May 2018

May Meeting – Speed-Dating! Need to find a date for the prom? We hope not. But you very well might need a date for the upcoming collaboration! 
   May’s meeting will give you a great opportunity to meet many WiVLA artists and writers by “speed-dating!.” You will have the opportunity to have a short five-minute chat with many of our artists and writers. You can find out what their art and/or writing is like, how they approach a new theme, what their vision might be for collaboration with the theme of  S P A C E , how they like to work, what is their vision of collaboration, etc. Artists should bring one or two small pieces or photos of pieces to help show their work. Writers may not want to bring anything or just one or two short pieces. Time goes fast when you’re speed-dating!

Click here for a page of helpful hints about speed-dating.

We’ll be back at Archway Gallery for the rest of this year.  
2305 Dunlavy, Houston TX 77006
5:45 – 6:15  Mix and Mingle
6:15 – 6:30  Short business meeting
6:30 – 7:30  Speed dating!
7:30 -  Dinner at Brasil’s (dutch-treat) after we pick up the meeting area at Archway. Brazil's is on the corner of Dunlavy and Westheimer -- an easy walk from the gallery.

President's Message: Speed-Date/Collaborate
Some of us thought we were all done dating, didn’t we! Nope. Not yet. 
   I actually have really tried speed- dating. Ten women sit with an empty chair beside them and ten men get to sit for six minutes next to each woman and they (theoretically) get to know each other a bit. The comment I most often heard at the end of the six minutes was “Gee, I didn’t find out anything about you.” Well, maybe if you had not launched into your six-minute spiel and had asked a few questions, you’d be better informed, I often thought. I came away from that evening thinking I’d never do that again!
   You never know! Fast forward to pre-collaboration WiVLA, and we find outselves looking for a collaboration partner. Why not speed dating? 
   What a fun way to meet a lot of WiVLA members! And if you’re unsure about the collaboration, it’s a fun way just to find out about other members and become better acquainted. Last year, everyone came away from the event saying, “That was so much fun!” You may find someone that you know you’ll enjoy working with, and a collaboration will raise its hand and say, “You two should really do this together!”  
   If you’re fairly new to WiVLA and are wondering how to meet others in our organization, we realize that 20 minutes and a glass of mix-and-mingle wine is not enough. The best ways of getting to know other members include committee work, volunteering, dinner after our meetings, WiVLA tables at functions, WiVLA outings (i.e. the Moth event this month), and collaborations and other shows and readings (Poetry in LaPorte TX on June 9). These are opportunities in so many different ways. 
   We have many new members in WiVLA, and many who have not had the opportunity to do a collaboration yet. This year is your year!  You will awaken something very wonderful between the two (or more) of you and give it to the rest of us. Plan to be at May’s meeting and meet as many members as you can! You may find a lifelong friend! 
    Cori Austin

The Moth Storytelling Grand Slam will be held Wednesday, May 2, 8:00 - 10:00 pm at the GRB. The Moth is a radio program on NPR and features real stories told by regular people. The Grand Slam program includes the past ten local winners together for one night.  WiVLA is hoping you'll join our group of attendees. Please obtain your own ticket: Optional dinner before at McAllister's in the GRB.  Your ticket will show your own seat, so we may not be able to sit together.  Email Cori if you are going. 
   If you wish to listen to The Moth radio program on KUHF, it’s on Saturdays at noon on station 88.7 FM. There is also a local monthly Moth Story Slam on the second Tuesday of each month. It’s held at Warehouse Live downtown on St. Emmanuel. 
WiVLA Poetry Reading
at LaPorte Community Library
LaPorte Library invites us to be their guests as they open their Adult Summer Reading Program! Look through your poetry files and join other WiVLA writers as we read one of our own poems to an appreciative audience. Plan on about 4 minutes of reading time. We have time for 12 readers, so send your response as soon as you can.  
Date:  Saturday, June 9, 2018
Time:  10:30 - 11:30 am
Place:  LaPorte Community Library, 600 S. Broadway  77571 (about 30 min. from central Houston such as 77002). 
  • Carpooling is a definite possibility for those who want to share rides.  
  • If you can drive, please indicate that in your acceptance to this opportunity, along with your phone number and zip code, and the number of extra riders you can take.
  • If you need a ride, please indicate so, along with your phone number and zip code.  
We’ll put together a list and you can call someone who lives near you or someone you can meet at a mutually agreeable place.     
Also you may want to consider going out for lunch together after the reading (completely optional, but always fun!). I have asked the librarian, Betsy Anderson, for recommendations for a restaurant.  Questions:  email Gladys Bullock  or 

