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
A Note from Your President
Holiday regards WIVLA Women,
The miracle of December weaves the magic of
It fills hearts with peace and causes a weary
world to pause ,
to remember and to hope.
I send fondest thoughts of gratitude and
admiration to my 2013 Board of Directors, my Advisory Board
and the remarkable creative women of our organization. We have
made great strides. We are sharing, learning and laughing
together in great solidarity.
I am honored to have led this unique group of
Let us continue to caress our artistry with a
soulful spirit and a wistful passion.
May we continue to go forward and explore the
magical world of invention and creative thought
It is a most unique journey.
Sending all good wishes for this season,
I've Been Thinking . . .
thinking: Many years ago (let's call it
27), I worked as a technical writer/editor in a business owned
by women and staffed by women. We were a busy bunch --
ambitious, focused, disciplined, intellectually curious --
with a growing clientele. Only one problem: It was
a humorless office. No levity. No kidding
around. No watercooler wit. Not even a lame
knock-knock joke. Seriously . . . we were way too
Now, I know women can be funny. I
direct your attention to Sarah Silverman, Rita Rudner, Lucille
Ball, Carol Burnett. But it seems to me that, more often
than not, we women need to give ourselves permission
to lighten things up. I could go deep into my theories
about that, but who wants to read a stuffy treatise? I'm
trying to keep things light here.
decided to take matters into my own hands. One day, I
brought a dry erase board to the office. I stuck it to
the side of a file cabinet in a back room and wrote
This can't be happening to me! I [fill in
the blank] at the top. I explained to the
other women that they should fill in the blank with something
brief, unexpected, surprising, and a little bit true -- in
other words, something funny. I wanted to see a
different joke each day.
The boss said
"Hmmph." The receptionist said
"OK" and went back to answering the
phone. The proofreader said "I get it" and wrote
"floss daily" in the blank. This
can't be happening to me! I floss daily! We
both chuckled. She did get it. She
deserved better pay.
The board became pretty
popular, but not in the way that I had hoped. For every
This can't be happening to me! I'm a vegan!
there was a This can't be happening to me! I'm
a taxpayer! Flat, flat, flat.
So I decided
to try a different, less fatalistic approach, one in which
permission to be funny, immodest, assertive, and, dare I say,
a little bit powerful was inherently granted. I erased
the original line (the one that was going over like a lead
balloon) and replaced it with I deserve [fill in
the blank] because I'm freakin' awesome.
It worked. In fact, the results
were freaking awesome. These women were
participating. We weren't exactly a shy bunch
to begin with, but it seemed as though we were now more bold,
outspoken, interesting, and yes, funny, than ever
before. Responses ranged from I deserve applause
when I walk into a room because I'm freakin' awesome to
I deserve a wage adjustment in an upward direction . .
. You see what I mean.
point is this: All of us are in the midst of what should
be a joyous holiday season. But preparations, social
gatherings, and family demands can be stressful. This
reminiscence is just my long-winded way of saying that we
women, over the next few weeks -- heck, every day --
should give ourselves permission to kid a little, laugh,
tell a joke. We deserve it. We're
Cheers to you and yours during this special
Bites: November WiVLA Board Meeting
Planning for an exciting twentieth
anniversary show and reception continues! Find more news
Slate of Nominees
for 2014 Board
The Nominating Committee has been hard at
work recruiting candidates for open board positions. See
the results of their efforts in the News section.
We've been talking about it for years, and,
now, with your participation, it will be a reality. Many
thanks to board members Jane Mulholland and Theo Billings!
Your board has been
brainstorming! Look forward to month after month of
stimulating programs in 2014. As always, your
suggestions for vibrant speakers are welcome.
Approves 2014 Board
At the general
meeting on November 19, Cori Austin, chair of the Nominating
Committee, presented the candidates for the 2014 Board of
Directors. The slate included: Cathy Nieman,
returning president; Jane Mulholland, returning vice
president; Rona Lesser, returning secretary; Josena Arquieta,
treasurer; Zita Giraldo, program chair; Joyce Marie,
membership chair; Sandy Wells, returning communications chair;
Theo Billings, returning visual co-chair; Mary Baker
(returning) and Tayyba Kanwal, literary co-chairs; Ima Odouk,
social media chair; Cathy Lachin, returning newsletter editor;
Cindy Rasche (returning) and Peggy Sexton, at-large.
Nominees were unanimously approved by the membership.
