August 2018

August Meeting, August 21st – Critique Groups -- a program with Chris Cander and Cookie Wells
Polishing a scene. Refining a painting technique. Writing more relatable dialogue. Whether it’s in writing or visual arts, the help you can get from critique groups can be transformative. Novelist Chris Cander and visual artist Cookie Wells team up this month to delve into the benefits of joining a critique group and discuss important do’s and don'ts.
   Chris Cander's new novel THE WEIGHT OF A PIANO is forthcoming from Knopf. Her novel WHISPER HOLLOW was selected as an Indie Next pick and nominated for the 2015 Kirkus Prize in fiction, and her award-winning novel 11 STORIES was included in Kirkus’s best indie general fiction of 2013. She is also the author of THE WORD BURGLAR, which won the 2014 Moonbeam's Children's Book Award. For six years she has been a writer-in-residence for Writers in the Schools, serves on the Inprint advisory board, and stewards several Little Free Libraries in her community. Chris well knows that the pen is mightier than the sword, but she’s willing to wield one of those, too. A former fitness competitor and model, she currently holds a third dan intaekwondo and is a certified women’s defensive tactics instructor. She lives in Houston with her husband and two children.
   Cookie Wells is a visual artist who has long been associated with Archway Gallery.  She worked in the graphic arts field for thirty years before concentrating on her own art.  She chose watercolor for its loose and flowing qualities, and fell in love with the medium. She continues to find it stimulating and exciting, stretching her work into many directions utilizing collage, inks, acrylics, and a variety of paper substrates.  Her constant is an exploration of color and texture.  She has been a long-time student at Glassell School of Art, and has repeatedly taken Arthur Turner's critique classes for the challenge and feedback they give her.  Cookie has been accepted and won a prize in the prestigious Watercolor U.S.A. competitions and is now a member of that group's Honor Society.  She is an active member of Watercolor Art Society, Houston, and Women in the Visual and Literary Arts. 
Archway Gallery  
2305 Dunlavy, Houston TX 77006
5:45 – 6:15  Mix and Mingle
6:15 – 6:30  Short business meeting
6:30 – 7:30  Chris  Cander and Cookie Wells:  The Benefits of a Critique Group For Your Creative Work
7:30 -  Dinner at Brasil’s (dutch-treat) after we pick up the meeting area at Archway. Brazil's is on the corner of Dunlavy and Westheimer -- an easy walk from the gallery.

President's Message: Reasons for Art
  In my very favorite book arts store in Minneapolis, I came across a sweet little accordion book entitled Reasons for Art.  Regula Russelle letterpress-printed it and created the book, which was inspired by artist Mary Frank’s list of personal reasons for art, to which Regula added her own. Here is the compilation, the first three being Mary Frank’s. The comments following each are my own.

