November 2013


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.



Board Bites
WiVLA News
Reviews: Lois Gibson and Nan Cuba
Cafe Table
Announcements and Upcoming Events
Calls for Entries: Visual and Literary Arts
Calendar of Events

          A Note from Your President

Dear WiVLA Women,

November begins the process of active, busy times. Mark your calendar for an exciting opportunity -- We are instituting the beginning of the WiVLA Market! This will give writers and artists a chance to sell their wares before the holidays. A table may be rented for a nominal fee, and your works may be sold on December 7th at the Antique Center of Houston.

Once again I remind you that our 20th anniversary year is soon upon us. If you are a tenured member, you may remember the highly successful raffle of WiVLA gift baskets. Artists and writers donate pieces of their work to be placed in three stunning baskets created by Zita Giraldo. Raffle tickets will be sold, and three lucky winners will win an array of creative treasures. We need your assistance! Please donate a piece of your work to this collection.  

Our meeting presentation on November 19th will be delivered by Margaret McElrath. She is the assistant director of Claystomp.  Margaret will discuss the American/Soviet Claystomp. This was a unique event when five thousand people came together to mix eight tons of clay.  A nine-foot ceramic mural was created from this endeavor. This was a Peace Through Art Project.  A PBS film on this adventure won the national Gabriel Award. Join us for another informative program.

This month is a time of Thanksgiving, a time of gratitude. I wish to send personal thanks to our newsletter editor for the last two years, Diane Door.
Her creative touches to our WiVLA Voices continue.  Her thoughtful helping hand was a great asset to my first year of presidency.

Dwell in the possibility.  (Emily Dickinson)

Your president,
Cathy Nieman
Cathy Nieman Head Shot

                                       A Note From Your Editor                                                  
Dear Readers: 

I've been thinking:  That's always been a dangerous thing to say in the Lachin household.  In our tribe, anyone who begins a conversation with "I've been thinking" is a ready target for the inevitable punch line:  "Oh, yeah?  How'd it feel?"  What can I say?  It's our brand of humor. 

But ever since I was asked to become the new editor of WiVLA Voices, I have been thinking.  A lot.  About the direction of our group, about creating opportunities, about strengthening existing connections and reaching out to establish new ones, about redesigning the newsletter.  About change in general. 

Before you say, Whoa, not so crazy about change, Cathy, stick with me here.  I don't have much space to get too philosophical, but don't you think there is a clear relationship between creativity and change?  If there is no change in our work, or in the way in which we approach our work, don't we risk stasis, mediocrity?  Yes, change sometimes requires herculean effort.  Cooperation.  Overcoming fears.  There's the chance of failure.  Or of sweet reward.  I guess I'm an optimist -- sweet reward has always appealed to me.

So, you may see some changes in the newsletter in the coming months.  Feel free to let me know what you think about them.  Oh, and by the way, dear readers, I plan to call my monthly note to you I've been thinking . . .  And I'm ready for the punch line.

Cathy Lachin


Board Bites:  October WiVLA Board Meeting


20th Anniversary Celebration

Planning for an exciting twentieth anniversary show and reception continues!  Find more news below.


 November Archway Reading

As you read this notice, plans are underway for our annual reading at Archway Gallery.  Writers, this is a wonderful opportunity to be heard by an always-appreciative audience.  Read on for more information.  


WiVLA Market 

We've been talking about it for years, and, now, with your participation, it will be a reality!  Spaces are limited, so get on board early.  Read how below.

Fresh Face, New Roles
The Board of Directors would like to welcome Theo Billings as our Visual Chair, Sandy Wells as our Communications Chair, and Cathy Lachin as our Newsletter Editor.  


Board Election
Please be sure to join us at our November meeting for the presentation of nominees for the 2014 WiVLA Board of Directors.  The board's goals are to uphold WiVLA's mission, to maintain fiscal responsibility, and to provide exciting opportunities for its members.  Your vote is important, and we look forward to your input.  See you on November 19

Learn about Claystomp, a Peace Through Art Project 

There's a fascinating program scheduled for members and guests on November 19.  Our speaker at the general meeting will be Margaret McElrath, who will talk about her experience as assistant director for The Claystomp, a Peace Through Art project sponsored by Clay:  A Healing Way.  The Claystomp event was a dream of Joel Pfeiffer, an artist and teacher in Hartland, Wisconsin.  In the summer of 1989, 5,000 Americans gathered on the shore of Lake Michigan to celebrate community, stomp clay, and create a mural filled with ideas of peace and friendship to give to the people of Leningrad.  The story of the resulting mural is a prime example of how art can be used to transcend language and cultural differences.  McElrath will also show a 30-minute, award-winning PBS special filmed on the site of the project in Milwaukee and Leningrad.  Mark your calendars, everyone -- don't miss this special program! 