Positions that remain open include visual co-chair and
historian, and the Nominating Committee hopes to fill them
quickly. The board meets on the second Monday of each
month, with goals to uphold WiVLA's mission, to maintain
fiscal responsibility, and to provide exciting opportunities
for its members.
MONDAY, DECEMBER 2,
2013 (FIRST MONDAY OF THE MONTH)
TRINI SOSA COMMUNITY
WIRT AND WESTVIEW
6:00 P.M. - 8:00
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 2nd. 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,
According to their
website, "The Sketchbook Project is a
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
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!
DECEMBER 7, 2013 10:00 A.M. - 4:00 P.M.
CENTER OF TEXAS
NORTH POST OAK AT
HEMPSTEAD (OLD NORTHWEST MALL)
The rumors are true, women of
WiVLA! You now have the opportunity to shop for unique,
keepsake holiday gifts at the first annual WiVLA Market.
Invite friends and family to join you as you browse a singular
collection of paintings, photographs, books and jewelry
created by fellow members.
There were 24 tables available for
rent at the market, and they were snatched up quickly by
enterprising creatives. To inquire about the possibility
of remaining tables, please e-mail Jane Mulholland at the
Let's support our fellow writers
and artists with an impressive attendance on the 7th!
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 March 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
Glenda Araiza with Art Movement Art
Gallery has graciously allowed us to drop off our donations at
her location in Memorial City Mall (in the wing between
Dillard's and Camille La Vie) during regular business hours.
Glenda will keep a record of all donations, and your pieces
will be safe and secure. You may also bring any contributions
to the January and February general meetings. 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!
Mutual Comes Through for WiVLA Again
year, Eileen Collins, a Liberty Mutual insurance agent, made
WiVLA a generous offer. For every member that asked for an
insurance quote, her company would make a donation to our
treasury. The members who took her up on the offer were
pleasantly surprised to find that Liberty Mutual's rates were
extremely competitive; many switched their insurance as a
result. Reports from individuals who, unfortunately, have
had to make claims are that Liberty Mutual has been responsive
and easy to work with on all aspects of the process. This
program was very beneficial for the WiVLA members who
Eileen has made another generous offer to our organization.
She invited WiVLA to join their affinity program and, after
review, the board has accepted the offer. By participating in
the Liberty Mutual affinity program, WiVLA is now eligible to
apply for grants from them for special
addition, we have secured exclusive group savings for our
members of up to 10% off their insurance bill. Since doing
business with them already means competitive rates, quality
auto and home coverage, plus 24-hour claims assisiance,
after-hours policy service, and 24-hour home repair services,
getting a discount is a great bonus.
you want to take advantage of WiVLA's affinity relationship
with Liberty Mutual, simply contact Eileen Collins at
281-320-1181 ext. 59053 or by cell phone at 832-248-7445. Like
so many other WiVLA members, you will probably get a very
Reviews: Margaret McElrath;
speaker at the November general meeting was Margaret
McElrath, who related her experience as assistant
director for the 1989 Clay Stomp, a Peace Through Art project
sponsored by Clay: A Healing Way. The Clay Stomp
event was a dream of Joel Pfeiffer, an artist and teacher in
Hartland, Wisconsin. In her relaxed, affable way,
McElrath explained how 5,000 Americans gathered on the shore
of Lake Michigan to celebrate community, stomp clay, and
create a mural filled with ideas of peace and friendship to
give to the people of Leningrad. The story of the
resulting mural, and Leningrad's reciprocation, is a prime
example of how art can be used to transcend language and
cultural differences. To illustrate her presentation,
McElrath showed a 30-minute, award-winning PBS special filmed
on the site of the projects in Milwaukee and Leningrad.
WiVLA members in attendance were duly impressed by the mission
of Clay Stomp, and a brief but lively Q & A period
followed the film. Our thanks go out to Laura Pena,
program chair, for bringing us yet another fascinating
Later in the week, on Thursday, the
21st, nine WiVLA writers shared their talents with an
appreciative audience at the Archway Readers event held at the
eponymous gallery on Dunlavy. For almost two hours, with
a brief intermission, these women shared memoir, lyric and
personal essays, haibun, sonnet and villanelle, a novel
excerpt, free verse, plenty of laughter, and a tear or
two. Brave readers included Leigh Owen, Mary Baker,
Meloni Davis, Cori Austin, Cathy Lachin, Jane Mulholland,
Kimberly Barone, Gladys Mae Bullock, and Pat Morgan.
