July 2017

WiVLA July Meeting
A Stall of the Narrative/A Sell of the Book
The program for July promises to be encouraging and informative. Best-selling author and WiVLA founder Karleen Koen will share ways to pull yourself out of a creative stall and places to begin if you want to sell your book. Karleen is the author of the New York Times bestseller Through a Glass Darkly. Her last novel Before Versailles was selected as among the best historical fiction (2011) by the Library Journal and RT Book Reviews. Additional information can be found on her website www.karleenkoen.net . Her Facebook is www.facebook.com/KarleenKoenWriter.

The meeting will be held at Archway Gallery, 2305 Dunlavy, Houston TX 77006
5:45  Mix and Mingle; Please bring wine or a snack if you can.
6:15:  Short business meeting
6:30:  Program begins
7:30:  Walk two blocks to Brasil’s at the corner of Westheimer and Dunlavy for dinner (Dutch treat).
President's Message
Welcome summer! 
We like the sunshine, but the heat? Well, we find work-arounds, don’t we? Iced tea. Skating at the mall. Relaxing in the pool. And good, solid amounts of time indoors for creating art, performance, and writing! Those are definitely great ways to beat the heat.
   Things are also heating up around the world as people struggle to come to common agreements, see each other’s perspectives, and work together. Mark Maron was musing on his blog several weeks ago about the power of art to fight fear and hate and make a big difference. He continued, realizing that big differences are hard to achieve at times, but little changes are essential. He states, “Every little expression of human creativity and imagination is a celebration of the pure human spirit – without boundaries or restrictions or even rules.”
   I think of the storytelling I hear when I attend The Moth (2nd Tuesdays of the month in downtown Houston at the Warehouse Live) and how those moments when the audience’s rapt attention erupts into enthusiastic claps, cheers, and whistles. A brave storyteller has brought us together with one little story, and we leave better humans than we were when we arrived.
   Peggy Sexton’s Boogle Houses are charming, fascinating creations that make me want to shrink myself and join the world of tiny things. I want to climb those miniature ladders and live way up high inside those exciting and exquisite buildings perched on the edge of a piece of wood or a rock. That must be a fantastical and beautiful world I think. Peggy’s Boogle Houses allow me the chance to escape, fantasize, and celebrate what art can do for the spirit. One little creation – and look what it can do. As many of us joined together in Peggy’s honor at Archway Gallery, it was another indication of how much art can show us how we’re more alike than different and bring us together – to celebrate, to mourn, to learn, to grow. 
   I’ve been twice to the 4th Wall Theatre at Spring Street Studios within the last month. I’ve come away having been transported to another place, learning through the characters, seeing a new perspective, agreeing - or not - with the choices being made. “Lobby Hero” had such amazing dialogue between the actors, and the play forced the characters (and the audience) to consider morality from different perspectives. “Cry Havoc” was an amazing one-person show about the horrors of war on its soldiers and the difficult task of re-entry into one’s former life. Woven through were timeless pieces of Shakespeare. The actor and playwright, Stephan Wolfert, reappeared after the first act to meet with the audience and debrief us on his own personal journey. Then he invited audience members who were military, or had family members in the military, to share their experiences. The connection and respect between audience and actor and between all audience members were palpable and extremely moving. We walked out of the theatre as changed people.
   Picture a literary reading, perhaps at Archway Gallery. While the author is reading, a phrase or line connects deeply with the audience, and there is an audible, “mmmmhhh.” That is creativity crossing the space between people and helping us hold each other’s hearts. Archway holds monthly readings on the 3rd Thursdays at 6:30. 
   This city abounds with opportunities to open ourselves to art and community.  First of all, come to your own WiVLA meetings! They are inventive and inspiring.  Try Creative Mornings. Attend a lecture at the Museum of Fine Arts. They show wonderful films as well.  What better connection than a film and a post-film glass of wine to discuss the movie? 14 Pews is another art house film location. There are galleries galore all over the city. Meet the artists – connect with their why and how. Attend a dance performance, whether classical ballet or contemporary dance. Look for a September performance by Fly. The Menil waits quietly for us to enter and breathe in the art. Take an art class or workshop, join a critique group, attend a reading, grab a friend and go somewhere interesting. Make the world a smaller and better place by appreciating and celebrating every little creative moment that has been offered up by a brave soul.
   Cori Austin
June Meeting Makes a Sophisticated and Energetic Impact
Kathy Wood, along with her husband Mike and Fly Dance Company's Executive Director Jorge Casco, enthralled us with the story of the hip-hop dance company who found an exacting and creative artistic director in Kathy. Thirty-three audience members heard the riveting and often humorous story of Kathy's life in dance and her devotion to teaching and mentoring young dancers. She says:"I take dance form and set it in a new way. I like surprising the audience, ...and think dance should be fun with the audience fully engaged. I like to mix musical pieces juxtaposing unexpected movement styles with that music." And, her talk was as surprising as her life teaching young dancers has been in Houston and Tyler. While Mike chimed in and filmed the talk, Jorge relayed multiple stories that exemplified Kathy's "hard work, dedication, commitment, passion, hitting her mark, using a vivid imagination" to transform the dance troupe into an international sensation. Kathy's motto is -- "What puts that battery in your pack!" -- find it and do it with courage, take risks, stand up to intolerance and small-mindedness and always, always maintain the highest of standards in your art and craft. 
  Kathy showed videos and still photographs of the troupe and the WiVLA members and guests reacted with enthusiastic applause. There were many questions and comments in the Q&A period and then Kathy, in her joyful and graceful way, got audience members up for a dance session.
  You might like to see the videos and read the history of the dancers and Kathy at http://www.flydancecompany.com

