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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   November 2014
20th Anniversary




Calendar of Events

Monday, November 10, at 6 p.m.
WiVLA Board Meeting
Sosa Community Center
1414 Wirt Road
Houston, TX  77055


Tuesday, November 18, at 6 p.m.

WiVLA Membership Meeting
The VCR Show:  20th Anniversary Readings & Reception
Annual Election: Board of Directors

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

~ Remembering WiVLA's Founders, Charter Members, Presidents, and the    
   Year 1994

~ WiVLA News:  Stay informed.  Get involved.

~ A Look Ahead:  The VCR Show!  November 1 and November 18                 
~ Announcements:  Who's doing what?

~ Review:  Mary Lampe

~ Calls for Entry:  More opportunities than ever!

~ Quick Links:  Connect with the Houston arts community.                     

Picture from the Past

From 2009:  President Jeanne Haner and Program Chair Diane Griffin Gregory at WiVLA's 15th anniversary celebration, Crystal Reflections, held at Archway Gallery.

A Note from Your President

Women of WiVLA,
What a remarkable milestone we have achieved.  TWENTY YEARS!

For twenty years, women have been sharing their stories, their creative wit, their visual commentary, and gathering in a federation of solidarity.

"None of us got to where we are alone. Whether the assistance we received was obvious or subtle, acknowledging someone's help is a big part of understanding the importance of saying thank you." (Harvey Mackay)

We will soon reflect on this twentieth year and know that diligent artists and writers have trudged forward.  I am reminded of the presidents who have come before me. Their strong steps of guidance have brought us to this celebration.  I am honored to have become a member of this selective group.

"Silent gratitude isn't very much use to anyone." (Gertrude Stein)

My litany of gratitude would begin with saying the name Cathy Lachin..  Cathy has given detailed focus and unending commitment to develop our anniversary festivities. She has been our fearless leader with outstanding results.  It has been my honor to follow her lead.

Zita Giraldo would be the second name in my litany of thank yous.  Her creative skills and ability have been a great gift to our organization.

Another highly important word in the gratitude chain is volunteerism.  The many women on the Anniversary Committee are so greatly appreciated.  They gave of their time for over a year in preparation of this chapter.

One other name to be noted is Karla Hamilton.  Karla demonstrated to our membership that calligraphy remains a most remarkable craft and unique art form. Her handwritten invitation and personalized envelopes are a testament to the impact of the written word.

"No one who achieves success does so without acknowledging the help of others. The wise and confident acknowledge this help with gratitude." (Alfred Whitehead)

"The thankful receiver bears a plentiful harvest." (William Blake)

I close with the greatest of gratitude.  Thank you!
Your president,
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!


 Georgia O'Keefe

Louisa May Alcott

Madeleine L'Engle

I've Been Thinking

Dear readers,

I've been thinking about 1994.

I remember the year like it was yesterday:  I was, of course, twenty years younger, teaching, mothering two energetic young sons, shuttling them to soccer and swim practices, volunteering as den mother, room mother, Sunday school teacher, renovating a house, occasionally sleeping.  Somewhere in there, I was snatching moments to submit poetry to literary journals and small presses.  Hatching a plot for my first novel.  Gathering the courage to apply to Ernest Gaines' master class in fiction.  Figuring stuff out.

Meanwhile, a little over 200 miles west of my harried life, three accomplished women  -- novelist Karleen Koen, artist Janean Thompson, and art consultant Martha Skow -- were preparing for the first general meeting of what they envisioned as, according to Koen, "a networking group of women who were making their living by their creative wits or [who] wished to explore their creativity."  And on March 29, 1994, Women in the Visual and Literary Arts held its first general meeting at the Art League of Houston, 1953 Montrose.

Now, as current board member Jane Mulholland so aptly puts it, "On the third Tuesday of every month, painters, ceramicists, fiber artists, photographers, novelists, poets, essayists, song writers, and dramatists gather at the Printing Museum on West Clay . . . First-time visitors quickly realize that this is no ordinary assemblage of women:  they vary in age, discipline, and background, and all seem delighted to be there as they noisily greet each other."

WiVLA's charter members, thirty-six ambitious women with the goal of creating a synergy among a diverse group of  writers and artists, are responsible for a series of firsts in WiVLA's history:  signing the first Articles of Incorporation and penning the inaugural newsletter in 1995; hosting the organization's first group show at Texas Art Supply in May of the same year; achieving nonprofit status in 1996. To date, WiVLA has held over forty exhibits and readings at venues throughout Houston.  Its membership currently hovers around 100.  I'm proud to say that I've been a member since 2009, and I thank those pioneering women for creating an organization whose mission welcomes and encourages visual and literary artists from the rookie to the veteran.

WiVLA's Board of Directors invites you and your friends and family to join us as we honor our founders and charter members at our anniversary celebrations in November.  Plans for each component of The VCR Show -- the visual and the literary -- have been underway for a little over a year now.  I guarantee you'll find the artwork stunning and the prose and poetry varied in voice.  And, of course, you'll enjoy the company of some of Houston's most stimulating creatives, the Women in the Visual and Literary Arts.