 Reasons for Art:
  • To AWAKE the LIVING – Isn’t this why we visit art galleries, museums, public places – to be changed, to be woken up, to see a new perspective? We make art to wake ourselves up and to find out what is inside that needs to be brought out into the light.
  • To COMFORT the DEAD – (I’m not quite sure how to respond to this one….. anyone?)
  • To KNOW MIGRATIONS of SEASONS, of BIRDS, of FISH – Think of how often  the natural world becomes muse to one’s creative endeavors.  Many of us acutely feel the natural world’s rhythms. The changes of the seasons, the wildlife, the woods and oceans, all can cause a sensitive soul to respond with her personal creative language. 
  • To LAUGH, to LOVE - Laughing and loving are two of the best ways to feel the life-force within oneself and let it bubble up and out. Some of us laugh with paint, others love with words. There are so many ways to express the joy we feel.
  • To LAMENT – Art is a place to go, a way to express the grief, terror, sadness of the times that try our souls. Solace can come from within as the darkness is made visible.
  • To INVITE REFLECTION – When one expresses her inner self visibly, her heart has been unzipped, opened, and examined. Others able to participate in this expression also have the opportunity to go on a similar journey, opening a heart as well.
  • To INSPIRE ACTION – Movements have theme songs, poetry, symbols, all of which propel the activity forward. Art can sell a cause, create sustenance for it, and bring visitors to an event. Sometimes it is a personal journey of action, a one-person path.
  • To HONOR the EARTH – I think of all the Native art that has paid homage to the beauty of this earth. A Navajo rug in earth’s dusty colors, an Inuit soapstone carving of a polar bear, a decorated clay pot made to beautify the daily tasks -- all bring beauty to life’s routines.
  • To cultivate BEAUTY, GRATITUDE, JOY – Creating what is beautiful, maintaining gratitude for the graces of one’s life, and finding joy in the daily moments of existence all help us fashion a positive outlook, a purposeful reason for existence, and a joyful state of being.
  • To knit an EXPANDING WEB of COMMUNITY – This speaks directly of WiVLA, doesn’t it? We learn from each other, celebrate successes together, exhibit and read together. The buyers, enjoyers, appreciators of our work join our community and become part of our extended family. 
  • To GIVE VOICE – Many times art and creativity are the best way of expressing deeply felt yearnings or pain. Sometimes everyday language just isn’t enough; a poem is needed to clarify and distill the emotion into a special form. Some people express through color, some through gesture, others through song. Creativity gives us a voice.
  • To TOUCH – Sometimes it is a gentle nudge on the arm, from that painting over there on the gallery wall. Other times it is a grab of the front of the shirt and a shake, the response is so visceral. Art is here to wake us up, open us to deeper reflection, and let us feel different than we were when we walked into the room.
  • To CONNECT – We come together, artists, appreciators; writers, listeners; dancers, viewers; singers, listeners. We are all part of a creative community, and we all learn and grow from each other’s courage. Through our togetherness, we make life beautiful, we grow together, we safeguard what is precious, and we make this world a better place.
Are you ready for art? Take a deep breath and open the door…. You will be changed, you will feel, you will wake up!  Please feel free to add to this list of Reasons for Art. I would like to put your ideas on this list with the others.
    Cori Austin


Is  it the final frontier?
   Is it inner space or out there space?
   Does it describe a particular area?
   By now, collaborators have agreed to collaborate. The forms have been submitted and the creative energies of the partners in collaboration are rising and working for the upcoming exhibit and reading. It is exhilarating to imagine the perspectives and works that we will view and hear from WiVLA collaborators.
   This collaboration will be hung and presented at the Houston Public Library central building in downtown Houston in November and December and a literary reading will be held at the opening reception. Specific information and a prospectus are available at
   WiVLA is very well known for its collaborative events. Few other organizations offer such a unique venture. The growth of each artist and the pure pleasure of the working time together will be unforgettable.
   As we move forward to the prospectus deadlines, it is important to reflect on "What is a collaboration?" It is an exhibition which ties together two artistic avenues, often writing and visual art, and they are presented together. The creatives meet several times and discuss the path on how they will develop the theme (in this case, S P A C E) into a piece of visual art that connects to a written piece. Or, performance art could be one of the avenues. The partners decide how they want to complete the project, each doing 100% of her own part or combining both partners into both avenues, if desired. As background, here is a video of two of our members discussing their 2016 collaboration:
   Working together, a collaboration becomes greater than the two artists. A third presence is awoken -- one of connection and spirit.
   (Submission fees will defray the cost of the anthology that each woman will receive.)
S P A C E Collaborations as of July 27, 2018 
Sally Worthington           Maria Brown
Maria Brown                   Sally Worthington
Lane Devereux                Kay McStay
Margo Toombs                Habibah Haugstad
Gretchen McDaniel         Jody T Morse
Ann Boutte                      Melody Locke
Rona Lesser                    Maggie Baldwin
June Russell                    Sandi Stromberg
Jane Chance                    Roberta Sajda
Jere Pfister                      Zita Giraldo
Judith Shamp                  Kathleen Merritt
Susan Salter                    Emily Wagner
Kathleen Merritt              Judy Shamp 
Mary Riggs Ramain        Cori Austin
Mary Riggs Ramain        Leigh Owen 
Lilibeth Andre                 Kathy Wood 
Jane Mulholland              Rona Lesser
Janet Ruffin                      Josena Arquieta
Ilana Reisz                       Darden Oxley
Lee Steiner                       Patty Flaherty Pagan
Regina Vitola Mader        Sharon Bippus
Celeste Budwit-Hunter    Sabina Gartler
Kathleen Merritt               Dune Tencer