Mary Baker, literary co-chair, deserves our gratitude for
staging this event.
This section of
Voices is reserved for original, previously
unpublished literary submissions from WiVLA members. If
you have a short piece, either poetry or prose, that you'd
like to submit, feel free to e-mail it as a Word document to
firstname.lastname@example.org with Cafe
Table in the subject line. We'll make
every effort to run your work.
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
To find us on Facebook, click
then LIKE us and
post a greeting to all your WiVLA
the winner of the 2013 WiVLA Literary Scholarship,
Anne Rita Taylor attended the Mayborn
Literary Conference. Anne has written a Zine about her
participation in the Conference and submitted the Zine to
another contest: Art Exchange Program Zine
Grant. The winner receives 100 copies of their Zine plus
$150. You can read about Anne's Zine submission about
the WiVLA Scholarship online at:
Marguerite "Maggie" Baldwin! For the
first time, she was juried into JoMar Visions Studio, 902
Hardy, for Art Crawl 2013. The event was held on
Saturday and Sunday, November 23 and 24. If you missed
Maggie then, you will find her at the WiVLA Market on December
Marian Szczepanski, debut
author of the novel Playing St. Barbara, participated
in an Indies First event in association with Small Business
Saturday. The event was held at Blue Willow Bookshop,
14532 Memorial, on Saturday, November 30, from noon until
Tayyba M. Kanwal's
short story, "Mailee and the Saint of Horses," from which an
excerpt was read at the WiVLA Earth/Energy: Through
exhibition, appears in the Fall 2013 issue
of Quarterly West
journal. Read this fable of a
potter's girl and the blind saint she loves here:
Kudos to Tayyba!
Would you like to post an
announcement? Send your e-mail
by the 20th of the
CALL FOR ENTRIES: VISUAL ART
in this list does not indicate endorsement by WiVLA. We
recommend you research each contest, and contact the
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.
Exhibition of Traditional Oils Call for Entry
Oil Painters of America will hold its
Twenty-third Annual National Exhibition of Representational
Oil Paintings, June 7 throuogh July 27, 2014 at Bennington
Center for the Arts in Bennington,
Approximately 30 awards will be given with a
total value estimated in excess of $75,000, including a
$25,000 Best of Show. Juror of Awards is renowned artist
Charles Movalli. A full-color catalog will be
Deadline for mailed-in slide
submissions is January 31, 2014. Deadline for online
submissions is Februrary 7, 2014.
To enter, artists
must reside in the U.S., Canada or Mexico and be a current
member of OPA at an annual fee of $60. OPA is currently
accepting members for 2014. Join now and receive the
rest of 2013 for free.
National Exhibition entry
fee: $30 for the first entry, $15 for the second.
Maximum size unframed: 1200 square inches. Please
send your request for a prospectus in a SASE to: Oil
Painters of America, P.O. Box 2488, Crystal Lake, IL
60039-2488 or visit the website at
Towers, an apartment residence for the elderly and disabled,
needs a volunteer to teach fused glass. If you are
interested, please contact Rona Lesser at
CALL FOR ENTRIES: LITERARY
in this list does not indicate endorsement by WiVLA. We
recommend you research each contest, and contact the
Here's a tip from poet
Catherine Rankovic: "If you wish somebody would
keep you up to date on the latest publishing and contest
opportunities, the Yahoo Group Creative Writing Opportunities,
edited and updated daily by poet Alison Joseph, is a
must-see. You don't have to do a thing but go
there. No signing in, discussions, donations, or
anything: Just postings with the info you want about
first-book contests, poetry contests, fiction contests, online
magazines seeking writers for theme issues, residencies,
creative-writing jobs, and grants. Most of the time with
direct links to the source so you can obtain complete
information. You can subscribe to the postings or you
can just bookmark it and go there when you feel the
need. I visit about once per week. "
Here's the URL:
strong poems of human experience and personal
Mexico: Poems of Remembrance will be a poetry
anthology of original work composed in response to the
following question: What do you remember about
Mexico? Publisher: Texas Review
Editor: Sarah Cortez
December 9 at 6 p.m.
January 21 at 6 p.m.
a complete list of upcoming events, visit the WiVLA calendar online.
2013 Board of Directors
A complete list of 2014 board members and
their contact information will appear in the January 2014
issue of Voices.