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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July 2014


Calendar of Events

Monday, July 7, at 6 p.m.
WiVLA Board Meeting
Sosa Community Center
1414 Wirt Road
Houston, TX  77055

Tuesday, July 15, at 6 p.m.
WiVLA Membership Meeting
Guest Speaker:  Award-Winning Artist Orna Feinstein
Museum of Printing History
1324 W. Clay Street
Houston, TX  77019

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.

~ A Look Ahead:  Exciting monthly meetings planned.

~ Announcements:  Who's doing what?

~ Review:  Kathy Adams Clark

~ Calls for Entry:  More opportunities than ever!

~ Quick Links:  Connect with the Houston arts community.

Picture from the Past

September 1, 2011:  Anita Long and Kristen Minner, masterminds behind the reception for Finding Balance,  Museum of Print History.  The show was juried by Christine Jelson West.

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

Dear WIVLA members,
The summer moon hung full in the sky.  For the time being that was the great fact in the world.  (Willa Cather)
This is the time when the heat of the Texas summer creates pauses of  indoor hibernation.  A time when creative attempts can be amped up by focused attention.  Summer reading becomes abundant.  Creative exploration with artistic marks and innovative expression can flourish.  I am encouraging all of our members to make new marks and weave new words.
Please mark your calendar for our July meeting. If you were privileged enough to hear Orna Feinstein's presentation at our museum show, you will know that her knowledge and expertise will be a great learning tool for us all.  Feinstein will offer an opportunity for artists and writers who have yet to enter a juried show a pathway to taking that first daunting step.  Prepare now. 

My work is giving space to the creative spirit -- learning to get out of its way and be in its service at the same time. We each have a responsibility to express ourselves.  And in this expression is the key to our healing. ( Gabrielle Roth)
In closing, I wish to remind you that several of our WIVLA members have studio spaces on Winter, Spring, and Silver Streets. Every second Saturday of the month, they open their studios with an Open House. This is a great chance to lend our support to WIVLA members who have made a serious commitment to follow their craft.  Please visit and tell them Cathy sent you.  The work is most unique and diverse, just like our members.

Let our summer chapters begin.
Cathy Nieman

A postscript:  Buy a raffle ticket!

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  We'll do our best to include your announcement!

Artists born in July:

Frida Kahlo, 7/6/1907

Beatrix Potter, 6/28/1866
And . . . Chagall, Pissarro, Whistler, Wyeth, Modigliani, Renoir, Degas, and Hopper. 

Impressive crew, don't you think?

I've Been Thinking

Dear readers,

I've been thinking about 
the rituals of work, the things we do before we settle in to the purpose of our day.  

If there is one thing that I've gleaned from my experience in various and sundry workplaces over the years, it is that we are ceremonial in the minutes prior to our labors.  We observe tiny practices that may or may not be determinant of our focus or our productivity.  Yet we do them anyway, because they are girding or comforting.  Or because they are ineffable compulsions.  I've no idea why we do them, but it appears that we all perform small but weighty ablutions before we enter the sanctuaries of our work -- our studios, our cubicles, our offices at home or in some glossy mid-rise. 

Surely the coffee-drinker knows what I mean.  I've seen the lines at Starbucks drive-throughs in the early morning hours.  I've heard the spoons tinkling in the communal kitchen down the hall from my cubicle.  I've seen your cup grow cold on your desk as you field one phone call after another, putting out a few fires, stoking some others.  You may not have touched it, but the cup isthere, and, for you, that may be enough.

I direct your attention to this account offered to researchers Francesca Gino and Michael I. Norton for their 2013Scientific American piece entitled "Why Rituals Work":

I pound my feet strongly on the ground several times, I take several deep breaths, and I "shake" my body to remove any negative energies.  I do this often before going to work, going into meetings, and at the front door before entering my house after a long day.

There are countless other things we do, and our practices are as varied as our vocations.  We meditate, we squeeze in a run or a workout, we sharpen our pencils and lay them like yellow batons, end to end, across our desks.  We take our shoes off or refuse to put them on in the first place.  We check the morning headlines, or our horoscopes, or both.  We say little prayers or smoke and stare off into space.  On Monday, we can't begin without asking about the receptionist's weekend.  On Friday, we bring doughnuts.  We may even have a doughnut. 

Then we get down to business.

Now, I've been thinking about all this because Cori Austin emailed me a profile of  a young artist from Brooklyn by the name of Louise Despont.  The profile appears in online magazineArt21, and asks an important question, "How does an artist get maximum results from minimal means?"  But what really strikes me is the beautifully-made short video that accompanies the article.  You can see it here:

Observe the rituals of the artist and the respect she has for her tiny workspace and her simple tools.  See what she produces.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Now, for Pete's sake, get back to work.

