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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October 2014


Calendar of Events

Monday, October 13, at 6 p.m.
WiVLA Board Meeting
Sosa Community Center
1414 Wirt Road
Houston, TX  77055


Tuesday, October 21, at 6 p.m.

WiVLA Membership Meeting
Mary M. Lampe, Executive Director
Southwest Alternate Media Project (SWAMP)

The Printing Museum
1324 W. Clay Street
Houston, TX  77019


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

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.

In This Issue

~ Picture from the Past

~ WiVLA News:  Stay informed.  Get involved.

~ A Look Ahead:  Save the dates for anniversary events!

~ Announcements:  Who's doing what?

~ Review:  Alicia Young

~ Calls for Entry:  More opportunities than ever!

~ Quick Links:  Connect with the Houston arts community.                     

Picture from the Past

August 30, 2012:  Jennifer Watson at the opening of A Heroine's Journey, The Printing Museum.

If you have a photo that you would like to submit to Voices, please email it, along with an informative caption, to  We'd love to print it in our next issue!

A Note from Your President

WIVLA members,

Find your community.
As writers and artists we create in solitude. We must find our tribe.  We thrive by having support from others.  The third Tuesday of the month provides this connection.  It gives us a time to connect and inspire.
I remember when I loved to create.  I remember the feeling of being lost inside my imagination and being protected from any other distractions or cares.  I want to know how I can return to that magical time.  I think one of the answers might be that I have to put in the necessary work.  I need to practice my craft. Creativity builds upon itself.  I am going to reconnect to those moments I once loved.  I am going to return to those wonderful "Aha" moments that once made me so happy.
It is not in life but in art that self-fulfillment is to be found.  You must learn to be still in the midst of activity and to be vibrantly alive in repose.  (Indira Gandhi)
Clap your hands.  Our big, exciting event is looming.  The 20th Anniversary Committee has worked diligently and creatively in the development of our November 1st reception.  It is going to be a lovely affair.  I hope one of your names will be called when the three remarkable gift baskets are raffled that evening.  Please remember to Save the Date.

 In closing, Art is when you hear a knocking from your soul -- and you answer.  (Terri Guillemets.)
Best regards,
Cathy Nieman

Contribute to Voices

Are you participating in an exhibit or a reading?  Do you know of a cultural event that would be of interest to fellow WiVLA members?  Have you sold a sculpture or published a poem?  Let us know in our monthly newsletter. 

Posting an announcement in  the newsletter is your foremost method of reaching every WiVLA writer and artist.  Make Voices a part of your networking effort. 

The deadline for contributing to Voices is the twentieth of each month.  Simply send your contribution to  We'll do our best to include your announcement!


 N. C. Wyeth (10/22/1882)

Pablo Picasso (10/25/1881)

Johannes Vermeer (baptized 10/31/1632)

Robert Rauschenberg (10/22/1925)


Anne Rice (10/4/1941)

Anne Tyler (10/25/1941)

Sylvia Plath (10/27/1932)

Ezra Pound (10/30/1885)

I've Been Thinking

Dear readers,

I've been thinking about driving, showering, and taking a walk.  In no particular order.  Allow me to explain.

You see, over the past six weeks or so, I've been conducting a modest, informal survey.  I ask a single question:  "When, or where, do you have your best ideas?"  There have been thirty-seven participants in all, most of them willing.  The youngest was four -- oops -- four and a half.  When I asked her the question, she mumbled something and pointed to a spot just above her right ear.  I said, "In your head?  Good answer!"  Her mother silently mouthed a translation: "In her hair."

Although my little survey is hardly scientific, there were three answers that emerged as most popular.  I refer you to the first sentence of this column.  That's right:  driving, showering, taking a walk. 

OK, driving I can understand.  This is Houston, after all, and we spend an awful lot of time trapped in our cars.  And for those of you who are not on the phone or listening to the radio or simply afraid of being alone with your thoughts, rumination happens.  And rumination leads to ideas, apparently great ones:  "I once figured out how to build slide-on, slide-off fence panels on a drive from Fulshear to the airport."

Same goes for showering.  It's a popular answer because, for many of us, it's five minutes of uninterrupted thought.  And those of you who aren't singing are solving the world's problems.  Or at least figuring out what you're going to wear to work.  (By the way, that purple scarf with the gray sweater?  Genius.)