 WiVLA’s Educational and Cultural Opportunity:  Wow! The talent and creativity of WiVLA Women continues to shine! Our two 2017 ECO Fund winners, Mary Riggs Ramain and Kay McStay, gave us the enormous gift of themselves and their work over the past year. 
   Mary uses photography in an unusual way to help her heal from childhood trauma. Using a pinhole camera or a Polaroid film camera, she takes long exposures and then steps into the frame as it is being exposed, resulting in hazy exposures which show evidence of movement. Using these negatives and printing them gave her the desired ethereal results. However, a sensitivity to the darkroom chemicals prevented her from being able to develop her film the way she wanted, so she looked to Photoshop to help her achieve similar results.            
   Mary used her ECO grant to take private Photoshop lessons from an expert and through learning and creating with the computer program she came away with such relief! She can continue to create the pieces with the desired results, but in a manner that is safe for her. Coupled with her technique presentation and her profound captions, Mary’s story was riveting and heartfelt. 
   Kay McStay has had a play script in her desk for a number of years and she wants to revive it and breathe life into it again. The play centers on a man from San Antonio who created faux bois (false wood) from cement using a secret process. The story involves a number of characters and their interactions in his life. She traveled to San Antonio to conduct research in libraries and museums to bring the realistic and historical details into her words, to make the piece feel true with small details that color her work with authenticity. The concept of faux bois is so unusual, and most of us were unaware of what it actually was and of its long tradition. Kay’s talk was fascinating and we all learned more about concrete decorative and practical art and also what research into a story entails. 
   And then, drum roll, please....the new ECO Fund winners were announced: Janet Reynolds won the grant for her tuition as she finishes her MFA with studio hours in painting. She is on her way to her goal of teaching art at the college level. Congratulations, Janet!
   Ce Ottenweller’s name was drawn from the literary box! She practically floated down the aisle to announce her plan to travel to California and research the history of generations of women in her family with the goal of writing a memoir. Congratulations Ce! 
   A lively dinner and conversation followed at Pronto Cucinino.  We just couldn’t let go of the excitement! 
   Women inspire other women. After the meeting, didn’t you feel like going home and creating? Writing? Putting it on your mental list for the next day?  If you wonder how your dues get used, the ECO Fund is one of the biggest parts of our annual budget. The monies are put to very good use, and we all greatly benefit from seeing and hearing about the creatives processes.   