Sketchbook Gathering





6:00 P.M. - 8:00 P.M. 


Join your WiVLA friends as we sketch, journal, paint, etc., in our sketchbooks. The gatherings thus far have been fun, relaxing, informative, inspiring, fruitful, thoughtful, humorous, generous, safe, adventurous, supportive . . .


Please join us Monday the 4th.  If you choose to work in your sketchbook, that's fine.  If you want to use a different sketchbook or create on plain, separate papers, by all means, bring those.


If you'd like to work toward a completed sketchbook to submit to the Sketchbook Project, we will be happy to supply you with information regarding that.  Here's a helpful link:   


According to their website, "The Sketchbook Project is a global, crowd-sourced art project and interactive, traveling exhibition of handmade books. [Their] mission is to allow anyone to be able to participate in art and to create a collection of work that represents the current state of artists worldwide."


AND DON'T EVEN SAY, "BUT, I'M NOT AN ARTIST."  Because we have people from all kinds of backgrounds in our community -- poets, novelists, essayists, painters, sculptors, photographers.   We use the word "sketchbook" as a loose term for a record of our experimentation in creativity. Join tens of thousands of people in this global, traveling art library.


Just bring your supplies and a willingness to have fun breathing artsy air. We always come away with smiles on our faces.  Se y'all on the road!  



WiVLA Market!


 SATURDAY, DECEMBER 7, 2013   10:00 A.M. - 4:00 P.M.




There are a total of 24 spaces available (each space has a table):

  • Three spaces are 8 ft. with a back wall, at $25 each
  • Ten spaces are 6 ft. in the middle of the room with 6" low wall in back, at $20 each
  • Eleven spaces are 6 ft. with a wall/mirror on the back wall, at $20 each

You may share a space with another WiVLA member.  THESE TABLES WILL BE AVAILABLE ON A FIRST-COME, FIRST-SERVED BASIS.  You might want to visit the space to see what you will be working with.


  • Sign-up is on the WiVLA website.  Deadline for spaces is December 1.   
  • Postcards will be available at the November 19 member meeting.
  • Each writer/artist will be a separate store.  WiVLA will not be responsible for any financial transactions.
  • Radio Shack has an attachment you can buy for your cell phone to enable it to take credit cards. 


Annual Archway Literary Event

NOVEMBER 21, 2013    6:30 P.M. - 8:30 P.M. 
Calling all WiVLA writers!  Here is the perfect opportunity to share your work with an appreciative audience.  Every autumn, in November, WiVLA partners with the Archway Readers to showcase some of our literary talent. If you are interested in sharing a short piece or an excerpt from a longer work (either prose or poetry, roughly five minutes in reading length), you are encouraged to contact Literary Chair Mary Baker at literary@wivla.org to add your name to the list.  The first twelve members who sign up will be on the performance list; additional members will be listed as alternates who will be invited to read if time allows or if an original presenter cannot attend. 

The evening is always a lively event, replete with thought-provoking, evocative (and sometimes side-splitting) work, stimulating conversation, and refreshments.  Everyone is invited to attend, so bring a friend, a bottle of wine or a hunk of cheese, and support your WiVLA writers!   

Gift Baskets in the Works for Twentieth Anniversary Celebration!

Wouldn't you love to own a piece of a fellow WiVLA member's work?  Or have a truly unique opportunity to promote your own creations? WiVLA's Twentieth Anniversary Planning Committee is pleased to announce its plans to create dazzling, art-centric gift baskets to be raffled off during our celebration in March of 2014.  Details about ticket sales will be forthcoming, but, in the meantime, we are soliciting donations from our talented membership in order to fill the baskets.  Be imaginative -- any piece of your own creation is welcome, including 2D and 3D work in your choice of medium or media, photographs, books, altered books, chapbooks, framed or unframed pieces.  Zita Giraldo has offered to lend her boundless talent to assembling the baskets (we plan to offer three -- small, medium, and large), so they are sure to be lovely. 

