October    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.

In this Issue
Board Bites -
WiVLA News
Juror Statment
Poet's & Prose Cafe Table
Announcements and Upcoming Events
Call for Entries - Literary Arts
Calendar of Events

Dear WIVLA Women,
"It was a dark and stormy night the rain fell in torrents except at occasional intervals when it was checked by a violent gust of wind."  (Bulwer-Lytton-1830)

Torrential Houston down pours did not stop a successful opening at the Museum of Printing History.
Art patrons and friends attended our second art event with great enthusiasm. I want to congratulate all of our participants 
who lent their artistic interpretation and creative voice to our eclectic exhibit. 

Please mark your calendar and definitely plan on attending our October meeting. Our guest speaker, Lois Gibson is a infamous artist who has merged artistic talent and law enforcement into a renowned career. We will be introduced to a unique form of art profession: forensic art. Lois Gibson is the most successful police sketch artist. Her talents have placed her in the Guinness World Records. She has managed to take down criminals with pastels and paper. Her speaking engagements are largely attended and positively received.
I am hoping that writers and artist will take advantage of the upcoming Nan Cuba workshop. Her gentle and intelligent style will challenge and enhance our creativity. 
We are proud to announce the appointment of Theo Billings to our board. She will be serving as our Visual chair. Her expertise and first hand knowledge will be a great asset to our organization's growth. 

Your board of directors continue to develop some very exciting upcoming activities for our members. They work diligently and 
give of their time for our benefit.

"A work of art is a corner of creation seen through a temperment." (Emile Zola)

I send best regards,
Yours in "sustained persistence",

Cathy Nieman Head Shot

Board Bites - September WiVLA Board Meeting


20th Anniversary Celebration

Discussion was held on preliminary plans and details for the celebration.

 November Archway Reading

Discussion was held and tentative plans are being looked into - more details to follow.



The workshop will be held on Saturday, October 19.   10-1:30p with a 30 min brown bag lunch break.

It will be held at the Trini Mendenhall Sosa Community Center located at 1414 Wirt Road, Houston, 77055

 What to bring:

-brown bag lunch

- paper, pens, markers, crayons, colored pencils, etc.

-a candid photo from your past , taken in a favorite place

-a small object that has special significance

 -a newspaper or magazine headline that you like

Workshop fee is $30 and on online registrations is required. There will be no registration at the door.    

Please check the WIVLA web site for the on-line registration form.




WiVLA News

Sketchbook Gathering

Monday, October 7, 2013 (1st Monday of the month)

Trini Sosa Community Center

Wirt and Westview (Spring Branch)

6-8 pm


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 7th. If you choose to work in your sketchbook, that is fine. If you want to use a different sketchbook or on plain separate papers, by all means bring those.

   If you want to work toward a completed sketchbook to submit to the Sketchbook Project, we will be happy to supply you with information regarding that. http://www.sketchbookproject.com/projects/sketchbookproject


The Sketchbook Project is a global, crowd-sourced art project and interactive, traveling exhibition of handmade books. Our 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.



Because we have people from all kinds of backgrounds in our community. From writers, to poets, to photographers, we use the word 'sketchbook' as a loose term for experimentation in creativity. Join tens of thousands of people in this global, traveling art library. See ya'll on the road.


Bring needed supplies and a willingness to have fun breathing artsy air. We come away with smiles on our faces!



Freeing the word in a small space - Juror Statement

Thank you for selecting me to jury your membership exhibition. I enjoyed the process, and looking at the works.

There is no shortage in creativity in this diverse group of women. Looking at the work, one can feel the passion for materials, ideas, the past, and the future. Techniques vary from collage to assemblage, painting to sculpture, and include text and conceptual objects all related to written words.

This year, the exhibition focuses on a theme that is wide, and as old as the human species itself. The works reflect many interests ranging from the word or stories as they were painted in caves in prehistoric times, as illustrated in the works of Cynthia Butler Rasche, all the way to questioning the future of the written words as a result of technology and the effects of the Internet, as seen in Jane Mulholland's work.                                            

One can only guess the real meaning of every piece in the exhibition, as many works are conceptual. However, some are more conventional, and relate to everyone's feelings and ideas about words, text, poetry, and the future of all of the above.

In addition to reflection on the word as a subject matter, we see how words are part of everything else that surrounds us, affects, or interests us. In Sandy Wells and Ann Philips artworks                                                   we see how feminism and body image speak louder than words. Searching for past stories through human or animal remains is evident in Jo Zider's work. The bones free the words through silence and contemplation. It is left for the viewer to recreate the story or maybe imagine one based on one's own experience.                                                                            

Reflection on nature and the organic is exemplified in Priscilla Frake's work, while soul and mind searching through religion and self-awareness is obvious in the works of Carol Watson and Cathy Nieman.                        

A passion for pattern, texture, and color are celebrated in the works of Becky Soria, Theo Billings, Janet Ruffino, Karen Smith, Marsha Harris, Donna Perkins, and Josena Arquieta. A strong interest in design and structure is a major element in the hard edge works of Janet Roe, Linda Stelljes, and Cori Austin.

Interaction with poetry and short stories are evident in many of the 2D works, and I believe they were created by the writers in the group, like Meloni Davis and Adriene Wong.