We hope that by now you have completed your Intent to Submit form to establish your collaboration. Deadline for this form was Tuesday, July 31 at 11:59 pm. Thank you for your cooperation, collaborators!
Deadline reminders:
* a) On or before September 15: Digital images of completed visual artwork portion of collaboration submitted to and
b) Completed written portion of the collaboration submitted to Excerpt of written portion submitted to Literary reserves the right to format or eliminate portions to fit correct size at time of printing.
* September: Date TBD: Anthology Binding Bee to assemble and bind the anthology.
* November 1: Artwork delivered to Houston Public Library, Central Branch, from 12:00 pm to 3:00 pm. A WiVLA member will be present to sign in your work. If you are unable to deliver your work, please make arrangements for someone else to deliver it.
* November 3: Saturday, November 3 will be the Opening Reception for both the visual portion of the exhibition and the literary readings at the Houston Public Library. The art exhibition will be near the main entrance, and the readings will take place downstairs. Time: 1:00 – 4:00 pm with the readings beginning at 2:00 pm.
* December 31: Exhibition closes. Take down will be a date in early January 2019.
WiVLA's Literary Reading at Archway Gallery.
Thursday, November 15th
My Mother’s Purse 
What was in your mother’s purse? Money? Love? Indifference? Lipstick? Nurturing? Old love letters? Addiction? Too little? Too much?
   Our mothers are our first mirrors. What was in her purse? That’s the prompt for Wivla’s Annual Readings at Archway in November. More details about the reading will be forthcoming. Keep on writing!

Member Gem Smith with speaker Denise Ditto and vice-president Lee Steiner
Guest Speaker Denise Ditto gestures while explaining her journey to publish her book and produce a children's play based on the book.
Denise Ditto Satterfield: The road to self-publishing and a children's play
With great enthusiasm and humor, Denise Ditto, who loves writing for children, told the story of her inspiration to write a children’s book series entitled, “The Tooth Collector Fairies” and the travails and up-turns and pathways that she journeyed to self-publish the books and promote them. Denise made a career change and realized that she had a marvelous idea for a book series. With a background in blog writing (and motorcycle riding and blogging about motorcycles), she pursued finding an editor, illustrator, and publisher. It would take me several paragraphs to describe the many ups and downs, good progress and reversals that she experienced. Needless to say, Denise proved to be an excellent problem-solver with great energy and a patient and creative thinker -- with each hurdle she found solutions and even more commitment to her project and the goals of promoting the books and making money through her writing. The audience members laughed and sighed along with Denise's journey.
   The first book, “Batina’s Best First Day,” is a book about persistence, friendship, and teamwork. It also encourages children to brush their teeth, "...but please don’t tell them," as Denise says. Her second book, “Home from Decay Valley” was released in 2018. She says that she focuses on the theme of teamwork in both books. Along the way, Denise bravely undertook getting the first book transformed into a musical for children. It has been performed at the Katy Visual and Performing Arts Center, and by the C.KIDZ Theatre School in Conroe and is optioned at other theaters. Her re-telling of her exploits and hard work within the theater community had the audience laughing. 
   After her main presentation, audience members (20+ attendees) asked many questions and gave comments on Denise's work and journey. She had publications available for sale and showed everyone several ideas she has to market the books to teachers, theater groups, dentists and dental societies, and to donate to children's literacy and health advocacy programs. We send many thanks to Denise for her wonderful presentation filled with womanly wisdom, humor, creativity and persistence! Learn more about Denise at

  • On Thursday, October 4th, WiVLA will be the arts organization that benefits from Fresh Arts' Cultured Cocktails at Boheme Cafe and Wine Bar on Fairview Street near Taft Street. A percentage of the bar proceeds from 5:00 to 8:00 pm will belong to WiVLA. We are planning special and delightful activities to promote WiVLA at this time and venue. Please watch for more details. Meanwhile, if you would like to support other Fresh Arts organizations at Cultured Cocktails, click here for the calendar for August and September. Viva Fresh Arts and Boheme Cafe!
  • Your shopping makes a difference. Do your regular Amazon shopping at and Amazon donates to Women in the Visual and Literary Arts. 
  • The newsletter editor personally receives many notices from choral groups in the Houston area. She urges you to check out the upcoming seasons and concerts by Houston Chamber Choir and the Austin-based group Conspirare at If you love choral music you will find excellent and exciting concerts by both groups. 