Taking a walk was a frequent answer among the middle-aged women I spoke to.  I heard, "I find myself creating phrases and rhythms that match my pace.  I think they find their way into my better poems.  Does that make sense?"  It certainly does.

The most oft-repeated answers were, of course, the most predictable.  But I continued to ask the question because, every once in a while, I would get a real nugget.  Here are some of my favorites:

"Out on my boat, fishing."  (The Naturalist)
"Doodling during staff meetings."  (The Rebel)
"Right before I fall asleep in my hammock."  (The Backyard Philosopher)
"Sanding.  I have lots of good ideas when I'm sanding."  (The Realist)
"Playing my guitar."  (The Romantic)
"Daydreaming during class."  (Young Precocious One)
"I haven't had an original thought in six years." (Eeyore)

It's interesting to note that I came across no one who said that he experienced his greatest insight while in flagrante delicto or that her personal brainstorming sessions during Happy Hour were the bomb.  The common denominators for fomenting ideas were a need for peace, quiet, and solitude, or, at the very least, a dissociation or disengagement from the buzz and flurry of Life All Around. 

So, I ask you, dear readers:  Where, or when, do you have your best ideas?  I'd really like to know, if you're willing to share.  Just don't look for me in the shower  -- I'm busy in there.
Your editor,
Cathy Lachin


Man's mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions.

                      ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes

The best way to have a good idea is to have lots of ideas.

                                     ~ Linus Pauling
There's zero correlation between being the best talker and having the best ideas.

                                          ~ Susan Cain

WiVLA News

   October Meeting:  Mary Lampe of SWAMP
Join us as we enter our fourth quarter of outstanding presentations, this month by Mary Lampe.  

For over 15 years, Mary Lampe has served as Executive Director of Southwest Alternate Media Project (SWAMP), a 37-year-old nonprofit media arts organization that supports the creation and appreciation of independent filmmaking.
Throughout her tenure, Mary has developed innumerable educational classes and film screening programs for youth and adults. In addition, she has served on film festival juries and panels as well as on grant committees for city, state and national funders.
Mary Lampe was a founding board member of the Texas Motion Picture Alliance (TXMPA), a statewide nonprofit that serves as a legislative advocate for professionals working in the film, video, interactive, and digital media production industries. She also served as the chair of the founding committee of the Houston Cinema Arts Society (HCAS), sponsors of the Houston Cinema Arts Festival, and continues to serve on the HCAS board.
In 2011, Mary was honored as a recipient of the Houston Film Critics Society Award for Outstanding Achievement.  In addition, she was selected as one of Houston’s “100 Creatives 2012” by the Houston Press.
Mary also serves as the Executive Producer of THE TERRITORY, SWAMP’s international short film showcase series, broadcast on Texas PBS stations for 35 seasons. She curated a program of American short films for the 2012 Tour de Film festival in St. Petersburg, Russia.

You won't want to miss this month's meeting on Tuesday, October 21.  Guests are always welcome.

  Have You Bought Your Raffle Tickets Yet? 
Photo of one of three gift baskets to be given away November 1. 

The fun continues!  Raffle tickets for WiVLA gift baskets, to be given away at the opening of The VCR Show, will be sold once again at the October meeting. 

Here's a heads-up, though:  Tickets are selling quickly -- close to 150 were sold at the September meeting!  Tickets are $1.00 each, or $10.00 for a book of ten.  You may purchase as many as you like.  Cash or a check made out to WiVLA will be accepted (change will be available for cash purchases, but exact amounts are always preferable).  Because your contact information must be printed on each ticket, you may want to bring small address labels to expedite the process. 

For more information on the gift baskets, read on.  Remember, you need not be present to win!
We Need Your Gift Basket Donations! 
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 on November 1, 2014.  We are currently 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. 

So far, we have received prized contributions from seventeen gifted WiVLA women. Donations include framed and unframed art, ceramics, handmade notecards and books, photographs, novels -- even t-shirts!  We plan to give away three baskets in all -- small, medium, and large --  and, as you can tell from the photo above, they will be lovely.

You may bring any contributions to the WiVLA general meetings -- Cathy Lachin will happily collect them.  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! 

The VCR Show:  Vision. Collaboration. Retrospection.


