January 2018

Join us for January’s meeting as we use WiVLA’s Big Circle format to share ideas about how we each jumpstart our own creativity. Each of us has her own way that we use to get our muse in gear or to get the work flowing. It will be interesting to share and to hear from all genres of creatives. Do visual artists and performing artists and writers sometimes use the same techniques to get started? 
   Maybe you use a regular schedule and you always know that at 10:00 a.m. you are at your creative work, thus your muse knows she’s expected to be ready. Or do you "prime the pump" with another form of creative work, which then meanders into your regular work? Maybe you meet regularly with other artists to create and the charged atmosphere pushes you into your creativity. Perhaps music triggers your journey into creative work.
     Whatever you do, we’d love to hear about it and be inspired by it. The Big Circle meeting is one type of format that WiVLA uses for collaboration.   We hope to see you on January 16th!
Archway Gallery at 2305 Dunlavy, Houston TX 77006
5:45 – Mix and Mingle     6:15 –  Business Meeting
6:30 – Big Circle: Jumpstart Your Creativity

President's Message: January….the beginning of our new year. The next meeting is our sharing circle, “How do you jumpstart your creativity?” A worthy topic for January, don’t you think?
WiVLA’s watchword is often ‘collaboration.’ It is something we do that separates us from other arts organizations. Collaboration is also something that inspires creative growth by all parties involved. Those of us who have collaborated on WiVLA projects know this first hand.  
    Donna Perkins participated in a WiVLA panel at the Writers’ Family Reunion in November. She told the story of meeting a dancer who had recently moved to town. He asked her if she was interested in going with him to his practices, and so Donna took her drawing materials with her. For several years, a series of Donna’s abstract visuals included lines that represented movements performed by her dancer friend. This was a huge part of Donna’s art journey, and it was jumpstarted by…collaboration.
     WiVLA members experience a form of collaboration and inspiration during every meeting. Our programs provide a variety of topics and many of us get to hear about a different type of creative output than what we personally do. Thinking outside of our usual artform is a helpful way for creative genesis to occur. Let those new ways of expression give you needed oomph in your own field or even lead you to consider branching out into something new.
      A writer friend of mine often begins her writing sessions with a pad of paper and a pencil….and then she doodles. She lets go of the pressure of words by opening up her mind to free-form pencil dancing. From there, she moves smoothly into her poetry. 
     So, the word of the year may be collaboration. Be open to its opportunity and resolve to make connections with other art forms different than your own. As Karleen Koen, one of our Founding Mothers, said (paraphrasing Gertrude Stein), “Creativity is creativity is creativity.”
     Cori Austin
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Saturday, January 27, 2018
WiVLA presents #Social Media Demystified

Do you need to upgrade your social media skills to enhance your art business plan?  But maybe some platforms leave you a bit mystified?  You are in the right place!  WiVLA is holding a one-day workshop on social media platforms to benefit your creative business. Sessions include: 
  • Instagram and Pinterest,
  • Facebook,
  • Twitter,
  • Video and YouTube posting and online classes,
  • Mail Chimp - easy email service to your lists of contacts
  • Blogging 
  • Begin your social media business plan.
8:30 am to 3:30 pm at the Mendenhall Community Center,
1414 Wirt Road, Spring Branch. 
Registration is now open on the WIVLA home page.
Please see www.wivla.org
Fees are $75 for members and $85 for non-members.
Renew Membership Now
Make 2018 your opportunity for creative encouragement and support by renewing your membership to WiVLA. The coming year promises to be outstanding in programs, writing and visual art opportunities, and friendships with interesting and creative women. Keep your membership current by renewing today! You can do it easily online: click here and pay online (even though you are renewing, please fill out the informational form), OR download a membership form and send the form and a check to WiVLA, P.O. Box 130406, Houston, TX 77219-0406.

You can also renew at the January meeting. To facilitate this, please print the membership form and fill it out ahead of time so you don't miss the opportunity to visit friends before the meeting! If you are a new member who joined at the end of 2017 (October through December), your membership will run through the entire year of 2018.