WIVLA Members Tour the Cistern at Buffalo Bayou Park
On a warm June day, eleven WiVLA members met at the Buffalo Bayou Water Works Park for a descent into the Cistern to see Magdalena Fernandez’ “Rain” installation. What a marvelous, mysterious, and breath-taking visit it was! 
   The Cistern is a space that the city of Houston previously used for water containment many years ago. It has been empty and dormant until recently, when it was reopened and restored, and is now used for art installations and tours. What a great idea for our wonderful city – a community gathering place and artistic showcase which also raises money! http://buffalobayou.org/visit/destination/the-cistern/
   We gathered with other Houstonians in the entrance, were briefed about what to expect, and entered the dark and cool chamber. Holding the railing throughout the entire walk around the interior of the space, we encountered lights which played off the columns, then flashed like lightning, and the wonderful sound of a thunderstorm. The sounds and lights played cyclically for the entire walk. It was mesmerizing. We had been told by the guide that the sounds were created by finger-snapping, leg-slapping, and foot tapping. It sounded so thunder- and rain-like! (Here is a link to a video of the program: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7VBUZTx--lI   Here is a link to the choir which created the sounds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=29qaN0M0o0s
  It was a lovely and refreshing retreat from the Houston heat. Unfortunately, “Rain” is no longer showing, but the space can be accessed for an informational tour beginning again on July 20.   Thursdays are free. 
   A wonderful lunch of fellowship and delicious food followed at the Black Walnut Café.
Save the date for the RENEWAL premiere
Evelyn Rubenstein Jewish Community Center on Sunday, August 20, 2017
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The Memorial Celebration and a Profile of Peggy Sexton by Jane Mulholland
[Editor's Note: In addition to the remembrance by Maggie Baldwin in last month's newsletter, I asked Jane Mulholland to write another article about our dear member Peggy Sexton.] 
11/3/1938 – 4/24/2017
Wife, Mother, Friend, Inspiration and Artist
   A multitude of friends, artists and family gathered at Archway Gallery on June 18 to celebrate the life of Peggy Sexton who died unexpectedly after surgery in April. Peggy was a long-time WiVLA member, twice a member artist at Archway Gallery, and a member of the Houston Area Fiber Artists and the Surface Design Association. Click here to read the entire article.

New Facebook Group:
Announcement from Regina Vitolo Mader

WiVLA has a new Facebook group for MEMBERS ONLY. If you would like to join, you can go directly to the link and send a request, or you can email Regina at clockbirdstar@gmail.com, and she can send you an invitation to the group. Here is the link:

  • Editor’s Choice repeating an item from Regina, social media guru: Do you want to post on WiVLA's Facebook page? Click here for a short tutorial with easy-to-read instructions and images. Many thanks to Regina!
  • Writer and WiVLA member Debbie Blumberg is looking for people to profile for an online publication, Folks magazine. It tells the stories of extraordinary people who refuse to be defined by their heath issues. Here's a recent story she did for them: http://folks.pillpack.com/because-chemo-is-scary-enough-without-wigging-out/  There are plenty other examples on the website as well. She would very much appreciate any introductions to people or any leads! You can reach Debbie at deborah.blumberg@gmail.com
  • We heard from our Ohio WiVLA member, Cindy Rasche, recently. She says: "I keep thinking of you all often and fondly. I feel like once I joined WIVLA I finally found a place for myself in Houston. I'll be sending in my dues soon. I'll be a member from afar. Keep up doing all the good you do. The world needs the kind of heart WIVLA offers. Cindy     rasche.cindy@gmail.com                           

