March 2011


WiVLA's Mission: 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.

In this Issue
State of the Organization Report
Letter From the Editor
Membership Meeting
Renew Your Membership
Member News and Accolades
Google Art Project
Visual Art Opportunities
Good Places to Write and Draw
Literary Day
Calendar of Events



Jeanne Haner


Greetings WiVLA Members and Friends!   


Thank you for the support you have provided me and WiVLA during the past two years of my presidency. I am honored to be associated with such a dynamic group of creative artists, writers and thinkers!


I also want to thank both Boards of Directors, who individually and collectively worked so diligently in the best interests of the organization. We were Boards of strong women with diverse opinions. We carefully and thoughtfully discussed the pros and cons of each idea brought forward for consideration. After actively listening and responding to the variety of concerns expressed, consensus was reached.


WiVLA celebrated its 15th Anniversary in March 2010, honoring the founders and presidents, and noting the many achievements of the organization to date. During the following Board Retreat, we envisioned WiVLA's future and began strategic planning. Part of the discussion reflected the desire for WiVLA to be a "well-known, respected regional organization that supports women in the creative arts." To that end, we began a series of steps to raise its profile and visibility in the community. 


This year has seen many changes in WiVLA's infrastructure including: improving the financial system; updating the brand; redesigning business collateral and the website; and revising the by-laws and policies.   


At the March meeting, the membership will vote in WiVLA's new officers.  I will continue on in the capacity of Ex-Officio for the next year. I look forward to welcoming the new leadership and offering my support to them in 2011-2012.




Jeanne Haner 



STATE OF THE ORGANIZATION REPORT                                                         

by Jeanne Haner


As our fiscal year comes to an end and we begin anew, I want to bring you up to date on WiVLA.  As President, I am honored to have led two Boards of Directors who worked together on behalf of the organization. As a mission-driven organization, the Board is committed and connected to WiVLA's mission "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."From my years of service, I know that WiVLA plays a meaningful role in enhancing the quality of life and creative efforts for its officers and members.


For those of you who could not attend the January 18th membership meeting, the following is a brief summary of accomplishments. At that meeting, we presented the results of our work so that you can contribute to our future efforts towards WiVLA's advancement.

These efforts are positioning WiVLA as a well-managed, visionary organization. With sixteen successful years behind us, we're looking to the future of WiVLA with energy and enthusiasm. A new direction for WiVLA focuses on promoting the impact of the organization both regionally and nationally. Achieving a higher profile for the organization will result in both tangible and intangible benefits for our members.

In 2009, the WiVLA Board committed to cleaning out files and moving items to the archival storage we have through the University of Houston's Women's Studies Program. Sorting through the material was "part scavenger hunt and part treasure hunt." Among the treasures was an early logo that we reinvented for last year's anniversary party. There were also many photographs and program materials that documented WiVLA's growth over the years and the dedication of its members.


Working on the archives sparked renewed excitement about WiVLA for many of us there. That excitement was evident at the 15th Anniversary Party. The PowerPoint presentation on WiVLA's history, the acknowledgement of all our past presidents, and the honoring of our three founders, created a new level of enthusiasm among members.


At the Board Retreat in May 2010, we committed to helping WiVLA attain a more influential position in the Houston community and rise to prominence as a premier arts organization for women writers and visual artists. A strategic planning committee was formed, consisting of Jean Caslin, Lane Devereux, Diane Griffin Gregory, Diana Meade and myself. The Board's overarching questions in this process were "How can WiVLA best serve its membership?" and "What is the best way to achieve those ends?" Answering these two important questions took the Board on a journey of discovery that included understanding the original intent of our bylaws, policies, and commitments and then updating them appropriately for the times and our aspirations. 


We also recognized that advances in computer technology, the Internet, and social media demanded a fresh look at how we used these tools. We determined to protect and enhance our image and brand. WiVLA's new website was launched in January and is the embodiment of the forward thinking of our organization.  It is stylish and easy to navigate.  We hope that it will be an important component in "broadcasting our message" to a diverse constituency. 

This past year, the Board also has been working on WiVLA's infrastructure, including financial analyses, budget building, and redesigning the business collateral. After conducting a financial analysis of the last three years, organizational budgets were created for 2010-2011 and 2011-2012. We found that WiVLA had been balancing its budgets over the past few years by drawing on its cash reserves. Our intentions are to stop and reverse this trend. These working budgets allow us to focus on our fiscal responsibilities to WiVLA and plan for the future.