WiVLA Reading at Archway Gallery  
is Unqualified Hit

Audience members packed the Archway Gallery, every chair and bench in use, for the WiVLA Reading on Thursday, November 16th. WiVLA and Archway member Becky Soria had proposed a collaborative event in which WiVLA writers responded to her exhibition of goddess paintings,  Landscapes of the Goddess Within.   
        Organized by literary chairs Karleen Koen and Mary Harlan, eight writers presented works to the overflow crowd. Giving examples of each writer's favorite books and colors, Cori Austin introduced the readers who included: Jere Pfister, Linda Stelljes, Janet Ruffin (whose work was read by Loueva Smith), Carol Watson, Jane Mulholland, Kay McStay, Lilibeth Andre, and Cori herself. 
   Surrounded by Becky's panels and canvases, the writers claimed the space and theme as their own and offered poems, essays, and memoirs that featured strong images, direct language, powerful emotions, humor, and wise words about women's issues, women's memories, and the goddess and totemic symbols so on display in Becky's art. It was an evening of speaking truth and of acknowledging the power in art and words to understand deep and complex themes and to help change the world. Becky made a heartfelt speech to thank the writers for honoring her work and their inspirational words.
   In addition, the refreshments for the evening were various and delicious and enjoyed by WiVLA members, guests, and other writers who frequent the monthly Archway Gallery readings. Thank you to all who participated and who attended the reading! 
November Holiday Party: An Evening of Friendships, Inspiring Crafts, and Delicious Refreshments

   The fourth Tuesday of November proved to be a fun and heart-warming evening of friendship and creativity as WiVLA members, former members, and future members met to welcome the incoming Board Members and celebrate with a holiday spirit. The refreshment bar was soon full to over-flowing with wine, sparkling water, special creamy nogs, and all kinds of savory and sweet treats. At one point it looked as if the sweets would win the night, but as more revelers arrived with dishes to share, a wonderful bounty of party food was enjoyed by all. (And, let's not even mention the quality and quantity of wine and specialty beverages that were available.) 
   Along with happy conversations, two craft tables were laid out for party guests to write haiku poetry and make "artist trading cards." The tables provided the space and time to sit and visit with friends, expand acquaintanceships within WiVLA, and just have fun. Two-plus hours passed far too quickly. Cori Austin, WiVLA's president, expressed that she hoped the party would provide time for members to really visit, get to know each other, and share creativity in the warm glow of the holiday season. This writer believes her wishes came true! 
   The attendance was easily 45-50 artists and writers and marked a high point of year filled with excellent monthly programs. Marian Szczepanski and Karen Smith won door prizes, which were generously donated by the Printing Museum. To read haiku and poetry composed at the party, click here. To see pictures of the party, scroll to the end of the newsletter where they are inserted.

Major Opportunity for Houston Artists:
Artists INC together with Fresh Arts will sponsor an 8 week mentoring program for artists to become fluent in the business of art.  Limited to 25 participants, artists gather one night a week for eight weeks to learn business skills specific to their art practice and apply those skills cooperatively with their peers.  Hurry!  The deadline for applications is January 7 at 11:59 pm.        https://www.fresharts.org/content/artist-inc-houston  
        Cori attended the final celebration last year when each participant was given the opportunity to present his or her art and then discuss the business help that the workshop provided.  It was an evening of wonderful presentations.  Our own Luisa Duarte and former member Cary Reeder both were among the participants and raved about this opportunity.  This would give your art business a big "jumpstart!"

