November 2015

November Meeting:
HIstory Lost, History Found

When René Armstrong's husband found a box of 295 letters in a junk store in Texas City, they had no idea the profound piece of history in their possession. Thus began Rene’s journey to discover who these two young people were who met on a blind date, communicating to each other over three years in the only way this era could afford - through love letters that encompassed two continents.

Rene’ will be speaking on "History Lost, History Found" at our November 17 WiLVA meeting.  She will be sharing an original film footage made by the members of the 345th Bomb Group.  To honor the 345th's contribution to end the war in the Pacific, General McArthur asked them to escort the two Japanese Betty Bombers from Mainland Japan to begin the process of setting the terms of surrender by Japan.  This exclusive eleven-minute film shows plane-to-plane images, and their landing and take-off from the Island of Ie Shima shot by a member of the 345th. 

Since her first book's release in September 2011, Rene' has presented at the National Museum of the Pacific War, libraries, book clubs, galleries, book stores, service organizations, and Chambers of Commerce.  Wings and a Ring was selected for Baytown's Sterling Library's 2012 "One Book One Baytown" summer read event.  She appeared on the Great Day Houston television show and has been interviewed on radio.  In August 2012, she was a featured author at the Experimental Aviation Association's Air Venture Show in Oshkosh, WI.

Rene’ Palmer Armstrong is the author of Wings and a Ring: Letters of War and Love from a WWII Pilot and her children's book, Gwendolyn: a Frog's Perilous Adventure.  She was born and raised in Texas City, Texas.  She is a two-time cancer survivor.  Upon turning 60, she retired from a regular job to pursue her dream of a careen in both visual and literary art.

Rene's award-winning contemporary fused-glass and canvas paintings are exhibited in numerous galleries along the Gulf Coast.  She fuses stained and dichroic glass, placing the glass onto acrylic-painted canvases.  As the glass changes colors when seen from different angles, the viewer's eye will move from the design on the canvas back towards the glass.

Our meeting will be at Printing Museum on Tuesday, November 17 at 5:45, as always. Remember that the parking lot across the street is no longer accessible.  We will start with light snacks and wine with the meeting beginning promptly at 6:15 pm. Please bring your friends!

Our November speaker is author and artist Rene Palmer Armstrong

A Toast to WiVLA

Bring all your friends for Fresh Arts Cultured Cocktails benefiting WiVLA this Thursday, November 5 from 5:00 to 7:00 pm at Boheme Cafe and Wine Bar at 307 Fairview Street (near Taft). A portion of the proceeds from all drink sales during the happy hour to go to support your favorite organization, Women in the Visual and Literary Arts. Yay us! Raise a glass for WiVLA!

Experience a WiVLA Salon

You have one more chance to attend a WiVLA Salon and spend an evening immersed in creativity, beauty, and inspiration! Tuesday, November 10 from 7:00 to 9:00 pm will be the last of a series of intimate gatherings around the Houston area in the homes of WiVLA members. This last salon will be at the home of Lillian Tharp. Six to ten attendees will bring a sample of their creative work to show or read to each other with the goal of helping people connect with their collaboration partner. This is all to support you, the WiVLA member, in finding a creative partner for our upcoming WINDOWS collaborative. Look elsewhere in this newsletter for a list of the partnerships formed thus far.

Space is limited, so make your reservation by contacting Lillian at : or 281-469-2098. Please bring a snack to share; the hostess will provide beverages.  If you have general questions or want to have a salon in your home, contact Lane Devereux at
President's Message

My message this month is simple: join us at WiVLA. You will have ample opportunity beginning on November 5 when we are the organization honored at “Cultured Cocktails” sponsored by Fresh Arts at Boheme Bar on Fairview at Taft from 5 to 7 pm. WiVLA will receive a portion of the bar tab during that time. This is an event where nothing will happen except camaraderie, friendship and lots of good conversation. You may even find your partner for the collaboration as you talk with other members. I hope you will plan to join me there.

YAY! Another Salon! Tuesday, November 10 from 7:00 – 9:00 pm Lillian Tharp will hold a Salon. Please contact Lillian if you want to come: or 281-469-2098

On November 17 we look forward to Rene Palmer Armstrong’s presentation of her book, Wings and a Ring, at the Printing Museum. The story evolved from a box of 295 letters Armstrong’s husband bought in a junk store not knowing what they were.  These were letters two young lovers wrote to each other over the course of World War II during the young man’s service in the jungles of New Guinea. Armstrong’s book tells their love story while capturing the spirit of those who served in that war. Along with being a writer, Armstrong is also an artist who has recently combined her love of painting and fused glass into her series “Canvas & Glass.”