Sarah Cortez Workshop Sparkled Our Prose
Twelve women sat in Central Market's Community Room last Saturday, pens poised over notebooks, ready to be unleashed.  Sarah Cortez guided us through a variety of techniques to ramp up our prose writing, and make it succinct, precise, and luminous.  Yes, indeed, prose can be poetic!  We thank Sarah for her wonderful presentation and guidance, and know that our writing will improve as we utilize what we learned with her.  She's always a favorite writing presenter!
Wonderful Entries and Delicious Books2Eat
WiVLA and Houston Book Arts Guild had both their reading hats and their cooking hats on the day of Books2Eat held on March 31 at the Printing Museum.There were wonderful entrants into the friendly competition and tasty treats to enjoy after the contest. Newcomers who had found out about the fun event and annual participants came to see the the results and the creations from the imaginations that had been working overtime. And eat we did! After the balloting (see below), we did a lot more than taste the goodies….we definitely ate! 
            Pictured here is Susan Salter's entry:  Lord of the Onion Rings.
Winners were:
Best interpretation of a classic: A Wrinkle in Time by Lynn Williams
Funniest/Punniest: Frankenstein by Missy Bosch  
Overall Favorite: Charlotte’s Web by the Kunitza Chicks
Both sponsoring groups thank the volunteers, the cooks and bakers, the refreshment team, and the 45-48 attendees who enjoyed the 3rd Annual Books2Eat.
    Is  it the final frontier?
   Is it inner space or out there space?
   Does it describe a particular area?
   Whatever it means to you, find a collaborator and have a creative and enjoyable experience! This collaboration will be hung and presented at the Houston Public Library central building in downtown Houston in November and December. If you’ve never done a collaboration, it’s usually a written work created to match an art piece. So start thinking about ideas. Our May meeting will be “Speed-Dating” to help you find a collaboration partner. Specific information and a prospectus will be forthcoming soon.
   WiVLA is well known for its collaborative events. Very few other organizations offer a such a unique venture. Please consider this opportunity! The growth of each artist and the pure pleasure of the working time together will be unforgettable.
   What is a collaboration? It is an exhibition which ties together two artistic avenues, often writing and visual art, and they are presented together. The creatives meet several times and discuss the path they would like to take to expand the theme (in this case, S P A C E) into a piece of visual art that connects to a written piece. Or, performance art could be one of the avenues. The partners decide how they want to complete the project, each doing 100% of her own part or combining both partners into both avenues, if desired. Here is a video of two of our members discussing their 2016 collaboration:
     Working together, a collaboration becomes greater than the two artists. A third presence is awoken, one of connection and spirit.
    Please see the May meeting article above and the President's Message for more information about opportunities to meet WiVLA artists and writers and find a collaborator.  (June Russell and Cori Austin contributed to this notice. Thanks!)

  • The 25 artists with the 2018 Artist INC Houston (Fresh Arts' artist development program) will be making their final presentations on Tuesday, May 8, 6:00 - 9:30 pm at City Hall.  Reservations are limited:   This is an inspiring event!
  • Marian Szczepanski will be a panelist and presenter at Writefest coming up April 30 to May 6 at Writespace in Silver Street Studios. She’ll be teaching a mini-workshop “What Obituaries Can Teach Us about Crafting Believable Characters” for prose writers. Registration info and the festival schedule at  The mini-workshop will be Saturday, May 5 from 10:00 to 11:00 am. The website offers the festival schedule.
  • More information about WriteFestWritefest is a week-long writers' festival taking place April 30 - May 6, 2018 in Houston, TX. It is hosted by Houston Writers' Guild, a nonprofit, volunteer-led community of writers in the Greater Houston area, and Writespace, Houston's grassroots nonprofit literary arts center. The festival kicks off with a series of Monday-Thursday workshops and culminates in a weekend filled with panels and presentations by local and national writers, agents and book editors, literary journal editors of all genres, a Literary Journal Fair, and readings by local and nationally-recognized authors. Visit the Writefest link and the website of the Houston Writers' Guild for exciting program notes, workshops, opportunities with publishers, and much, much more. 
  • Fuente Collective’s Write Wild: A Generative Retreat
    Saturday, May 12. More information and registration:
    WRITE WILD is a day-long creative writing retreat focused on generating new ideas and work. In four 90-minute sessions, each led by a different facilitator, you'll experiment outside your usual form, genre, and style, allowing you to peek around the corner of your usual creative process to discover what lies beyond. Special guest facilitator: Award-winning author and editor, Chelsey Clammer.
  • Also, from Fuente Collective: Voices of Color Open Mic, A Celebration of Houston Writers, Wednesday, May 9th from 7:00 to 9:00 pm at Brasil Cafe, Dunlavy at Westheimer.
  • Jane Mulholland again points out the information for the Houston Writers Guild (HWG). The Guild has a great website at Along with a newsletter and blog, the site showcases upcoming events, in particular the Spring Series of workshops, critique groups, contests, and webinars.
  • Margo S. Toombs and donne e. perkins note: Field Day at the Midtown Arts and Theater Center Houston (MATCH) on Sunday, May 20 at 7:00 pm. Several members of WIVLA have participated in Fieldworks. If you have something you would like to read or perform (about 10 minutes in length), please contact Lori Uyill To buy tickets to the showcase  $7.00.
  • October -- Houston History Alliance project for October – more info coming soon.
  • 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" Use this link to the album itself. And, finally, use this one for a how-to tutorial on Facebook. 
Please send in your news by the 23th of each month - art exhibits, literary works, news, etc. -  for inclusion in the following month’s newsletter to
  • Debbie Blumberg wants to call our attention to her recently published article. "It's an essay I wrote for my college [Wellesley College] alumnae magazine about Hurricane Harvey and finding a sense of home." The link for the article in the Wellesley Magazine is here at  "Waters Rising"
  • donna e. perkins says, "I invite you to join me at my show Touch Series at Kam's Wok/Wine/Dine at 4500 Montrose. The reception was Saturday April 28 and the show will be up through May 29. These paintings are the result of my playful experimentation with layers and layers of acrylic paint. I used my hands to create the ridges beneath the paint. I found the process very meditative. I find these paintings to be serene."
  • Melody Locke says that one of her lumen prints, "Three Tulips", was accepted for the Floral Exhibition, which is on display from March 2 through June 8 in the lobby of the Kinder Morgan building. The Kinder Morgan building is located at 1001 Louisiana and the exhibition is on view Monday through Friday, 9:00 am to 6:00 pm. For more information about the Kinder-Morgan Exhibition Series, see the Glassell School of Art website at Kinder Morgan Exhibition Series | The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston  
  • 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 by the 25th 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.