  • Leigh Owen is excited to be involved with the University of Houston Libraries Special Collections and she recommends this free event on Wednesday, January 24, 2018, 7:00-8:00 pm. Visiting Treasures from the UH Rare Books Collections. You can find more information at this link http://www.brazosbookstore.com/event/visiting-treasures-uh-rare-books-collection   The location is Brazos Bookstore, 2421 Bissonnet Street, HoustonTX77005 "Please join us for a visit from rare books! On view will be a European hymnal leaf from the late 14th century that shimmers with gold surrounding painted images of religious figures. There will also be other treasures from the UH Rare Books Collections. For the ultimate book lovers’ evening, join us to view, touch, ask questions, and learn more about rare books."
  • [Editor's choice to repeat news.] Cori Austin calls our attention to Google Photos and Facebook items by Regina Vitolo Mader, our social media guru. Regina encourages everyone to share their WiVLA photos to a Google album. Click here to read her thoughtful request and see more details. Regina says: "Hi, everyone, this is a link to WIVLA'S GOOGLE PHOTOS ALBUM. Please feel free to to upload any of your own WiVLA photos, or email them to me at clockbirdstar@gmail.com." Use this link to the album itself. And, finally, use this one for a how-to tutorial on Facebook. [Editor notes that there's a TUTORIAL link.]
  • Debbie Blumberg writes: "I'm going to be writing a regular feature for AAA's Texas magazine, Texas Journey called "Texas Made" and am looking for artists to profile. The stories are short profiles of Texas people/businesses that are making especially unique items that you could give as a gift. Two recent stories I've done so far that will published soon: 1) A feature on a small town blacksmith who forges items like chimineas, ranch gates and custom fixtures, like rattlesnake door handles and 2) A feature on a Sealy leather goods company housed in a historic mattress factory that crafts unique, high-end purses and bags by hand. Any leads for me? Thank you!" You can reach Debbie at deborah.blumberg@gmail.com
  • Margo Stutts Toombs says mark your calendars: Free Writers' Retreat on Saturday, January 20 from 10:30 am to 2:30 pm. Location to be announced.

Please send in your news by the 20th of each month - art exhibits, literary works, news, etc. -  for inclusion in the following month’s newsletter to newsletter@wivla.org.
  • Beth McCracken writes that one of her photographs was accepted by the Assistance League of Houston for its annual art show, which opens January 17 (6:00-8:30 pm) and runs through February 23. The show will be held in the William Towers Gallery at 2800 Post Oak Blvd. in the Galleria area.   The photograph is of a Texas-themed quilt that a woman’s group used as a fundraiser. Incidentally, the quilt raffle was a success and raised $3,200 for the Houston Food Bank.
  • Sandi Stromberg recently celebrated her ninth time as a juried poet in the Houston Poetry Fest. She also has work appearing in the 2018 Texas Poetry Calendar, "Giving up the Herd," about her grandfather. She read this poem in April on KUHF's Voices and Verses program, which honors Poetry Month, https://www.houstonpublicmedia.org/articles/arts-culture/2017/04/19/196806/national-poetry-month-giving-up-the-herd-by-sandi-stromberg/.  Upcoming work includes two poems in Weaving the Terrain: 100-Word Southwestern Poems (Dos Gatos Press), and a reminiscence in Houston's Favortie Poems, initiated by Houston's 2016-2017 Poet Laureate Robin Davidson. In addition, as co-editor and poet, she has just finished an anthology, Echoes of the Cordillera, which will debut in Alpine TX, on January 13 in an exhibit of photos and poems together. This book and exhibit feature the photography of renowned photographer Jim Bones and the works of 39 poets who wrote ekphrastic poems in response to his pictures.
  • Gretchen McDaniel had a solo art show entitled  DREAMS IN COLOR on December 8th, 2017 at JoMar Visions, 5247 Langfield Rd, Houston TX 77040. Gretchen McDaniel and JoMar Visions partnered to mount her first solo art show of fabric, fiber, and textile art. Fabric paintings and other artworks showcased both her awe at the beauty and horror at the hate in the world. In Gretchen’s own words, “I strive for truth, mercy, justice, and most of all, love in my life. I have found a strong voice to reflect that in my art.... And yes, I do dream in color!”  [The editor extends an apology to Gretchen for missing this notice for the December issue. I have since learned from Gretchen that the show had an attendance of 50 and she sold four pieces. I welcome her to WiVLA.]
  • Anna Cogliandro held a ceramic sale in early December. "Functional and sculptural pieces, hand built, wheel thrown and painted. Great choice, variety, and great prices." Anna's works have been exhibited at the Glassell School of Art and at WHAM at Winter Street. 
  • Melody Locke writes: "One of my lumen prints was selected for the Unique: Alternative Processes exhibition at the A Smith Gallery in Johnson City. The exhibition runs from November 24, 2017 through January 14, 2018." This link provides the details: unique: alternative processes - A Smith Gallery
  • Debbie Blumberg is co-chairing the regional conference of the American Society of Journalists and Authors in Austin in February 2018. Please see the ANNOUNCEMENTS section for full details and the link to the conference.
  • 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 newsletter@WiVLA.org by the 20th 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.