Our second event during the week of November 16 will be our annual WIVLA Reading at Archway Gallery, 2305 Dunlavy Street  on November 19 from 6:30 to 8:30 pm.  Come hear 12 of our WiVLA writers share their work. We will have an intermission half way through the readings for refreshments and conversation and I encourage all to come and support our writers. Note to WiVLA Artists: this is your opportunity to see WiVLA writers in action and to find a partner for the collaboration.

We have NO meeting in December and we have NOTHING but FUN planned for December. On Saturday, December 19 join us for a “Playdate: Card Stocking” at the Fresh Arts Studio, 2101 Winter Street, #B11 from 12:30 to 4:00 pm. We will paint greeting cards and decorate gingerbread women as our writers inscribe our creations with haiku and holiday spirited messages.  Beginning at 4:30 to 7 pm we will have our WiVLA Holiday Celebration with wine, refreshments and lots of good cheer. Bring your friends and family to play and paint and have them plan to stay to PARTY with us.

And finally, of course, you can join us by renewing your membership. If you are going to participate in our two shows next year, the Library Show, “Inspired by Her Quote” and the Collaboration Show, “Windows” you will want to join or renew by January 15, 2016 to be eligible.

  Jane Mulholland


Archway Reading is this Month

Come hear your fellow WiVLA writers share their poetry, short fiction, non-fiction and more at the Archway Gallery(2505 Dunlavy Street) on Thursday, November 19 from 6:30 to 8:30 pm. We have a waiting list and can probably fit in a couple of other readers,  if writers still want a chance to read. Contact Sandi if you are interested. Please come hear your sister artists read! Note to WiVLA members: writers go to art openings; visual artists support writers.

October Artist Talk
Photographer Ann Stautberg treated us to a retrospective of her early years as a photographer during her talk to our members on October 20. She began as a black and white photographer and develops her own work. After she had been working in black and white for several years she realized she longed to have color. Rather than switching to color film, she resolved her dilemma by using oil paints to subtly color her black and white photographs. This process, which she continues to use to this day, creates beautiful and luminescent work. She doesn’t stray far from home and has always used her immediate environment as the subject for her work.

Following the meeting one of the WiVLA photographers said, “I am so buoyed after hearing Ann speak. I often feel I need big or really important subjects before I begin to work. The immediacy and beauty of Ann’s work inspires me to just get to work and quit looking for excuses.”

WiVLA Library Show "Inspired by Her Quote"

The Visual Arts and Literary Co-Chairs of WiVLA recently announced a very special show at the Houston Central Library for the month of March, 2016. The theme is "Inspired by Her Quote."

Because March is designated International Women's Month and our venue is the Downtown Houston Public Library, the theme appropriately reflects women who have inspired us with their words of wisdom and wit.  Both writers and visual artists are asked to create original work based upon quotes from women in society:  humorous, vicious, provocative, or at least memorable.  To be eligible, you must be a current member of WiVLA on January 15, 2016, which is also the entry deadline.

A reception in honor of International Women's Day on March 8, 2016,  will be open to the public from 4:00 to 7:00 pm.  Non-alcoholic refreshments will be served in the first floor exhibition space of the Houston Central Library on McKinney Street. Our writers will read their works beginning at 6 pm and their work will be in the chapbook available to those who attend the readings. Click here for the visual artists prospectus and here for the writer's prospectus.
New WiVLA column coming in December:
Attribution is not Permission

Erin Rodgers
who spoke to us in September has agreed to write a column every month concerning intellectual property and copyright law. But we need your questions to make this column successful. Send your questions or issues you would like Erin to develop to .

WiVLA Scoop by the Snoop: November 2015
Although the Snoop thinks she knows a lot, she can use your help. Let her know your scoop:
Composer Lori Laitman whose opera “The Scarlett Letter” will soon premier with Opera Colorado found Leah Lax on Facebook, read her book (all serendipitous), and contacted her. Recently when Leah was in New York she and Laitman met for brunch in a Turkish cafe on the upper west side and Leah says, “quickly found ourselves finishing each other's sentences.” The plan: Leah will write the libretto, based on her memoir Uncovered, for a chamber opera that Laitman will compose.
Mark your calendar for March 15, 2016 when Leah Lax will come and talk about her memoir Uncovered.
Cary Reeder is going to be featured in an upcoming issue of the magazine “Acrylic Artist” that also publishes “The Artist's Magazine.” Cary isn’t sure when it's coming out but will keep us posted.
Recently the Snoop was looking for Varsha Shah and found her at a writer’s residency at the Noepe Center for Literary Arts on Martha’s Vineyard. She will be back in time for the WiVLA meeting November 17. Learn more about Noepe on their website.
Former WiVLA board member Anna Phillips and her husband are going back to Edinburgh, Scotland on December 1. The lure of home and a new grandbaby take them away from Houston. We all wish Anna the best. 