A Twentieth Anniversary Celebration 


We ask that you mark your calendar for two very special WiVLA Twentieth Anniversary events:

Saturday, November 1, 2014

The VCR Show:  Vision, Collaboration, Retrospection

18 Hands Gallery in The Heights

6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The VCR Show: Readings and a Reception

Museum of Printing History, 1324 W. Clay

6:15 p.m.

Write On!

Exciting news from literary co-chairs Maryann Gremillion and Sandy Stromberg:  Four literary workshops are lined up for next year. We're excited about the presenters we've been able to secure, and they, in turn, are delighted to be offering WiVLA members and non-members their workshops. 

  • Personal essay with Max Regan, Saturday, January 24, 9 a.m.-12 p.m.
  • Poetry with Justine Post, Saturday, March 7, 1-4 p.m
  • Creative journaling with Kay Kemp, Saturday, March 28
  • Flash fiction with Marie-Pierre Stien, tentatively set for Saturday, April 1

We're still hoping to schedule weekly writing sessions early in 2015. Watch the newsletter for more information and short workshop descriptions from the presenters. Venues will also be reported as they are secured.


Sketchbook Gathering

sketches by Jody Digger
                                                               (art by Jody Digger)
Monday, October 13, 2014
6-8 pm
Trini Sosa Community Center
1414 Wirt Avenue (Spring Branch)
(just north of intersection of Wirt and Westview)
From member Cori Austin:  Join us as we gather with drawing tools and paper, technique suggestions, and helpful books to peruse.  If you want to participate in the Sketchbook Project (some of us are doing so), here is their website:  For those new to sketching, there are a variety of books that provide hints.  Also, a new online class called Sketchbook Skool will begin in early October for anyone who would like to take the course. ( )  I took this course this summer and learned so much. 

Bring the supplies you find most comfortable.  I have had many summer sketchbook opportunities, and would like to discuss places we could meet and new techniques we can try.  See you soon!



Looking for Lively Interviews

While you're visiting WiVLA's newly-redesigned website,, please notice there's a tab labelled "Featured Member."  If you click on it, you'll see that it says "Coming soon!"  Your newsletter editor is looking for members who will consent to an interview to be posted to this section.  WiVLA members are always curious to know more about one another -- who we are, where we're from, what we do, how and why we do it. To volunteer, just contact newsletter@wivla.orgClick here to read our profile of member Dodie Meeks:



A Look Ahead:  Exciting Monthly Meetings Planned

Here are the programs that WiVLA members have to look forward to in the final quarter of what has been an exciting year:
  • October: Mary Lampe, Executive Director of Southwest Alternate media Project  (SWAMP)
  • November:  Twentieth Anniversary Literary Presentations and Reception
Join us for stimulating offerings by vibrant members of the Houston arts community.  You won't be disappointed!




~ Little Scrooge, adapted by Patricia Barry Rumble from the Dickens classic A Christmas Carol, with original music by Rock Barry, opens at Express Theatre November 22 and runs through December 23, 2014. 
In Rumble's version, an adolescent boy strikes it rich by inventing a popular phone app, but he loses sight of what really matters in life -- love and friendship. Visited by three ghosts of Christmas, Little Eben soon realizes the true meaning of the holiday. The show is suitable for all ages and recommended for pre-kindergarten and up.
Saturday performances are at 2:00 p.m. at Express Theatre, with touring beginning November 22. Saturday performances are also on November 29, and continue with two performances on December 6, two performances on Friday, December 12, and one performance each on Saturday, December 13 and 20.
All tickets are $10 each, $9 for seniors.  For groups of 10 or more, the price is $8 a ticket.  Call 713-682-5044 to make reservations

~ Lauran Perry English juried into the National Society of Artists 2014 Spring Show with photography/digital art, receiving first place for Paper Sails, second for In the Shadows, and third for Corresponding Reflections.  This prequalified her to be in the 2014 Lone Star Art Guild Art Show in The Woodlands, where she received third place, digital art, for Paper Sails. She also juried into the Texas City 2014 Art Festival, receiving honorable mention for photography/digital art, In the Shadows.  Lauran exhibits monthly in Galveston at Affaire d'art.  Join her for Artwalk Galveston!

~ Wings Of Summer, a poem by Lauran Perry English, will be in the 2015 Texas Poetry Calendar by Dos Gatos Press.