Please send in your news by the 23rd of each month - art exhibits, literary works, news, etc. -  for inclusion in the following month’s newsletter to
  • WiVLA members shine at the 10th Annual Archway Juried Show. Congratulations are due to Judith R. Shamp (2nd place) and Habibah Haugstad (3rd place)! This year's juried show received 295 artworks from 155 artists of which 62 pieces from 54 artists were selected by juror Diane Griffin Gregory. (The first place award went to Betsy Evans.) Current member Janet Reynolds and charter member Keddy Ann Outlaw also have works in the show which ends on August 2. The show serves as a fundraiser for Rescue Bank, a pet rescue group, with a portion of art sales and donations accepted at the gallery. Many best wishes to Judith and Habibah on their awards!
  • Lilibeth Andre announces that her new book (first non-fiction) will be coming out this month on Amazon. "The book is my first about health. It provides a fundamental understanding about holistic health on a subject very keen to many of us: Top 10 Tips for Holistic Anti-Aging, A Quick Guide to Rejuvenation From the Inside Out. As a practicing naturopath I would be very happy to work with people who want this knowledge in their tool set." More information on Amazon and at Healthy Balance
  • WiVLA member Jody T. Morse's award-winning, creative nonfiction piece "Climb, Baby Sister, Climb" has been accepted for publication by Blind Faith Books for their anthology I AM STRENGTH: True Stories of Everyday Superwomen. Due out this fall, Jody promises to keep the group updated.
  • Jane Chance has multiple news items. 1) Jane tells us that her book, Tolkien, Self and Other: “This Queer Creature” (Palgrave 2016) "has been shortlisted for best book on the Inklings at the Mythopoeic Society, meeting in Atlanta for their annual meeting so I’ll be there just to see what happens (four were shortlisted). Fingers crossed, but competition is fierce." 2) There was a reading by poets in Weaving the Terrain: 100-Word Southwestern Poems, ed. David Meischen and Scott Wiggerman( Dos Gatos Press), at Brazos Books,  on July 7. Jane read two poems of her own poems and a favorite by another poet therein. 3) I just had a poem accepted by Mutabilis Press for their anthology on “The Enchantment of the Ordinary,” due out this fall. 4) My second full-length poetry book, “The Middle Ages,” published by Finishing Line Press, will be available Oct. 18; I have a reading scheduled for Nov. 8th at Brazos Books for both that book and “Tolkien, Self and Other” and at Inprint’s First Friday May 3rd 2019.  5) "Also happy to say my session on “Original Medievalist Poetry: Examples, Themes, Approaches” was accepted for the 2019 International Congress on the MIddle Ages at Western Michigan University, May 9-12, 2019.
  • [Editor's Choice to repeat this notice and add that Kay Sarver has another, newer video on John Slaby up and running.] From Kay Sarver and donne e. perkins: "In case you haven't already seen it, I (Kay S.) just released the second episode of Houston Art Tribe on YouTube a few days ago, which features donna e. perkins! We did enjoy our conversation, and I must admit, it was hard to edit this down to only15 minutes! I'd appreciate any feedback, and certainly wish to include any of you in this conversation about what you do as artists. After all, I do believe we creatives are a close and supportive tribe! This new adventure feels like a continuation of my series of paintings, Studio Junkies. I love talking with artists, seeing where they work, and watching them light up when they speak about their process and their work. It soothes my creative soul!
    Please feel free to share this, and if you like the video on the Houston Art Tribe Youtube channel, this will help it show up for others to find it, especially if you subscribe. Click for youtube link.
  • Debbie Blumberg writes: "I'm honored to share that I was a finalist for historical fiction in the Writers' League of Texas 2018 Manuscript Contest.
  • Editor’s Note: We know a lot of you are showing your work and getting articles and books published, so we ask you to send the information to by the 25th of each month. We want to support you and come to your openings and readings; timely info to the newsletter gets the word to members and their friends and contacts.