Overheard at the WiVLA Advisory Board is the suggestion that WiVLA take studio space for our writers and artists. How would this work? Come to the WiVLA meeting, January 19 and join the discussion.


Literary and Visual Workshops
WiVLA Workshops Coming in 2016! All three of these workshops have been selected because they are designed appeal to both writers and artists. (These dates are tentative but we cannot secure them until after the newsletter goes out. Mark the dates as tentative and we will confirm in December newsletter.)

February 20, 2016: 9 –Noon, “Taming the digital beast: tools for writers and artists” with WiVLA member Marie-Pierre Stien who presented the popular workshop on flash fiction to WiVLA members in April 2015. She is a writer and illustrator living in Houston, Texas.
From blogs to online portfolios, collaborative digital platforms to cloud-based journals, social media promotion to virtual workgroups, this workshop will introduce artists and writers to the ever-expanding creative potential of digital tools.   Participants will learn how to create a cohesive digital presence to promote their work and explore strategies to foster creative collaboration.   No experience necessary.  Participants are encouraged to bring tablets, cell phones or laptops to browse and experiment during the workshop.

March 19, 2016: 9 -11:30, “A to Z=Artful Zentangle or How I Found my Zen by Drawing Focused, Reflective, Abstract marks” with artist and WiVLA member Judith Shamp.
This introduction to the practice of Zentangle can spark a creative fire in both writers and artists. Judith's work has been published in numerous books, has been juried into several exhibitions, and is in several collections, including as far away as Australia. She combines the mark making of tangles with three dimensional objects and always enjoys pushing boundaries...’well mostly, as far as my artistic expression is concerned."     
11:30 to 12:15 Lunch Break for those attending both sessions
12:15 – 2:45 pm, “Using Objects to Inspire your Writing or your Art,” former WiVLA President and novelist Marian Szczepanski will show us how to use objects to enhance our work.

Interested in helping create workshops and other writing opportunities to inspire your sister writers? If so, please contact Maryann Gremillion and Sandi Stromberg, your literary co-chairs, at, and let them know. They are still looking for members to develop other writing opportunities for our community.

Mark your calendar for December 19 for a WiVLA Play-date at the Fresh Arts Studio at Winter Street from 12:30 to 4:00 to paint cards, write witty messages on cards and decorate gingerbread women. The WiVLA  Holiday Party follows at 4:30 - 7:00.

Sketchbook is currently on hiatus and will return sometime in 2016.  Keep sketching!

Going Steady:
Partners for Windows Collaboration

This is the list through October 31 for the Collaboration:

Densie Bossarte (artist) and Pat Morgan (writer)
Mary Riggs Ramain (artist) and Jere Pfister (writer)
Carol Watson (artist) and Mary Harlan (writer)
Josena Arquieta (artist) with Jane Mullholland (writer)
Zita Giraldo (artist) with Jane Mullholland (writer) 
Peggy Sexton (artist) with Diana Weeks (writer)
Judith Shamps (artist) with Lilibeth André (writer)

Artist Wanted: Gladys Bullock is a writer looking for a visual artist. Call 832-6816.

Email to add you and your partner to the list. You still have plenty of time to find that creative collaborator (see prospectus below).

WiVLA Board to Be Elected at November Meeting
The slate for the 2016 Board will be printed in the meeting reminder before the November meeting.

Celebrate WiVLA Writers reading from Untameable City: Poems on the Nature of Houston

Join a bevy of WiVLA members as they read their work from Mutabilis Press' new anthology," Untameable City: Poems on the Nature of Houston," Friday, Dec. 11, 6-9 p.m. at The Jung Center, 5200 Montrose. The event is free and open to the public.

With Sandi Stromberg as guest editor, the book includes work by the following members: Barbara Carle, Kay Cox, Margo Davis, Carolyn Florek, Priscilla Frake, Maryann Gremillion, Dodie Meeks, Jane Mulholland, Donna Perkins, Varsha Shah, Sandi Stromberg, and Margo Toombs.

It's a lively romp through the streets of Houston and the myriad aspects that spoke to 83 poets. The book also includes art photography by WiVLA members Carolyn Florek, Priscilla Frake, and Varsha Shah.

Prospectus: Windows Collaboration
Click here to see the Prospectus for the September 2016 Windows Collaboration.

Please send in your news - art exhibits, works published by the 20th of each month to be included in the following month's newsletter. Please share your good news with your fellow WiVLA members by sending to
  • Stella Brice’s new poetry collection is forthcoming from Purple Flag Press (Chicago).  It is called Urged (or, How Sex & Death Lift Up My Granny) . This is a big book & a wide-ranging one—there are poems about dark mothers, Mother Goose, bloody fairy tales & myths &  there are poems about the night.
    It can be ordered here: or at Powell’s Books Also available on Amazon.
  • Lilibeth Andre will be participating in the Guiton Street Artists Fall Open Studio and Art Sale on Saturday, November 14 from 2 to 8 pm at 4848 Guiton Street.
  • Jo Zider's work is in  the Art Car Museum's show "Reincarnation" through Dec. 19.  Jo also has work in Austin at the Gallery Shoal Creek and in the Texas Sculpture Group Show. Jo will also have work in Mother Dog Studios here in late November.

