

In addition, the Houston Writers Guild (HWG) will host its first Indiepalooza conference for independently published writers on September 26. The HWG board is actively looking for self-published presenters to speak on a wide range of topics: social media, business basics,  reviews, formatting, beta readers and copy editors, marketing/book events, and production timeline. They are also open to other suggestions. Prospective speakers should contact: 
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). 

~ A new venture called GutfreundCornett Art announces a call for art for their  first exhibition titled "Visaural: Sight, Sound and Action" will be held at the Nave Gallery, October 8-31, 2015 in Somerville, Massachusetts in conjunction with the Honk! Festival of Activist Street Bands. We are looking for artwork that combines the visual with music of your choice. Click here for the full prospectus and to enter:   http://www.gutfreundcornettart.com/visaural-sight-sound-and-action-2015-nave-gallery-annex.html

~ 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.

~ The Women’s Caucus for Art, hosted by AIR Gallery with juror Catherine Morris, Curator, Elizabeth Sackler Center announces a Call for Art: Who’s Afraid of Feminism? for September 2015. WCA is seeking art from cross-generational, self-identified women artists that address feminism with a contemporary spin through works that present a message about the women's experience to incite the viewer to question the social and political landscape and the need for gender equality – where feminism has been and where it is going. The theme may be broadly interpreted from a political, personal or formal context through a variety of media.
ENTER HERE: http://www.entrythingy.com/www.nationalwca.org#dashboard
Questions? Email: wcashows@gmail.com



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). 

CALYX journal, an independent publisher of fine arts and literature by women, announces the Lois Cranston Memorial prize for poetry contest. Deadline is May 31. 

Pockets Fiction Contest - submissions between 750-1000 words are accepted from March 15 - August 15 by clicking here

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.

Upcoming Events

Literary Workshop
Saturday, April 11 - 9 am to noon
Flash Fiction
Trini Mendenhall Community Center
1414 Wirt Road

WiVLA Member Meeting
Tuesday, April 21 at 5:45 pm
2014 ECO Fund Winners: 
Jo Zider and Catherine Lachin
Printing Museum

WiVLA Member Meeting
Tuesday, May 19 at 5:45 pm
WiVLA Scholastic Gold Key Award Winners
Printing Museum

WiVLA Member Meeting
Tuesday, June 16 at 5:45 pm
Successful Collaborative Pairings
Printing Museum

WiVLA Member Meeting
Tuesday, July 21 at 5:45 pm
Collaborative "Speed Dating"
Printing Museum

WiVLA Member Meeting
Tuesday, August 18 at 5:45 pm
featuring Elizabeth White-Olsen
Printing Museum

WiVLA Member Meeting
Tuesday, September 15 at 5:45 pm
"Attribution is Not Permission" - an overview of intellectual property issues for artists/writers
Printing Museum

WiVLA Member Meeting
Tuesday, October 20 at 5:45 pm
Photographer Ann Stautberg presents her work
Printing Museum

WiVLA Member Meeting
November 17 at 5:45 pm
Writer Rene Palmer Armstrong
"History Lost, History Found"
Printing Museum

WiVLA Sketchbook Meetings
Monday, April 6, 2015
Trini Mendenhall Community Center
1414 Wirt Road (NE corner of Wirt/Westview)
Spring Branch
6-8 pm
Saturday, April 11, 2015
Sculpture Garden, across from MFAH
Montrose at Bissonnet
2-4 pm

meet at the tables/chairs area

For more information, see WiVLA News section of this newsletter.

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.

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 2015 Board of Directors

President - Jane Mulholland          

Vice President - Cori Austin

Secretary - Alicia Young

Treasurer - Josena Arquieta        

Membership - Linda Ann Stelljes and Elizabeth Burnham

Communications and Social Media-  Ima Oduok

Programs - Zita Giraldo               

Newsletter - Harriet Riley           

Visual Arts - Peggy Sexton
and Jo Zider           


Literary Arts - Sandi Stromberg
and Maryann Gremillion


At-Large-  Lillian Tharp          
and Theo Billings           

Historian - Rona Lesser

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


Quick Links...



The Printing Museum

Glasstire Texas:  Visual Art News and Reviews

Fresh Arts Coalition Houston

Visual Arts Alliance

Houston Writers Guild

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Gulf Coast Poets

Inprint Houston

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Paper City Magazine

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