This month WiVLA opens the collaboration show “Windows” at the Brazosport Arts and Sciences Center in Clute, Texas on Saturday, September 17. The show will open with Readings from the “Windows Anthology” starting at 4:30 pm when the writers will share their work. The Opening Reception will follow until 8:30 pm.

Collaboration is a WiVLA signature event.  Over the years WiVLA’s collaborations have challenged our members to think and grow in ways we would never have conceived working alone.  Again and again we have found the process of working with another person is a means to step out beyond our individual world and open the window into the realm of another’s creativity.

All of the written and visual work in the “Windows” collaboration will be presented in the “Windows Anthology” 2016 edition. This limited edition, hand bound under the direction of WiVLA member and Book Arts Guild President Lee Steiner, will premiere at the opening and be available for sale in the gift shop. WiVLA is particularly grateful to Julie Howard who did the graphic design and layout as well as printed the anthology; and to Jo Zider and Peggy Sexton our Visual Co-Chairs for arranging and shepherding the entire “windows” process which began in 2015. Also thanks goes to the collaboration partners of one writer and one artist without which this event would have been impossible – and, to all those who volunteered to make “Windows” a success.

As I write this I have to ponder what a marvelous process WiVLA has created in our collaborations. I would remind anyone who might listen to me that people working together in any kind of project is, in fact, a rarity. When you combine a person who primarily thinks in words with one who thinks in pictures the result, WiVLA has found, is astounding. I encourage all not to miss Brazosport and the opening on September 17. You will not be disappointed.

Over the years I have belonged to WiVLA I have served on several WiVLA boards. One consistent question to arise is whether we should have juried or non-juried shows. Our collaborations have always been non-juried to insure the greatest possible participation as well as to encourage creativity and out of the box thinking. Coming up in February 2017, we have planned a juried show in the Cloisters at Christ Church Cathedral. I encourage our artists to participate because of the great exposure of your work in this venue. Treebeards’s Restaurant serves lunch weekdays in this space to around 400 people. The theme of the show is “Abundant” and as you plan your work, this show will be 2D media only – 30” x 36” in any direction including frame. The Prospectus for the show will be online and in the October Newsletter.

Part of the rationale for a juried show is to help our artists move forward towards greater professionalism. This does not occur until you have held yourself up to the light of critical comparison. While that might feel like sky diving without a parachute, it is a good way to test where you are. And as all who have done this will tell you, “You never can tell. Pieces that have been turned down for one show have been chosen in another. It is a necessity if you work as an artist.”

As we are head to the end of this year writers will want to sign-up to read at Archway on November 17 when the topic will be “Color.” Readers are chosen on a first come, first on the list basis so don’t wait too long!

On September 20 at regular monthly meeting, Varsha Shah will read from her new book of poetry, Voices. And we are happy to return to the Printing Museum in September although their remodeling continues after the terrible fire they had in May. We will gather at 5:45 and begin the meeting at 6:15.

In October we are going on a field trip to Cherryhurst! Please mark October 18 on your calendar and plan to join us there. We hope to give you ample reminders so you will know we will start the meeting at 6:15 and will not be in any of our “usual places.”

Jane Mulholland

"An ekphrastic poem is like a jolt of electricity surging through a work of art."
- Patricia Smith, ARTLines2

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