Your editor,
Cathy Lachin

P. S.  I've added another book to my summer reading list:  Daily Rituals:  How Artists Work, edited by Mason Curry.  If you're interested, it's available on


Inspiration usually comes during work rather than before it.
~ Madeleine L'Engle

I like work; it fascinates me.  I can sit and look at it for hours.
~ Jerome K. Jerome
I always arrive late at the office, but I make up for it by leaving early.
~ Charles Lamb

WiVLA News

   Award-Winning Artist Orna Feinstein to Speak at July Meeting
Our July speaker is Orna Feinstein, an accomplished artist who lives and works in the Houston area. In addition to sharing her work and touching on her curatorial experience,Feinstein will advise WiVLA members on how best to submit their artwork while following the guidelines of a prospectus -- a timely and practical topic as WiVLA's twentieth anniversary show draws near. 

About Feinstein:  In 2008 she earned her BFA from the University of Houston, graduating Summa Cum Laude.  She also earned a diploma from the Glassell School of Art in 2002.
Inspired and fascinated by the interior geometry of the organic -- the concentric patterns of tree rings or the cellular structure of a plant when observed under a microscope -- Feinstein continues to investigate printing processes using oil inks on various surfaces, such as fabric, paper and Plexiglas that she assembles or stitches together.
This year Feinstein celebrates fifteen years of contemporary printmaking with a retrospective exhibition at the Museum of the Southwest in Midland, Texas, the Museum of Geometric and MADI Art in Dallas, Texas, and the Museum of the Southeast in Beaumont, Texas.
Feinstein has been selected four times for the prestigious exhibitions at the International Print Center New York, and in 2008 had a retrospective exhibition at the Museum of Printing History in Houston, Texas. In 2010 she was invited to participate in the 14th Print Biennale in Taiwan. She has exhibited in group and solo shows throughout the United States and Europe, and her work is represented in numerous public collections, among them: the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, Taiwan, Museum of Printing History, Houston, Texas, Skopelos Foundation for the Arts, Skopleos, Greece, Roennebaeksholm Arts & Culture Centre, Naestved, Denmark, and Venice Printmaking in Venice, Italy.
In addition to her esteemed exhibitions, Feinstein has also won numerous awards.  In 2013 her prints won first place in the AMoA Biennial 600 printmaking exhibition at the Amarillo Museum of Art, as well as first place in the 3rd National Juried Monotype and Monoprint Exhibition juried by Mark Pascale, Curator of Prints and Drawings at the Art Institute of Chicago. Feinstein also won third place at the PRINTTX 2013 juried exhibition at the Museum of Printing History in Houston.
The artist's exhibitions have been reviewed in the Houston Chronicle, Culture Map, Houston Press, Dallas Morning News, and other local and international newspapers. In 2013 her work was included in June Mattingly’s book, The State of the Art: Contemporary Artists in Texas, Second Edition. This year her work is included in two more books,Contemporary Art of the Southwest, by Ashley E. Rooney, Schiffer Publishing, 2014, and American Printmakers, by Stephanie Standish, Schiffer Publishing, 2014.
Feinstein is represented by Anya Tish Gallery in Houston, and by Craighead Green Gallery in Dallas. More work and info is available at

 Raffle Tickets Available at Next Meeting

The fun has begun!  Raffle tickets for WiVLA gift baskets, to be given away at the opening of The VCR Show, made a surprise appearance at June's membership meeting.  Sales are off to a brisk start -- thank you, Lillian Tharp, for breaking the ice and scoring the first ten!

To purchase your tickets, simply attend a membership meeting in the months of July through October.  But you might want to get in the game as early as possible; we predict a swift sellout!  Tickets are $1.00 each, or $10.00 for a book of ten.  You may purchase as many tickets as you like.  Cash or a check made out to WiVLA will be accepted (change will be available for cash purchases, but exact amounts are always preferable).  Because your contact information must be printed on each ticket, you may want to bring small address labels to expedite the process. 

For more information on the gift baskets, read on.  Remember, you need not be present to win!
We Need Your Gift Basket Donations! 
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 on November 1, 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. 

So far, we have received prized contributions from Jo Zider, Shirl Riccetti, Marian Szczepanski, Linda Stelljes, Cornelia Amiri, Joyce Marie, Theo Billings, and Jane Mulholland.  But we need more! 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! 

The VCR Show:  Vision. Collaboration. Retrospection.


A Twentieth Anniversary Celebration 


The Twentieth Anniversary Planning Committee is pleased to announce that our celebratory exhibit will be held at 18 Hands Gallery, 19th Street in The Heights, on November 1, 2014, from 6:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m.  Curators are Kellye Sanford (visual) and Karleen Koen (literary).