The Glassell School of Art is proud to present a series of exhibitions at the Kinder Morgan Building in downtown Houston. The series features artworks by Studio School faculty and students, highlighting the depth and variety of courses that the Glassell School offers. For more information on this exhibition series, contact or 713.639.7500.

~ Becky Soria points us to these events featuring Doctor Fernando Casas who will be giving two lectures at The Women's Institute in Houston, May 21 and May 22, 2018 from 1:00 to 3:00 pm.
He will be speaking on Lucian Freud, British artist, and Anselm Kiefer, German artist, tuition is $80.

~ Sharing an opportunity: June 7-9, 2018 24th Annual CWA Writers Conference. The CWA (Cat Writers' Association, Inc.) is a professional organization of writers, authors, journalists, bloggers, illustrators and other communicators with a special interested in cats. Our annual conference goes beyond the genre, though, to offer sessions that educate and appeal to writers of any topic, from nonfiction to fiction. We're holding a give-away of one (1) free registration--a $159 value--to the conference. I hope you will feel this is something you can share with your members. Details are on this page of the website:
Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions.
903-868-1022, Amy Shojai,

~Member Patricia Flaherty Pagan, editor-in-chief at Spider Road Press, calls attention to the new press release and announcements at the press. On February 15th, the Spider's Web Flash Fiction Prize contest opened for submissions of pieces of 750 words or fewer, featuring a complex, female-identifying protagonist. The cash prize this year has been increased to $300, however, the $10 entry fee has remained the same. We've also increased the number of honorable mentioned awarded from two to four,
this year. Further details can be found in the attached press release or
on our website. Entries are accepted until May 15th deadline.    Please see the excellent website for news, contests, and book suggestions. A link to the press website is here.

~ Many artists and writers point to the excellent website for Public Poetry monthly events and call for submissions and contests. Of special interests are notices about contest winners, readings at Brazos Bookstore and in the Library Series throughout the month. Click the blue link for PP's great web page.   

~Also, the Fuente Collective is sponsoring writing events this spring. Find them at  [See News above for current events.]

~ Events and upcoming shows are noted on the Visual Arts Alliance (VAA) helpful website at

~ Archway Gallery has a great website: Click here to go to the website. Monthly exhibits and special events including the popular Figure Drawing Sessions, Latenight Pie, Wine and Art Dinners and great monthly exhibits.

~Texas Accountants and Lawyers for the Arts (TALA) has a good website at and it lists the events and workshops that they sponsor. 
Texas Accountants and Lawyers for the Arts was formed in 1979 to meet the legal and accounting needs of artists and art nonprofit organizations across the State of Texas. TALA volunteers throughout Texas handle more than 250 matters per year. In 2016, TALA began serving inventors in the Patent Pro Bono Program.