~ Editor's Emphasis: I'm repeating a couple of announcements.

~Leigh Owens says Save the Date for UH Rare Books Collection major event White Glove Salon on Wednesday, April 18, 6:00 to 8:00 pm at the MD Anderson Library, the University of Houston. Click here to view the save-the-date card and info.

~ Member Patricia Flaherty Pagan, editor in chief at Spider Road Press, calls attention to the new releases and announcements at the press. Please see the excellent website for news, contests, giveaways, and book suggestions. A link to the press website is here.   http://www.spiderroadpress.com

~ Member Debbie Blumberg says: Conference on February 3, 2018 Debbie is co-chair of the American Society of Journalists and Authors regional writers conference in Austin (and also the co-president of the group's Texas chapter). This is shaping up to be an amazing event for writers, freelancers, book authors, content marketers--anyone who's making a living from writing--to make connections and pick up new skills.  For more information on volunteering or sponsorship opportunities, please email  asjaoffice@asja.org   AND This just in: Here are more details on the lineup for ASJA's writers' conference in Austin! Debbie says, "We're excited about our speakers and full schedule. Please spread the word! Registration is open." Click here to open the link. Here is the link as text: http://asja.org/For-Writers/ASJA-Conferences-and-Events/ASJA-Austin-2018  

~ June Russell, visual co-chair points members to the excellent website for Public Poetry events for the month and, as June notes, call for submissions and contests. Click the blue link for PP's great web page.   http://www.publicpoetry.net   The editor notes that the Public Poetry website is always hopping with ideas, events, and opportunities for collaboration.

~ Events and upcoming shows are noted on the Visual Arts Alliance (VAA) helpful website at http://visualartsalliance.org/

~ Archway Gallery has a great website: Click here to go to the website. Monthly exhibits and special events. 
Visual Art -- Call for Entries:
PhotoPlace Gallery send out this call for entry. Go to: www.photoplacegallery.com for complete details. The theme is Myths, Legends, and Dreams and the juror is Amy Holmes George. Deadline: January 15, 2018 Exhibition prints deadline: February 16, 2018
  Party photos:

[The editor thanks pixabay for free images, especially geralt.]

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!

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

Upcoming Events

WiVLA Monthly Meeting
Jumpstart Your Creativity
Tuesday, January 16th
Gather: 5:45 pm followed by
Meeting and Big Circle 
Archway Gallery
2305 Dunlavy
Houston TX 77006

Sponsored by WiVLA
Social Media workshop on
Saturday, January 27, 2018

8:30 am to 3:30 pm
Many sessions and topics!
See article in this issue!

WiVLA Monthly Meeting
Tuesday, February 20

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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 - Lilibeth Andre

Secretary - Lee Steiner

Treasurer - Lane Devereux      
Membership - Zita Giraldo and Kristine Rivers

Communications -  Mary Ramain

Social Media - Regina Vitolo Mader
Programs - Lillian Tharp              

Newsletter - Kay McStay          

Visual Arts - Dune Tencer and June Russell

Literary Arts - Karleen Koen and Mary Harlan

At-Large - Josena Arquieta  and Tayyba Kanwal

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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