We encourage all current and prospective members to enter this very special show by going to  There you'll find a complete prospectus with links to online applications and payment options.  Entry is simple -- you can do it from the comfort of your easy chair in a matter of minutes!

And here's something interesting for all to know:  The VCR Show is not a themed exhibit.  This is truly an opportunity to exercise your creativity without the restriction of a particular subject.  So get started now, and enter those pieces that you've always wanted to share.  A twentieth anniversary is considered aplatinum celebration -- this is your time to shine! 

For more about The VCR Show, including entry requirements and bios of our curators, click on the link above.  Any questions may be directed to Cathy Lachin at


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


Join your WiVLA friends as we sketch, journal, paint, etc., in our sketchbooks. We have enjoyed the camaraderie and sharing thus far, and always come away having learned something new.  

If you wish to work in the sketchbook from the Sketchbook Project, that's fine.  Or bring a sketchbook of your own or plain heavy paper for drawing.  Bring any supplies that will satisfy your sketching needs - pencils, pens, paints, markers, etc.  If you have a book or other resource you have found helpful, bring it along to share.

If you'd like to work toward a completed sketchbook to submit to the Sketchbook Project, we can provide information, or you can look up    

We look forward to seeing you!
Be a part of our leadership team!  Remaining board opportunities include . . .
Historian and Communications Chair.  If you think you'd enjoy occasionally delving into the treasures that are WiVLA's archives or documenting any of our activities with a candid photo or two, then Historian is the job for you.  If you fancy yourself a fledgling PR whiz who enjoys promoting a worthy event by way of Houston's many media outlets, then you'd make the perfect 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!


A Look Ahead:  Exciting Monthly Meetings Planned

Thanks to our resolute Program Chair, Zita Giraldo, here are the programs that WiVLA members have to look forward to in the coming months:
  • July:  Artist Orna Feinstein
  • August:  Circle of Five meeting (members share their work in groups of five)
  • September:  Alicia Young, journalist and author of The Savvy Girl's Guide to Grace
  • October: Mary Lampe, Executive Director of Southwest Alternate media Project  (SWAMP)
  • November:  Twentieth Anniversary Literary Presentations
Join us for stimulating offerings by vibrant members of the Houston arts community.  You won't be disappointed!




~ Cornelia Amiri's latest release, a historical/fantasy/romance novella entitled Timeless Voyage, is now available on Amazon:
About Timeless Voyage:  Off the mist-shrouded coast of Ireland, a lady pirate, Anwen, captures the enemy, a Roman, Titus Rufius Kaeso. The Celtic warrior woman presses her hard iron dagger against Kaeso’s throat, but memories of fated lovers, druids, and sacrifice stay her hand.

Kaeso is also captivated by dreams of the woman he loved in a previous life, the mirror image of Anwen. In this lifetime they are foes, Roman and Celt. Can Anwen and Kaeso steer their timeless voyage to a happy destiny or will they be robbed of love once more?

~ Two of Luisa Duarte's three entries were accepted into The Big Show at Lawndale Art Center.  The show runs from July 11 through August 9.  Lawndale is located at 4912 Main and is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.; Saturday, noon until 5 p.m.
~ Patricia (Trish) Barry Rumble's children's play, Little Red, started touring June 2 and will continue its two-month long journey throughout the Houston area. Kids are loving this updated, high-energy story:  Granny, a former country music star, now runs a cafe.  Little Red helps Granny with social media while trying to find her own voice.  And The Wolf is after Granny's property, or so he thinks.  There are some delightful new characters, including a giant chicken.  Yes, that's right -- a giant chicken!  Fun for all!

There are two Saturday shows, July 12 and 19, at the Express Theatre at the NW Mall (290 at 610, off 18th St). Tickets are $8 a person.  You may call the theatre to make a reservation at 713-682-5044.  Other options: Call Trish at 713-784-9400 or email Bring your inner child and come on down!
~ Karen Anne Smith is proud to announce that her lenticular art called Cactus Joe was selected in the 2014 Annual Student Exhibition at Glassell School of Art at the Museum of Fine Arts. The exhibition will hang from May 23 to July 27, 2014. The address is 5101 Montrose Blvd., Houston, TX. 
~ Karen Anne Smith just finished hanging new art at Galeria Regina. The art is composed of shredded money in the shape of hearts. The gallery is located at 1716 Richmond Avenue and is open on Saturdays and Sundays from 1 - 5 p.m.