Conceptual works by Lane Devereux and Marjorie Silverstein make us wonder whether paper books will be obsolete in the near future, and will serve as a fading and shrinking memory of the past.

I encourage you to view the exhibit again, look around, and pay attention to the small details as this exhibit provides more questions than answers.



Poet's  & Prose Cafe Table


Fire in the Stone

Cori Austin

Pearly grey opalescent skies above. Several pale pink areas of clouds create a mosaic of numenescence, like fire in the opal, a subtle hint of the night magic to come. The day ends quietly, no fanfare from the sun, no gilding the clouds in brilliant, fiery colors. Time moves toward rest, recumbence, remembering, and renewal.

The dark sky sinks all the way down to the earth. The night is thick, muted, a black hole. There is no moon, clouds cover the stars. Everything is wrapped in black velvet.

Outstretched, my hands attempt to find some lifeline in the darkness. I trip over rocks, juniper roots, hillocks of dried grasses. Frantic, I lose my way, surrounded by deep black. Standing still, my chest heaving, I catch my breath and focus my eyes into the black vortex. I am sucked through the portal, into the infinite. Ahead is the tiniest bit of light, a distant glow.

Do I move toward them or do they move to me? I only stand transfixed, the delicate pearly white bone light throbbing in the black night. Hope, I think. These are bones of hope and renewal. A song wells up from my being as my bones sing out, wailing and howling night's truth, quickening the new bones into life.   Responding to the melody, they move, find each other, fit together, solve themselves into a new form, the Night Mother who is the soft blanket of sleep, the artist of dreams, and the resurrection of the new day. She joins my song. It seeks the far corners of the night, and soon wolf and owl join, rattlesnake shaking maracas. My long black silk skirt whirls around me as I dance, and flows into the crevices between time. My feet, my hair, my arms, my body, all are connected to the song, to the dance, to this music of the night. Song after song courses through my body into my feet. Too soon a thread of light shows on the horizon, and the deep darkness vanishes, as if a pale grey silk cape has covered it all with a quiet whoosh. The sky awakens, and the new day is resurrected from yesterday's ashes.

 I wake and wonder where I have been, for I know I have been away. The new day spins around my head, and then slows, and the room comes into focus. White light, without the yellow of the sun, pours through the window. A quickening surges through me, and I feel the fresh breeze of resurrection, like sharp cold air against my face. A new day. I open my pulsing heart to the pearly gray opalescent sky, searching for the pink fire.


     Anecdotes About My Son, Liam

Mary Baker

 Nine a.m., you awoke softly calling for Mommy to come feed you in your own non-word whimpering, searching cry that you have been doing for the past twelve months. I heard you on the monitor, but I didn't rush in to feed you like I used to when you were newborn. I waited first to see if you were really awake or just dreaming about nursing.

Then I went in and propped myself up against the headboard and held you, my big baby, across my lap. We both fell asleep cuddled together, but I awoke about ten minutes later. Mother and child at one together, I was very aware of the spiritual closeness we have . . . . something that I have not been as in touch with as I was in the beginning. Things become ordinary so fast.

So I seized the opportunity to just soak in the sensation of your body relaxed and sleeping and mine both receptive of your weight and cognizant of the exchange that was taking place.

A wave of joy passed through me . . . joy to have this moment of awareness and the joy of motherhood!

There was also a reluctance to leave you unlike my haste to be done nursing at the end of the day. So, I savored the beauty of our sharing without rushing you.

Finally, you were finished and your body began to twitch with an oncoming dream. I held you just a moment or two more. Then when I carefully put you down between the pillows, you adjusted yourself in a way that revealed the profile of the man you were to become and I wondered, "How much will you remember these spiritual moments when you actually do become that man?"





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 communicating informally 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 a new brag to share? Post it on WiVLA's Facebook page.


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



Visual Arts Alliance

31st Annual Juried Membership Show

Opens Friday October 4, 6-8 pm

1600 Smith Street, 77002

Nell Gottlieb and Janice Smith have pieces in the show.


Hanson Gallery

Show: Houston Clay by Clay-Houston

Opens September 26, 5-8 pm

5000 Westheimer Rd. #106

Nell Gottlieb and Jo Zider have pieces in the show.


Art Institute North-Gallery

Opens Thursday, October 24, 6 pm

N. Gessner and Sam Houston Parkway

Rona Lesser will exhibit her paintings.


 Would you like to post an announcement? Send your email

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). 







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


If you wish somebody would keep you up to date on the latest publishing and contest opportunities, the Yahoo Group CRWROPPS-B, 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/.      (written by Catherine Rankovic)   Seeking strong poems of human experience and personal reactions. Goodbye, 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,October 7 at 6 p.m.

WiVLA Board meeting  

Sosa Community Center

1414 Wirt Road

Houston, TX77055 


Tuesday, October 15 at 6p.m.

Lois Gibson-Forensic Artist

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)


Programs                    Laura Pena                    (iselapena@hotmail.com)

Newsletter                  Diane Door                     (newslettereditor@wivla.org)

Visual Arts                 

Literary Arts               Mary Baker                       (literary@wivla.org)  


                 Sandy Wells                   (literary@wivla.org)

At- Large                    Cindy Rasche                (cindyrasche@yahoo.com)


Historian                     Cathy Lachin                 (cplachin@yahoo.com)          

Past President            Lane Devereux             (wivla.lanedev@yahoo.com) 



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