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.
  • donna e. perkins has a work accepted into the Big Show at the Lawndale Art Center. The Big Show will be on view from July 7 to August 12, 2017 with the opening reception on Friday, July 7 from 7:00 to 9:00 pm. donna will participate in the Big Show Slide Show on Thursday, August 3 from 6:00 to 8:00 pm.
  • Kay Adshead writes: "July 6 - 8 I have a (very) short play OF THE END playing as part of Mildred’s Umbrella Museum of Dysfunction at Studio 101 Spring Street Studios. It starts at 8:00 pm.
    Above is the link to the promo. It would be lovely to see folk there. Cheers."
  • Sylvia Cooper announces the publication of the second part of her memoir Better Out Than In Part II. She continues the story of her journey to freedom and while not an easy one, the journey shows there can be a happy ending for victims of domestic violence. See the cover and book jacket text  here
  • Save the date for Fringe Festival Anything Goes night on Sunday, September 10. Member Margo Stutts Toombs will be presenting Mona Meditation Maven.
  • Tayyba Kanwal is happy to announce the following to all WiVLA members: Fuente Collective is a new organization with a mission to catalyze creativity through online and on-location national and international retreats and events. We plan to launch multi-lingual artistic programming, especially in Spanish.
    Founded by Tayyba Kanwal with three fellow passionate writer-artists, we launch our programming this summer. We are thrilled to offer our first Youth Studio and the first of our “Write Wild” retreats, a day in Kemah focused on generating new ideas and work, experimenting outside the participants' usual, genre, style, and even art form. 
    More about Fuente Collective: https://fuenteco.com
    More about Creative Self-expression Youth Studio for 8 - 16 year-olds: https://fuenteco.com/youth/
    More about the Kemah Write Wild Retreat on July 8, 2017https://fuenteco.com/wild/
    Contact or sign up for our newsletter here: https://fuenteco.com/contact/
    We look forward to seeing WiVLA members at our retreats and will keep you updated on interesting programming!
  • A social media tutorial by Regina Vitolo Mader is under the NEWS heading. Many thanks to Regina for clear and concise advice!
  • 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.
~ Public Poetry  announces a marvelous month of events in July beginning on Saturday July 1 at 2:00 pm, Library Reading Series, Smith Neighborhood Library, 3624 Scott Street, Houston 77004.  Poets are: Konnor Broussard, Corinna Delgado, Priscilla Frake, Monica Teresa Ortiz. 
Also on July 1, Red Alert, a poetry and dance party benefiting Public Poetry at 7:00 to 8:00 pm at 215 Grove Street, Houston 77027.
The website has a good write-up about the show and details about tickets and other events. http://www.publicpoetry.net

~ Member Denise Bossarte recommends the following online retreat. Please see the link. "I have participated in this online retreat several times. It is really wonderful. And FREE!"

~ Former WiVLA president Jane Mulholland encourages everyone to check out the Houston Writers Guild website where a full slate of events and call for entries are listed in a very appealing way. Events include Summer Sessions and Tier 2 Critique Groups. http://www.houstonwritersguild.org

~ Margo Toombs writes: "I saw The Adventures of Robin Hood last night. It is a high-energy, fun show and my favorite part was the way the actors engaged the children in the audience. At one point, Robin and his merry folk warn the villagers to hide from the evil sheriff. Some little boys hid under their chairs - hilarious! But seriously, this is a great opportunity to introduce children to live theater. The show plays through July 15.The theatre web is http://www.companyonstage.org

~ Also from Margo Toombs: "I am co-hosting deep listening circles at the Jung Center the 2nd and 4th Thursdays of each month for the next 3 months [editor's note: now next 2 months] - 6:00-7:30 pm. Imagine talking without being interrupted. Listening without feeling the need to fix the speaker. It's emotionally refreshing. It's a gift. And it is free. Let me know if you are interested in being on our email list." You can reach Margo at bboop7@flash.net. You can read an introduction to deep listening circles here.

~ 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.  Be sure and use the link to confirm the Friday availability. A few Fridays in 2017 are blocked due to other schedules. http:// http://inprinthouston.org/event/inprint-writing-cafe-16/

~ Additionally, Imprint is featuring a master class on writing personal essays in September. See that notice and much, much more at

WriteSpace is offering several workshops in July and continuing into the summer. For pricing, registration and more information, go to the WriteSpace website or contact them. Please see the WriteSpace website for details. Additionally, save the date for WriteSpace Writers' Family Reunion on Saturday, September 9, 2017 from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.

~ Member Harriet Riley sends a save-the-date notice for the Weird Homes Tour in Houston on Saturday October 7. Learn more and see amazing pictures at http://www.weirdhomestour.com

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

~ Member Debbie Blumberg says: Save the date: February 3, 2018 - Debbie is co-chair of the American Society of Journalists and Authors regional writers conference next spring 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. Stay tuned for more information! (HTTP://TINY.CC/ASJATX). For more information on volunteering or sponsorship opportunities, please email  asjaoffice@asja.org   

~  From Cori Austin -- Creative Mornings Houston: Every month, creative people gather at a designated place for a program designed to inspire and entertain. There is time for networking, visiting, meeting new people, and having some kind of morning food and drink. I've been three times. Each time has been totally different, but the common denominator (I am a math teacher, by the way), is always interesting people having interesting conversations. To join, sign up for the Houston newsletter at https://creativemornings.com/cities/hou. It’s always on a Friday morning and begins at 8:30 am. The location changes each time. 