~ Jo Zider's new installation, Color Up/Color Down:  Voices from Tangled Garden, can now be viewed in the sculpture garden at the Center for Contemporary Craft on Main, just north of Lawndale and MFAH.  Inspired by the lyrics of Pete Seeger's Where Have All the Flowers Gone? and E.H. MacDonald's 1919 painting Tangled Garden, Zider's installation addresses the character of the pre-combat soldier, "ready to fight . . . for [his] country's honor and glory" (Color Up) and the post-combat soldier who struggles "to find [his] pathway forward" in his altered life (Color Down).  


Summer Online Course:  Write On
If you're looking for a way to develop or maintain a consistent writing practice this summer and stay connected to other writers, then Write On is a fun and easy way to do that. Maryann Gremillion facilitates this four week online course beginning July 7th. She provides a series of daily prompts each week by email, and participants are asked to commit ten minutes a day for writing. The purpose is simply to jump start a regular writing practice using the prompts if they help, though the writing doesn't have to be about the prompt. It can be about anything you care about, in any genre. Each writer will have a partner to send the ten minute piece to each day. This is a first draft piece, no editing needed. Your partner will send a piece to you, and both of you will respond to each other with a comment of support or encouragement (no critiques or questions). The total daily time commitment is about twenty minutes, so this class is perfect even if you're out of town. Consistency is the value here, not quality or quantity. The fee is $150and writers of all levels are welcome. If you want to register or have any questions, contact Maryann
Second Saturday Open Houses
The studios at Winter, Silver and Spring Streets are open on the second Saturday of each month from 2 to 5 pm. Join us July 12: Josena Arquieta, Margaret McElrath andJane Mulholland at Spring Street; Luisa Duarte at Silver Street; Piyali Dasqupta, Cary Reeder, Janet Roe and Karen Smith at Winter Street. 

Review:  Kathy Adams Clark

Our June speaker, the internationally-renowned photographer Kathy Adams Clark, enlightened WiVLA members with a personal account of the practical requirements for creating the career of her dreams. 

When Kathy wanted to leave her long-held position in human resources to focus on photography, her husband had only one condition: she had to make as much money with her photographs as she had in business. As she clicked through a portfolio of her award-winning photography, Kathy explained how she achieved her ambitious goal while pursuing the art that she loved.
Kathy has been a professional nature photographer since 1995. She runs a stock agency that represents the work of fifteen outstanding nature photographers.  Kathy's work has appeared in many publications, including Birder’s World, Nature's Best, National Wildlife, Ranger Rick, Texas Highways and Texas Parks & Wildlife. Her photos have also been published in numerous books and calendars. Her photos appear every week in the Houston Chronicle and San Antonio Express News in the "Nature" column written by her husband, Gary Clark. Kathy and Gary have published four books and have two more in the works that combine their photography and writing skills. Kathy teaches photography at local and national events. She leads photo workshops to Costa Rica, Ecuador, Italy and Morocco through Strabo Tours and is a past-president of the North American Nature Photography Association.

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). 

The Gulf Coast -- shared by multiple states and countries -- where diverse wildlife, industry and cultures intersect.

Rockport Center for the Arts seeks works of art that celebrate, challenge, and capture the activities, ideas and scenery that shape daily life on the Gulf Coast.

PRIZES: $1000 1st, $700 2nd, $300 3rd

Juror: Lee Deigaard
Raised in Atlanta, Lee Deigaard currently lives and works in New Orleans. She received her undergraduate degree from Yale and graduate degrees from the University of Michigan and the University of Texas at Austin. Her work spans drawing and painting,  photography and video, sculpture and installation. Her work, influenced by living on the Gulf Coast, focuses on our observations and interactions with nature.

For more information on this call for entry, visit  Deadline:  July 15, 2014.

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).  

Fantasy Anthology Submissions Open for Tides of Impossibility


The Tides of Impossibility Anthology is now accepting submissions.  To be produced by the Houston Writers Guild in cooperation with Skipjack Publishing, the collection will be available both as an ebook and a print book, and is expected to be shipped in late 2014. Tides of Impossibility will be an independent publication, and its mission statement is to provide independent and unpublished writers an encouraging and meaningful step forward in an industry (and a genre in particular) reputed for being difficult to break in to.
This anthology has already been funded via a Kickstarter campaign.
Submission guidelines:  The deadline is August 1, 2014.  "We are looking for fantasy submissions of no more than 8,000 words. We are not interested in science fiction, though we will entertain sci-fantasy. The fantasy element may be slight, but must be present and integral to the plot. Our definition of 'fantasy' is pretty open; if you can ask yourself, "Is this a work of fantasy?" then I would probably answer that, yes, it is.
 Visit for complete details.

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   Sandi Stromberg
and Maryann Gremillion   


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