~ Spring Street Studio Artist Collective Exhibition on view from June 15 through September 9 at Spring Street Studios. The title is Caliente: Evolving Expressions.
The Glassell School of Art is proud to present a series of exhibitions at the Kinder Morgan Building in downtown Houston. The series features artworks by Studio School faculty and students, highlighting the depth and variety of courses that the Glassell School offers. For more information on this exhibition series, contact or 713.639.7500.

Houston Writers Guild (HWG). The Guild has a great website at  that gives the schedule of activities and classes and it features a notice about Indiepalooza, a major writing event scheduled for Saturday, October 20, at Rice University.

~ Many artists and writers point to the excellent website for Public Poetry monthly events and call for submissions and contests. Of special interests are notices about contest winners, readings at Brazos Bookstore and in the Library Series throughout the month. Click the blue link for PP's great web page.   

~Also, the Fuente Collective is sponsoring writing events this summer. Find them at   Check out their listings for FuenteCo Youth Studio classes. Congratulations to Fuente Collective for celebrating its First Anniversary with many friends, members, and supporters!

~ On August 22nd the Visual Arts Alliance will sponsor a special event: "Dario Robleto in conversation with Lester Marks." Please see the VAA web page for event details and how to RSVP.  The Visual Arts Alliance (VAA) website is a great resource for all news and events scheduled by the organization. Click

~ Archway Gallery has a great website: Click here to go to the website. Monthly exhibits and special events including the popular Figure Drawing Sessions, Latenight Pie, Wine and Art Dinners and great monthly exhibits.

~Texas Accountants and Lawyers for the Arts (TALA) has a good website at and it lists the events and workshops that they sponsor. 
Texas Accountants and Lawyers for the Arts was formed in 1979 to meet the legal and accounting needs of artists and art nonprofit organizations across the State of Texas. TALA volunteers throughout Texas handle more than 250 matters per year. In 2016, TALA began serving inventors in the Patent Pro Bono Program.

~ Houston Art Alliance site

~ 14 Pews located at 800 Aurora Street, Houston TX 77009 is a space for cultural events, theater, films, readings, and more. Visit them at this site

~ Wordsmyth Theater at is a "Houston-based playwright’s theater dedicated to the development of new theatrical works from formative stages through full production." They have just sponsored the Texas Playwrights Festival and have an active calendar throughout the year. Find them at the link above.
Literary Events -- Call for Entries
Inclusion in this list does not indicate endorsement by WiVLA. We recommend you research each contest and opportunity and contact the sponsor(s).
An opportunity at the Silos: "A fellow Silos artist friend and I have the Gallery 200 space in The Silos for an exhibition in early January, and we’re accepting submissions from writers through July 31 for a 2019 collaborative show, here:  We are looking for positive and uplifting, personal insightful stories and observations." Marlo Saucedo, 713.962.1841 at

Submissions are now open for the 2018 Barthelme Prize for Short Prose and the Gulf Coast Prize in Translation! Each entry comes with a year-long subscription to Gulf Coast and a chance to win $1,000. Ends on September 15, 2018. There is a 
 $18.00 USD submission fee. A prize of $1,000 and publication in Gulf Coast will be given annually for a work of translation into English. Honorable mentions will each receive $250. All entries will be considered for publication in print or online. This year's final judge is Ilya Kaminsky. 
Aesthetica in Great Britain keeps sending reminders about: Call for entries for the Aesthetica Creative Writing Award. This creative writing award is a platform for emerging and established poets and writers to showcase their work to an international audience. Check out the opportunities for writers listed on the informative website. Entries are open until August 31.  

Inprint opens its doors at 1520 West Main on the first Friday of every month from 9 am to 12 noon for a writing cafe. Any and all writers looking for a pleasant morning space in which to write are welcome. For information, click here.

"One of the Writer's Digest 101 Best Websites for Writers" is Inspiring stories of writing success and competition information.