~ Marian Szczepanski will teach two fiction-writing workshops at Writespace Houston, Silver Street Studios #212, 2000A Edwards Street: The Ins and Outs of Creating Great Sex Scenes on Saturday, November 15, 1-4 pm, and Being Bad Has Never Been So Good: How to Create Awesome Antagonists on Saturday, December 6, 1-4 pm. Each workshop is $35 and suitable for writers at all levels. To register, go to

~ Cornelia Amiri has a new release, Moon Goddess Wife , on October 1, 2014.

Here's a teaser:  From Druid lore springs the tale of Rhiannon and Pwyll. Chief Pwyll's life is changed forever the day Goddess Rhiannon rides past him on her magic horse. Forbidden romance smolders between the goddess and the chieftain.  With the use of an enchanted bag, Rhiannon breaks free of an unwanted betrothal. Happily, she weds Pwyll, but a harrowing mystery tears them apart. Will Pwyll’s suspicion and duty as chieftain prevail or will love win out?

Second Saturday Open Houses
The studios at Winter, Silver and Spring Streets are open on the second Saturday of each month from 2 to 5 pm. Join us October 11: Josena Arquieta, Margaret McElrath and Jane Mulholland at Spring Street; Luisa Duarte at Silver Street; Piyali Dasqupta, Cary Reeder, Janet Roe and Karen Smith at Winter Street.

Review:  Alicia Young

At our September meeting, we welcomed a very special guest speaker, WiVLA member and award-winning author Alicia Young. 
Alicia is an Australian television journalist with more than fifteen years’ experience in local, national and international news. Prior to her journalism career, she spent seven years as a social worker, providing child protection and mental health services.  She and her husband, John, have lived in eight different countries, although she assures us that they are "not on the run."

Alicia recently relocated from Chile to the U.S, where she completed her first book, The Savvy Girl’s Guide to Grace: Small Touches with Big Impact – at Home, Work & in Love. The guide explores simple ways to usher in moments of grace and kindness in a rushed world. During the course of her presentation, the author, with an unassuming manner and great poise, explained the memorable ways in which she has experienced grace, shared her reasons for writing The Savvy Girl's Guide, and offered advice on independent book production ("There's no one to say No to an independent author"). 

If you missed Alicia's polished presentation, you can learn more about her and her work at


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). 


ENTRY DATE:             September 1, 2014
DEADLINE:                  October 31, 2014
AWARDS:                      $4,000 First place, $2,000 Second 
                                         place, $1,000 Third place.
ENTRY FEE:                $15.00 Fee per image.  Maximum of 4
                                         images per artist.

NOTIFICATION:         November 19, 2014
LOCATION:                 Williams Tower Gallery, 2800 Post
                                        Oak Blvd., Houston, TX

JUROR:                         Dean Sobel, Director, Clyfford Still | Museum, Denver 



VAA Early-Bird Prospectus

32nd Juried OPEN Exhibition 
Available NOW

Enter by December 12 for $40 (members) or $50 (non-members).
Enter by January 2 for $50 (members) or $60 (non-members).
ALL entries will be on the promo CD VAA makes and distributes to galleries and consultants.
Exhibition dates: March 11, 2015 - April 11, 2015
Location: Williams Tower Gallery, 2800 Post Oak Blvd., Houston, TX 77056
Juror: Sally Sprout

~ 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). 

~ We encourage you to check out a new online journal for women artists and writers.  Just follow this link:

Call for Submissions - ARTlines: the ekphrastic competition

Public Poetry and Museum of Fine Arts, Houston seek submissions for ARTlines: the ekphrastic competition.

Poets write pieces inspired by art works selected by the Museum’s curatorial staff from different areas of their collection. A jury panel chooses the winners and honorable mentions, who will be showcased at an event at the Museum on April, 23, 2015.

Eligibility:  Current and former residents of Texas are all welcome to apply.

Submissions:  Deadline is November 30

For more information, email Public Poetry:

WiVLA 2014 Board of Directors

President Cathy Nieman 

Vice President Jane Mulholland


Secretary Rona Lesser     


Treasurer Josena Arquieta

Membership Joyce Marie     

Communications [Open Position]

Programs Zita Giraldo      


Newsletter Cathy Lachin     


Visual Arts Theo Billings
and Luisa Duarte   


Literary Arts   Sandi Stromberg
and Maryann Gremillion   


Social Media Ima Oduok        

At-Large Cindy Rasche  

and Peggy Sexton   

Historian [Open Position]

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