We hope to arrange with the Museum of Printing History to have a drop-off box for donations at their location on 1324 West Clay.  You may also bring any contributions to the November, January, and February general meetings.  Gift baskets have been both highly coveted and immensely successful in the past, so scour your studios, ladies, for the perfect piece(s) to donate!

Liberty Mutual Comes Through for WiVLA Again


Last year, Eileen Collins, a Liberty Mutual insurance agent, made WiVLA a generous offer. For every member that asked for an insurance quote, her company would make a donation to our treasury. The members who took her up on the offer were pleasantly surprised to find that Liberty Mutual's rates were extremely competitive; many switched their insurance as a result. Reports from individuals who, unfortunately, have had to make claims are that Liberty Mutual has been responsive and easy to work with on all aspects of the process. This program was very beneficial for the WiVLA members who participated.


Now Eileen has made another generous offer to our organization. She invited WiVLA to join their affinity program and, after review, the board has accepted the offer. By participating in the Liberty Mutual affinity program, WiVLA is now eligible to apply for grants from them for special projects. 


In addition, we have secured exclusive group savings for our members of up to 10% off their insurance bill. Since doing business with them already means competitive rates, quality auto and home coverage, plus 24-hour claims assisiance, after-hours policy service, and 24-hour home repair services, getting a discount is a great bonus. 


If you want to take advantage of WiVLA's affinity relationship with Liberty Mutual, simply contact Eileen Collins at 281-320-1181 ext. 59053 or by cell phone at 832-248-7445. Like so many other WiVLA members, you will probably get a very pleasant surprise.



Reviews:  Lois Gibson and Nan Cuba

How to describe Lois Gibson, our October speaker?  Author of the seminal resource, Forensic Art.  A passionate pioneer and record-holder. An innovator, skilled and dedicated to her craft.  Determined to catch the bad guys.  Intense.

Gibson, a forensic artist who works in collaboration with the Houston Police Department, revealed her journey to what is now her life's work.  Her presentation, complete with slideshow, was a joyride -- daring, compelling, sometimes frightening, now and then achingly funny.  The artist's work for law enforcement includes sketching solely from victims' anecdotal information, determining facial imaging from skull formations, and age progression drawings.  According to Gibson, she can teach anyone to do what she does.  And teach she does.  For more information about Gibson and her classes, go to www.LoisGibson.com.

A delivery style in stark contrast to Gibson's is that of Nan Cuba.  Cuba is measured in voice, patient, and quietly prodding, and her recent Saturday workshop, Stoking Your Fire:  Let's Get Creative, was great fun.  For four fulfilling hours, a dozen WiVLA writers and artists met with the author of the novel, Body and Bread, to participate in guided exercises meant to inspire and enhance creativity.  Cuba's soul-searching insight gently encouraged participants to step outside their artistic comfort zones and employ new methods in approaching their subjects.  Artists wrote, writers drew, and everyone shared.  It was a perfect way to spend half a day, and the WiVLA board hopes to offer more workshops by professionals of Cuba's caliber in the future.  For more about the author, visit www.nancuba.com.

Cafe Table  


This section of Voices is reserved for original, previously unpublished literary submissions from WiVLA members.  If you have a short piece, either poetry or prose, that you'd like to submit, feel free to e-mail it as a Word document to newsletter@wivla.org with Cafe Table in the subject line.  We'll make every effort to run your work.     


We're on Facebook!

Did you know WiVLA has a Facebook page?  We do, and we want you to LIKE us!


Our Facebook page is an excellent tool for informal communication among members.  Do you have a show coming up?  Post it on our page. Are you teaching a workshop or selling equipment?  Post it on our page. Do you have something to brag about or share?  Why not post it?


To find us on Facebook, click here, then LIKE us and post a greeting to all your WiVLA friends. 



Peggy Sexton will be showing Art to Wear garments in the It's a Stitch Fashion Show at the International Quilt Festival, Hobby Center, on November 1, 2013.

Marguerite "Maggie" Baldwin has work on display at Art Movement Art Gallery in Memorial City Mall.  Maggie is also participating in a month-long exhibit at Hungry's Restaurant and has been juried into JoMar Visions Studio for the upcoming Art Crawl 2013.

Pattie Berg, jeweler and beadmistress extraordinaire, will offer her wares for purchase at The Meadows Place Home and Garden Club Craft Show, November 2, from 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.  The show will be held at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church, 12627 W. Bellfort, Sugar Land. 