The Board has made these necessary recommendations as we move forward with our annual operating budget of approximately $10,000: membership dues were raised from $35 to $40 beginning in March 2011; WiVLA VOiCES, our newsletter went "green" and will be available as an online resource; and additional opportunities were made for online donations through PayPal. The Board is focusing on expanded fundraising efforts and is encouraging membership participation. 


To help achieve a higher profile for the organization, the Board looked at the guidelines for our annual print and photography exhibition. As a result of our deliberations, membership exhibitions will be juried and have higher entry fees to cover those increased expenses. The Board also reviewed the ECO Fund Award, which is offered each year at its discretion.  It was determined to test a pilot program for 2011 to make the ECO Fund a more prestigious award through a competitive jurying process. The recipients of the 2011 ECO Fund Awards may be assured that the jurors were persuaded by the quality of their written proposals. An added benefit to having jurors for these kinds of activities is another level of exposure for our creative efforts. 


WiVLA strives to provide its members with the tools needed to be successful on their own terms. We believe that if we take ourselves seriously as visual artists and writers, then others will take us seriously, too. In addition to fostering the careers of its members, WiVLA also is committed to supporting the creative efforts of young women through its Gold Key Scholarship Fund. Two local high school seniors, identified by the Harris County Department of Education, are given these annual literary and visual art awards each year.


As we begin our new fiscal year, the Strategic Planning Committee has created the following statement, which will lead our organizational efforts.


WiVLA's Strategic Aims are: to produce high quality programs and services; increase participation of members in advocacy, fundraising and committee activities; expand membership and audiences; ensure the sustainability and longevity of the organization; identify and implement non-profit models of best practice; and raise the organization's visibility and profile through effective communications.


WiVLA is well positioned for the future. I encourage you to become more involved in its evolution and thank you for your continuing support!


Welcome to the electronic issue of VOiCES. I hope you'll take advantage of the many opportunites and upcoming events published this month and congratulate your fellow WiVLA members on their recent accolades. As always, if you have a story idea for the newsletter, let us know at newsletter@wivla.org.




Jennifer Watson

The ever-popular Circle of Five
The ever-popular Circle of Five meeting provides members a chance to share their projects and ideas among a supportive group.




Feng Shui for Creativity

Using the 6000-year-old tenets of Feng Shui, Trisha Keel (www.tomorrowskey.com), will open the doors and windows of our minds to enhancing and expanding "Creativity" in our lives.  Trisha received her Advanced Certification in Feng Shui from James and Helen Jay (CA) in 1989 and is one of the most respected and widely sought FS Masters in Texas.  Please join us for this fun, interactive and wisdom-filled evening!


Also, this is our Annual Meeting at which we elect the new Board of Directors. Your vote counts, so do come! We look forward to having you at the meeting, and following the meeting, at Cafe Express on West Gray for a Dutch treat dinner full of camaraderie and conversation.




WiVLA membership runs from March 1st through the end of February. The regular membership fee is $40, beginning March 1, 2011. The student membership fee is $10. A limited number of membership fee scholarships are available.


To renew your membership now, click here.




Kay Sarver's piece got into the second jury process, making her a finalist for the Hunting Art Prize for 2011.  The winner will be announced in April.     


Cindy Hickok is preparing for a solo show at Jane Sauer Gallery in Santa Fe NM, opening May 20.  She will be honored by the New Mexican Women in the Arts at a luncheon recognizing their choice of artist & gallery in New Mexico.     


Joan Son will be presenting her work at "Part Geometry, Part Zen: a personal exploration through paper" on April 9 through June 12 at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft at 4848 Main Street. There will be an opening reception April 29 from 5:30-8 p.m. www.crafthouston.org.   


Margaret Colvin will have a solo exhibit displaying her recent works, "Abstraction," at Block 7. The artist reception will be Wednesday, March 9th from 6-8 pm; the exhibit will remain on view till April 25th. Colvin's mixed media collages will also be on display.  Block 7, 720 Shepherd Drive, Houston 77007.  


Lois Hudson's poem was accepted and printed, along with her bio, in "Poetry in the Arts," a semi-annual journal.     


Margaret Dobbins has been named a Finalist in the 2011 Hunting Art Prize competition.


 Kaytee Esser is having a one-person show entitled "Horse Power," at the Upper Bay Frame and Gallery in Nassau Bay, Texas. The reception for this show is Saturday, March 19 from 10-2.  The show will feature paintings of horses and classic cars. Several classic cars will be on display outside the gallery for you to take a look. Bay Frame and Gallery is located at 18069 Upper Bay Road, Nassau Bay, Texas. Phone: 281-333-9199. www.UpperBayFrame.com.


Melanie Rosin will have her first poetry collection, "Four Feet from the Surface," published by Neo Literati Press this fall.