Kallisto Gaia Press presents: 1) The 2018 Julia Darling Memorial Poetry Prize. A prize of $750.00 and publication in The Ocotillo Review Winter 2019 will be awarded for a poem of up to 65 lines. Submit up to three poems of no more than 65 lines each with a $20.00 entry fee by August 20, 2018. All entries will be considered for publication. All entrants will receive a copy of the journal containing the prize winning poem. Carrie Fountain will judge. A portion of any revenue generated will be donated to Cancer Research at  M. D. Anderson Hospital. See for details.
    2)The 2018 Chester B. Himes Memorial Short Fiction Prize
A prize of $750.00 and publication in The Ocotillo Review Winter 2019 will be awarded for a short story. Submit one story of less than 4200 words with a $20.00 entry fee by August 20, 2018. All entries will be considered for publication. All entrants will receive a copy of the journal containing the winning story. Antonio Ruiz-Camacho will judge. A portion of any revenue generated will be donated to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research. See www.kallistogaiapress for details.

3rd Coast Books is now accepting fiction and non-fiction submissions in several genres. Please go to: to find out more about this innovative and commercial publisher.
Visual Events -- Call for Entries
Inclusion in this list does not indicate endorsement by WiVLA. We recommend you research each contest and opportunity and contact the sponsor(s).

A help-wanted request: Graphic designer or writer with experience charging for layout and design of nonfiction book which includes graphics and text features.  "My friend,  R. Ramsden, who has diminishing eyesight, needs assistance with estimating/calculating what the charges might be for a project. Should charges be based on work by the page, the project overall, time spent, etc.? Please contact member Gem Smith,, if you have advice for this situation."
FreshArts, of which we are members, has many opportunities for artists listed on their website here. Their motto is "Where Art Meets Opportunity" -- a cousin or sibling of WiVLA's  mission.
Rona Lesser shares the site with WiVLA. It's a fascinating commercial art site and its magazine is particularly engrossing with a variety of articles such as a recent one, "This New Website Is Offering Free Art Lessons from Professors and Artists." Check it out at this link. Click the Magazine button to scroll through the latest articles.

Check out the great website for Artadia. The group has an impressive mission statement and is sponsoring a call for entries for financial awards in the Houston area. Click website: and be sure and scroll to information about Houston competition.

CaFE for Artists is the leading online application and adjudication system for managing calls for entry. The website is   This is a stunning collection of news and opportunities.
If you shop at Randall's, tie your account to WiVLA (#5341).  You can do this at the customer service counter once, and from then on, WiVLA will benefit every time you shop!

Amazon Smile provides your favorite nonprofit with a percentage of the purchase each time you go through Amazon Smile to get to Women in the Visual and Literary Arts is listed and can be chosen as your favorite charity or nonprofit. Please see article above in newsletter with special link.

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

The editor acknowledges and thanks the site pixabay for free images by johnhain and mysticartdesign.

Upcoming Events

WiVLA Monthly Meeting
Critique Groups:
Info and Do's and Don'ts

Tuesday, August 21, 2018
Gather: 5:45 pm
Archway Gallery
2305 Dunlavy
Houston TX 77006

WiVLA Deadline for
Space Collaboration
Intent to Submit form
Tuesday, July 31, 2018
11:59 pm
Please use the link and form
on the website

Deadline for S P A C E collaboration
On or before Saturday, Sept. 15

Visual art and written work
submitted according to prospectus

Cultured Cocktails
Thursday, October 4, 2018
5:00 to 8:00 pm
Boheme Bar and Cafe
near Fairview at Taft
Houston TX


WIVLA Monthly Meeting
Tuesday, September 18, 2018
Archway Gallery
2305 Dunlavy
Houston TX 77006

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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 2017 Board of Directors

President - Cori Austin  

Vice President - Lee Steiner

Secretary - Ann Boutte         

Treasurer - Melody Locke
Membership - Susan Salter & Gladys Jones

Communications -  Lilibeth Andre

Social Media - Regina Vitolo Mader
Programs - Gail Mebane     

Newsletter - Kay McStay 

Visual Arts - June Russell                       

Literary Arts - Karleen Koen and Debbie Blumberg            

At-Large - Sally Worthington

Historian - Judy Shamp

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


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