~  3rd Coast Books is now accepting fiction and non-fiction submissions in seven genres. Please go to: www.3rdcoastbooks.com

~ Art Houston is a new local magazine dedicated to all types of art and they are seeking articles. For general submission guidelines, contact the publisher at Art Houston.

~  Writers will find an abundance of resources on this new website created by writing coach Joan Dempsey.

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).

~ June Russell, one of the visual art co-chairs, points all photographers to PhotoPlace Gallery. A new competition and exhibit are featured on the very excellent website. Although the submission deadline is passed, the upcoming juried show entitled "Portals" looks very interesting and exciting.  https://photoplacegallery.com/

~ Archway Gallery has an important show this month. There is still time to apply to the Ninth Annual Juried Exhibition by delivering your art to the gallery from July 3 to July 5th. There is good information on their website: Click here to go to the website. The Awards Ceremony and Opening Reception will be Saturday, July 8th from 5:00 to 8:00 pm. Hurry and deliver your art to this excellent opportunity!  http://www.archwaygallery.com/archway-9th-annual-juried-exhibition-2017.html
~ Fraction Magazine is an online venue dedicated to contemporary and fine art photography. It brings together diverse bodies of work by established and emerging artists from around the globe.They accept submissions from new and emerging photographers.

~ FreshArts, of which we are members, has many opportunities for artists listed on their website - check it out!

~ 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 entry 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).
~ Words & Art, a series of events facilitated by Mary Wemple at the now-closed Rice University Art Gallery, is moving to CAMH. Mary writes: “I'm excited to announce the next Words & Art events at the CAMH. The new exhibit is called “A Better Yesterday’’ and is in the basement of the museum. There are three solo shows, and we will be looking at JooYoung Choi's work, the space with the big red dinosaur.’’ Here are the dates for the upcoming events: Words & Art - Writing Workshop - Free Saturday July 22, 1:00-2:00 pm; Deadline to submit Saturday August 12, midnight; Words & Art - Reading Thursday August 24 6:30-7:30 pm. More information about visiting the CAMH: http://camh.org/about/visit
~ Gulf Coast: A Journal of Literature and Fine Arts announces its 2017 contests and awards. The literary journal was founded at the University of Houston and holds an annual event with cash awards to the winners and publication opportunities. Please click "Contests" on their web page for full information and submission guidelines. http://www.gulfcoastmag.org

~ Houston Writers Guild has a call for entry notice on the guild's website http://www.houstonwritersguild.org

~ Narrative regularly publishes fiction, poetry, and nonfiction, including stories, novels, novel excerpts, novellas, personal essays, humor, sketches, memoirs, literary biographies, commentary, reportage, interviews, and features of interest to readers who take pleasure in storytelling and imaginative prose.

~ Poets & Writers has a great database of conferences and residencies for writers. Check it out.
~ 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

Renew Membership Now
Make 2017 your opportunity for creative encouragement and support by renewing your membership to WiVLA. This 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: http://wivla.org/membership.htm or download a membership form and send a check to WiVLA, P.O. Box 130406, Houston, TX 77219-0406.

You can also renew at the July meeting. To facilitate this, please print the information 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 2016 (September through December), your membership will run through the entire year of 2017.
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!

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
"A Stall of the Narrative/
A Sell of the Book"
presentation by member
Karleen Koen

Tuesday, July 18
5:45 Gather and Mingle
6:15 Short Business Mtg
6:30 Program Begins

Archway Gallery
2305 Dunlavy
Houston TX 77006

WiVLA Monthly Meeting
Tuesday, August 15
5:45 Gather and Mingle
6:15 Short Business Mtg
6:30 Program Begins

Archway Gallery
2305 Dunlavy
Houston TX 77006

Sunday, August  20
Renewal exhibition,
musical premiere,
and literary reading

Evelyn Rubenstein Jewish
Community Center
Events start at 2:00 pm
Please watch for detailed notices
in July and August

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


Quick Links...


The Printing Museum

Public Poetry

Glasstire Texas:  Visual Art News and Reviews

Fresh Arts Coalition Houston

Visual Arts Alliance

Houston Writers Guild

Lawndale Art Center


Gulf Coast Poets

Inprint Houston

Texas Accountants and Lawyers for the Arts

Houston Press

Paper City Magazine

Arts Hound

Houston Culture Map

WriteSpace Houston

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