By Diana Meade


You may already know this but I didn't and I am excited to share this with you.

Do you remember when Google sent their Street View Camera crews up and down every street in America and took a photo of your house with your neighbor's garbage can blown over in your driveway and posted it on the web for all the world to see? 


Well, Google has sent those same cameras to 17 art museums around the world and this time they let them know they were coming, and oh boy, you just have see some of the results!  There is now a lot more art on your computer at your fingertips. 


I am including some of the videos at the end of this article and you can check out how it works  by clicking here.  The project is a boon for art lovers who might not be able to get across the ocean for a visit or just want to do some art history research in the comfort of their pajamas while drinking their favorite beverage. 


Selected works are highlighted and some are even a part of a new technology that photographs so closely that you can see the brush stokes in the piece in a way you can bet you haven't seen from behind the velvet rope.  Google has given you extra goodies including info from the museum and the ability to save and share your discoveries with others to make the experience even better.


You control how you view the inside of the museum by clicking and following the arrows on the screen.   It takes a little time to become accustomed to the way the system works because the walls move as I imagine they would in a fun house while taking a hallucinogen, but you can stare in wonder as long as you please without a gloved docent herding you along.


Fair warning:  The Google Art Project is best enjoyed when you have a little time to wander down the halls at a leisurely pace.   I have been keeping a window open with the project in my browser, and I stop in for little art breaks until my eyes start crossing, or when I have to come back to reality.


Here are some videos that will explain further:


Art Project  - Visitor Guide
Art Project - Visitor Guide


Art Project - Preview
Art Project - Preview



Art Project - Behind the Scenes
Art Project - Behind the Scenes



By Anna Phillips 




Houston Center for Photography 29th Annual Membership Exhibition

Submission deadline March 18th

This is an open themed show with an entry fee of $35 for up to 10 images. It will be juried by Ariel Shanberg, Executive Director of The Center for Photography at Woodstock, NY www.hcponline.org


Houston Community College - Central Art Gallery

Postmark deadline for entries: March 26th; Drop off deadline: March 31st

Theme: "Evolutionaries: Art and Healing" Subject matter can deal with personal, political or environmental healing. Jurors will be Jean Caslin, Diane Griffin Gregory and Cindy Wigglesworth. Entry fee is $35 for 3 jpegs.

There will be a two-month exhibition in HCC's Art Gallery. Selected additional work not included for the gallery will be available through an Online Gallery and a Blurb Catalog. Submission guidelines and prospectus: http://cc.hccs.edu/gallery/index.html


Archway Gallery 3rd Annual Juried Open Competition

Postmark deadline for entries: May 14th  

A Benefit for The Houston Area Women's Center - This is an open themed show. In keeping with the mission of the Houston Area Women's Center, imagery that is overtly sexual or violent will not be accepted. Bert Long has been selected to jury this competition.



Local Film Festivals

Visual artists benefit from influences to be found in films. Check out the historic, foreign and independent film offerings at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. www.mfah.org/films/. Of special interest in March: The seventh annual Houston Jewish Film Festival (March 8-20) and Five Funny French Films (March 25-26). So you plan ahead, the MFAH will present the 6th Annual Latin Wave: New Films from Latin America (April 28-May 1, 2011) Also in April is the 44th Worldfest-Houston International Film Festival (April 8-17) http://worldfest.org/indexb.html


Online Resources

An excellent resource for national Calls for Entry is Café, The Art of Online Calls for Entry.  All of these opportunities require an online submission process.  Their website is: www.callforentry.org


For complete listings of exhibitions and events consult:

Artshound [Arts, Culture & Entertainment Events in Houston, Texas] at: www.artshound.com

Glasstire [Texas visual arts online] at: www.glasstire.com 


We welcome your suggestions and feedback for this column, so we can include the news you'd like to read. If you have suggestions for inclusion, please e-mail the relevant information by the 15th of each month for the following month's newsletter to Anna Phillips


By Cary Reeder


G's & Z's Coffee Shop, 4420 Almeda, Phone: 713-737-8366


After experimenting with "corporate coffee" last month, I have ventured back to the comforts of another Mom & Pop coffee shop. G's & Z's is a hidden gem in the Third Ward/Museum District area that I would have never known about if a friend hadn't suggested it for coffee and conversation. More proof that I do need to expand my circle beyond the Heights and Montrose. I love to find hidden gems as long as I don't have to drive outside of the 610 Loop to get to them.