~ Houston Art Alliance site

~ 14 Pews located at 800 Aurora Street, Houston TX 77009 is a space for cultural events, theater, films, readings, and more. Visit them at this site
Literary Events -- Call for Entries
Inclusion in this list does not indicate endorsement by WiVLA. We recommend you research each contest and opportunity and contact the sponsor(s).
Here's a good call for entry for a national, biannual literary journal that is published at Indiana University:
The deadline is May 31, 2018.

Call for entries for the Aesthetica Creative Writing Award.  This creative writing award is a platform for emerging and established poets and writers to showcase their work to an international audience. There are two categories: Poetry and short fiction. Entries are open until August 31. 

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.

"One of the Writer's Digest 101 Best Websites for Writers" is Inspiring stories of writing success and competition information.

3rd Coast Books is now accepting fiction and non-fiction submissions in several genres. Please go to: to find out more about this innovative and commercial publisher.

Visual Events -- Call for Entries
Inclusion in this list does not indicate endorsement by WiVLA. We recommend you research each contest and opportunity and contact the sponsor(s).

FreshArts, of which we are members, has many opportunities for artists listed on their website here. Their motto is "Where Art Meets Opportunity" -- a cousin or sibling of WiVLA's  mission.
Rona Lesser shares the site with WiVLA. It's a fascinating commercial art site and its magazine is particularly engrossing with a variety of articles such as a recent one, "This New Website Is Offering Free Art Lessons from Professors and Artists." Check it out at this link. Click the Magazine button to scroll through the latest articles.

Check out the great website for Artadia. The group has an impressive mission statement and is sponsoring a call for entries for financial awards in the Houston area. Click website: and be sure and scroll to information about Houston competition.

CaFE for Artists is the leading online application and adjudication system for managing calls for entry. The website is   This is a stunning collection of news and opportunities.
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!

Amazon Smile provides your favorite nonprofit with a percentage of the purchase each time you go through Amazon Smile to get to  Women in the Visual and Literary Arts is listed and can be chosen as your favorite charity or nonprofit.  If you enter Amazon through this link from our page, their donation is higher.  

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

The editor acknowledges and thanks the site pixabay for free images by johnhain and mysticartdesign.

Upcoming Events

WiVLA goes to
Moth Storytelling Grand Slam 

Wednesday, May 2
8:00 to 10:00 pm
George R. Brown Center
email Cori Austin at
See article this issue.

WiVLA Monthly Meeting
Tuesday, May 15th
Gather: 5:45 pm
Archway Gallery
2305 Dunlavy
Houston TX 77006
Click here for helpful page
about speed dating.

Opportunities with WiVLA:
WiVLA Poetry Reading
LaPorte Community Library

Saturday, June 9, 2018
10:30 to 11:30 am
600 S. Broadway
LaPorte TX 77571
See article in this issue.

WIVLA Monthly Meeting
Valerie Ramirez --
Body Painting Artist

Tuesday, June 19th
Archway Gallery
2305 Dunlavy
Houston TX 77006


See what's ahead in NEWS Section
of this newsletter.

The new WiVLA Board has been
in place and working hard
for a couple of months. 
Please see the list below and
on the website. 
Many Thanks to Our Volunteer Board!

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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 - Lee Steiner

Secretary - Ann Boutte         

Treasurer - Melody Locke
Membership - Susan Salter & Gladys Jones

Communications -  Lilibeth Andre

Social Media - Regina Vitolo Mader
Programs - Gail Mebane     

Newsletter - Kay McStay 

Visual Arts - June Russell                       

Literary Arts - Karleen Koen and Debbie Blumberg            

At-Large - Sally Worthington

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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Glasstire Texas:  Visual Art News and Reviews

Fresh Arts Coalition Houston

Visual Arts Alliance

Houston Writers Guild

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Gulf Coast Poets

Inprint Houston

Texas Accountants and Lawyers for the Arts

Houston Press

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