As the winner of the 2013 WiVLA Literary Scholarship, Anne Rita Taylor attended the Mayborn Literary Conference.  Anne has written a Zine about her participation in the Conference and submitted the Zine to another contest:  Art Exchange Program Zine Grant.  The winner receives 100 copies of their Zine plus $150.  You can read about Anne's Zine submission about the WiVLA Scholarship online at:



Sarah Cortez gave a TEDxHouston talk on October 12, 2013, at RIce University on Spiritual Legacy, one of the many topics she coaches.  Sarah read poetry from her memoir, Walking Home: Growing Up Hispanic in Houston, at the MFAH-Bayou Bend Hispanic Heritage Day on October 20th. Sarah will present a reading from her latest book of poetry, Cold Blue Steel, on November 19, 2013, at Rice University in the Fondren Library's Kyle Morrow Room at 6:30 p.m. as part of the Rice Alumni Writers Workshop Series.  The event is free and open to the public.


 Would you like to post an announcement? Send your e-mail

by the 20th of the month to newsletter@wivla.org.




Inclusion in this list does not indicate endorsement by WiVLA. We recommend you research each contest, and contact the sponsor(s). 


CaFE' for Artists!


CallForEntry.org 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. 

Assistance League of Houston Celebrates Texas Art 2014 





Call Type: Exhibitions

Eligibility: Local

City: Houston

State: Texas

Fee: $15.00 (Assistance League of Houston Celebrates Texas Art 2014)

Entry Deadline: 10/31/13

Assistance League of Houston Celebrates Texas Art 2014 is a juried show featuring contemporary art by Texas artists. 



From the
I Know Somebody Houston networking group's FB page:

Seeking several visual artists for upcoming painted murals and mosaic mural commissions. Must be willing to work on a team, no EGO's allowed. Must have own transportation.  Artist fees based on experience.  Please email resumes or cv and at least 5 current work samples in jpg format to 





Inclusion in this list does not indicate endorsement by WiVLA. We recommend you research each contest, and contact the sponsor(s).  


Here's a tip from poet Catherine Rankovic:  "If you wish somebody would keep you up to date on the latest publishing and contest opportunities, the Yahoo Group Creative Writing Opportunities, edited and updated daily by poet Alison Joseph, is a must-see.  You don't have to do a thing but go there.  No signing in, discussions, donations, or anything:  Just postings with the info you want about first-book contests, poetry contests, fiction contests, online magazines seeking writers for theme issues, residencies, creative-writing jobs, and grants.  Most of the time with direct links to the source so you can obtain complete information.  You can subscribe to the postings or you can just bookmark it and go there when you feel the need.  I visit about once per week. "   


Here's the URL:  http://groups.yahoo.com/group/crwropps-b   



Seeking strong poems of human experience and personal reactions: 
Good-bye, Mexico:  Poems of Remembrance will be a poetry anthology of original work composed in response to the following question:  What do you remember about Mexico?    Publisher:  Texas Review Press
Editor:  Sarah Cortez
Submission guidelines:  http://poetacortez.com/submission-requests/  





Monday, November 11 at 6 p.m.

WiVLA Board Meeting  

Sosa Community Center

1414 Wirt Road

Houston, TX77055 


Tuesday, November 19 at 6p.m.

WiVLA Membership Meeting 

Speaker:  Margaret McElrath, Assistant Director for Claystomp, a Peace Through Art Project 

Museum of Printing History

1324 West Clay


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

WiVLA 2013 Board of Directors


President                     Cathy Nieman             wivla.cathyniem@yahoo.com

Vice President            Jane Mulholland          mulholland.jane@gmail.com

Secretary                    Rona Lesser                  ronales@wt.net


Treasurer                    Pattie Berg                    jewelry@sapamojo.com  

Membership               Cori Austin                    artjournal50@gmail.com

Communications       Sandy Wells                  sandy@sandywellsart.com  



Programs                    Laura Pena                   iselapena@hotmail.com

Newsletter                  Cathy Lachin                newsletter@wivla.org

Visual Arts                  Theo Billings                  visual@wivla.org 

Literary Arts                Mary Baker                    literary@wivla.org   


At-Large                     Cindy Rasche                cindyrasche@yahoo.com


Historian                     Cathy Lachin                 cplachin@yahoo.com          

Past President            Lane Devereux             lanedev@comcast.net 



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