General Atmosphere: G's & Z's is in an historic-looking building on the corner of Almeda and Rosewood with lots of windows and natural light. There are about six tables w/chairs and a four seated counter overlooking Almeda. There is artwork on the walls by such luminaries as Houston artist and UHD professor Floyd Newsum. Stairs lead up to a rooftop balcony with a view of downtown. On this Monday morning, some nice cool jazz plays in the background.


Features:  Along with a relaxed atmosphere for reading, writing or visiting with friends, G's & Z's has a couple features that set it apart from other coffee houses. This is the first coffee shop I've visited that offers both a free Internet bar with three computers to use and free WIFI if you bring your own laptop. I've yet to find another place, besides the public library, that offers this. They also have Poetry Night every Saturday at 8:00 p.m.


Coffee and Comestibles: G's & Z'soffers a wide variety of hot and cold coffee drinks, as well as teas, Italian sodas, and soft drinks. I enjoyed my tasty latte made tastier by the fact that I forgot to ask for skim milk. I didn't sample any of the pastries but they looked pretty good. G's & Z's also serves lunch, and while I cannot confirm it, apparently their chicken salad sandwich is to die for. In the evening hours, they serve beer and wine.


When to Go: I've only visited G's & Z's on a Monday morning but the word on the street is that it's a pretty "chill" place. I take this to mean that it's quiet and mellow. On the morning I visited, two other patrons and I were quietly reading, writing, and typing. I imagine that it's gets noisier at lunchtime and especially during Poetry Night. You know how wild and crazy those poets are.


The Verdict: I immediately liked G's & Z's the moment I stepped in the front door. The proprietor was welcoming and ready to take my order. There were magazines, newspapers and books to read and lots of windows to look out and watch the world go by. I highly recommend this hidden gem as a great place to write and draw.


Have you found a Good Place to Write or Draw in your neighborhood? We encourage WiVLA members to be guest columnists. Contact the editor for details.



By Corry Austin


A wonderful gathering of artists met on February 19 for Literary Day.  Both instructors helped jostle us out of our fears and ruts, and let new ideas surface.


Poetry seeds were planted and are growing, thanks to Sandi Stromberg's creative teaching and exercises.  We wrote lists of "I wants" and created a group poem - a WiVLA Want Rant.  It was amazing the way our words fit together into various themes. Sandi's gentle guidance and creative energy jump-started a variety of new projects for each of us.  Sarah Cortez teaches the art of memoir writing at this year's Literary Day


Sarah Cortez took us on a visit back in time, and along the way, we learned the meaning and mechanics of memoir writing.  Sharing our work and encouraging our fellow writers helped us realize the gifts we give to each other with our words.  Sarah's expertise and support provided an atmosphere of creative possibility.  


Thank you to both instructors, Sandi and Sarah, and all the participants.  Now, write on!



Mary Wilbanks will be taking a group of artists to Costa Rica July 5-11. 2011.  There are only 2 available rooms left.  For more info call 281-370-7879 or write marywilbanks@gmail.com. 


The Houston Empty Bowls Steering Committee invites ceramists, woodturners and woodworkers, hot and warm and cold glass artists, fiber artists, mosaicists, polymer clay artists, metalsmiths, painters and sculptors, artists of all kinds, to create and donate handmade bowls for Empty Bowls Houston 2011. The event will be held Saturday, March 19, at Lawndale Art Center and Houston Center for Contemporary Craft. For more information, contact Thomas Perry at713-660-9488 or tomperry56@aol.com.




March 7, 6 p.m.

WiVLA Board meeting  

Live Oak Meeting House


March 15, 6 p.m.  

Membership Meeting: Feng Shui for Creativity

Museum of Printing History, 1324 West Clay  (Map


Annual Member Social

We will be having our Annual Member Social on Sunday, March 13th from 2-4 p.m.  at the Altharetta Yeargin Art Museum in Spring Branch. Please join us for an afternoon of mixing and mingling with your fellow WiVLAites. Light snacks and refreshments will be served. Contributions of cookies and other sweet treats are welcome!


Where:  Altharetta Yeargin Art Museum, 901 Yorkchester, Houston, TX 77009 (Map)

When:  Sunday, March 13th, 2-4 p.m.

RVSP to:  membership@wivla.org 



For a complete list of upcoming events, visit the WiVLA calendar.



Jeanne Haner




Lane Devereux


Vice President


Connie Buchanan




Diana Meade




Jean Caslin


Visual Co-Chair


Anna Phillips


Visual Co-Chair


Corry Austin


Literary Co-Chair


Elizabeth Earle


Literary Co-Chair


Cary Reeder




Jennifer Watson




Diane Griffin Gregory




Rebecca Kveton


Public Relations


Terry Tomkins-Walsh




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