WriteSpace has announced several upcoming workshops and events for writers in November. Check out their website for more information, prices or registration for any of these programs. There is a charge for members and non-members unless other noted.
  • Memoir and Creative Non-Fiction with HOLLY ORDWAY on Sun, November 8, 2pm – 5pm
  • Quiet Write-Ins on Fridays in November 12pm – 3pm, Free to Members
  • WiVLA’s ELIZABETH WHITE-OLSEN presents Anything Goes Open Mic! Friday, November 13, 7:30pm -9:30pm Free Event!
  • Writing Real Teenagers for Real Teenage Readers (and Adult Readers, Too!) with author JENNIFER MATHIEU on Sat, November 14, 9:30am – 12:30pm
  • How to Create a Great Antagonist with CASSANDRA CLARKE on Monday, November 16, 6pm – 9pm
  • Idea Generator with ANDREANNA BINDER on Wednesday, November 18, 7pm – 9pm
  • How to Write and Publish Book Reviews with author BENJAMIN RYBECK on Sunday, November 22nd, 11:30 AM-2:30 PM
Art journaling will be the focus of a four-day workshop in Austin January 7-10 with Orly Avineri. More details on this wonderful workshop for both visual artists and writers can be found at

The Houston Public Library is offering several write-ins in support of NaNoWriMo (National Writing Month) in November. These write-ins are at many locations in all parts of the city and are free and open to the public. Go to to see a complete list by location.

Upcoming events at the Printing Museum include:  the13th Annual Houston Book Fair on Saturday, November 7th and the Montrose Print Market on Saturday, December 12 in support of local printers and printmakers.

Need studio space? JoMar Visions is expanding to an amazing new location in Northwest Crossing in Houston! Location at 5247-5249 Langfield Rd, Houston, TX-77040. Be part of a vibrant art community.
for more information and a map of the studio spaces.
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 Cambridge Art Association is pleased to announce the 2016 Nation Prize show, juried by Paul C. Ha. Deadline to submit is January 8, 2016 and the show is open to all artists in all media. This link will tell you all you need to know to submit your work.

~ Fraction Magazine is an online venue dedicated to fine art, contemporary photography and 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!

~ SouthWest Artists is initiating an annual national juried painting competition with cash awards of over $12,000 and a special award from the American Art Collector magazine.   Entries are being handled by You can also find more information, including the Prospectus for the competition, at

~ Juried Art Services has a digital jurying system. Click on the link above for more information. 

~ 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).

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.

~ Sable Books is publishing an anthology addressing the subject of violence against women. They are seeking poems on all themes related to this issue (i.e., origins, personal stories, recovery, advocacy, prevention, survival, etc.).Submission fee is $5.  Proceeds from submission fees will be donated to the Global Fund for Women.

~ 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.     

~ Winning Writers is another great website for writing opportunities. Check it out by clicking here

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

Upcoming Events

WiVLA Member Meeting
November 17 at 5:45 pm
Writer Rene Palmer Armstrong
"History Lost, History Found"
Printing Museum

Unless otherwise noted, member meetings are at the Printing Museum at 1324 W. Clay Street.  We start with refreshments at 5:45 and the meeting at 6:15 pm. For a complete list of upcoming events, visit the WiVLA calendar online.

Thursday, November 5
5 to 7 pm
Boheme Bar at Taft and Fairview


Thursday, November 19
6:30 to 8:30
WiVLA Writers Read at Archway Gallery
2305 Dunlavy Street

Saturday, December 19
Fresh Arts Studio at Winter Street
12:30 to 4 pm
followed by wine and cheese
from 4:30 to 7 pm

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 2015 Board of Directors

President - Jane Mulholland 

Vice President - Cori Austin  

Secretary - Alicia Young           

Treasurer - Josena Arquieta

Membership - Linda Ann Stelljes and Elizabeth Burnham

Communications and Social Media-  Mary Ramain

Programs - Zita Giraldo      

Newsletter - Harriet Riley  

Visual Arts - Peggy Sexton
and Jo Zider   


Literary Arts - Sandi Stromberg
and Maryann Gremillion   


At-Large-  Lillian Tharp 
and Theo Billings  

Historian - Rona Lesser 

Our mailing address is:
Women in the Visual and Literary Arts (WiVLA)
P. O. Box 130406
Houston, TX  77219-0406


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