Happy anniversary, WiVLA!

Your editor,
Cathy Lachin


Creativity takes courage.

Henri Matisse

Creativity is contagioius; pass it on.

Albert Einstein

You can't try to do things.  You simply must do things.

Ray Bradbury


Cheers, WiVLA, to another twenty years!

WiVLA's Founders:

Karleen Koen ǁ Martha Skow ǁ JaneanThompson

WiVLA's Charter Members:


 Flo Barry ǁ Margaret Scott Bock ǁ Lourena Cook

Pam Smither Covington ǁ Sheila Cunningham

 Carolyn Dahl  ǁ  Margaret Dobbins

Nancy Dunn Mercer ǁ Carol Farmayan ǁ Linda J. Foot

Nancy Goldesberry ǁ Caroline Graham
 Augusta Belle Griffith (d.) ǁ Katie Guymon
 F. Diane Harris ǁ  Ann Hartley ǁ Cindy Hickok
 Patricia J. Jones ǁ Sue Liska  ǁ  Pat Moberley Moore
Jane Moreland ǁ Mary Omori ǁ Billye Otten
Keddy Ann Outlaw ǁ  Ann Rose ǁ Judy Sauer
 Deborah Simpson ǁ  Joan Son ǁ Gail Storey
  Heidi Straube ǁ Betty Allen Trembly
 Helen Weekes (d.)

WiVLA's Presidents
Karleen Koen, 1994/95
Janean Thompson, 1996/97
Sue Liska, 1998/99
Lynn Weeks, 2000/01
Lillian Warren, 2002/03
Kellye Sanford, 2004/05
Marian Szczepanski, 2006/07
Kay Sarver, 2008/09
Jeanne Haner, 2009/11
Lane Devereux, 2011/13
Cathy Nieman, 2013 - Present

Remembering 1994

President Bill Clinton ~ Vice President Al Gore ~ North American Free
Trade Agreement ~ Unemployment Rate  6.6%
National Debt  $4,800,149, 946,143 ~ Average Inflation Rate 2.6% ~ Dow
Jones Hits Record High ~ Richard Nixon Dies
Superbowl  XXVIII:  Dallas Beats Buffalo ~ Olympic Winter Games Begin
in Lillehammer, Norway ~ Brady Law Passes
Vatican Acknowledges Holocaust ~ Smoking Banned in Pentagon ~ Space
Shuttle Discovery 18 Lands ~ Three Tenors Tour
Rolling Stones Voodoo Lounge Tour ~ LAPD Chase Bronco Driven by
O. J. Simpson ~ Hubble Photographs Uranus’ Rings
Houston Rockets Win NBA Championship ~ Astros’ Jeff Bagwell Hits Two
Home Runs in One Inning ~ Lion King Opens
Angels in America Wins Tony ~ Schindler’s List Wins Oscar ~ Edvard
Munch’s The Scream Stolen and Recovered
Nelson Mandela Elected ~ Final Episode of LA Law Airs
Picket Fences Wins Emmy
Kenzaburo Oe Awarded Nobel Prize for Literature ~ Ken Burns Airs
Baseball Mini-Series on PBS ~ John Paul II in Spain
Infamous in the News:  Jack Kevorkian, David Koresh and the Branch
Davidians, Susan Smith, Tonya Harding, Heidi Fleiss, Lorena Bobbitt
Where on Earth Is Carmen Sandiego? Airs on FOX ~ Channel Tunnel
(Chunnel) Between England and France Opens
Technology:  Flip Phones,, Dial-Up Internet Connections, Instant
Message (IM), Books on Tape/CD,  Ask Jeeves

WiVLA News

The VCR Show:  Vision. Collaboration. Retrospection.


A Twentieth Anniversary Celebration 

You, your family and friends are invited.

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.



Have You Bought Your Raffle Tickets Yet? 


Remaining raffle tickets will be available for sale at the opening of The VCR Show on Saturday, November 1.

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).


These beautiful baskets are filled with work from a score of  gifted WiVLA women.  Donations include framed and unframed art, ceramics, handmade notecards and books, photographs, novels, scarves, even t-shirts!  We plan to give away three baskets in all -- small, medium, and large.  Remember, you need not be present to win!


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 11

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


                                                                                                                                  (art by Kirsten Carlson)

Monday, November 3, 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 began in early October for anyone who would like to take the course. ( )  I took this course this summer and learned so much.  I am currently doing the second in their series.

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:  A New Year, New Programs TBA

For your scheduling convenience: 
  • November 18:  Twentieth Anniversary Literary Presentations and Reception
  • November 18:  Election, 2015 Board of Directors
  • December:  No membership meeting.
  • January 20, 2015:  TBA.  A new year, new leadership, and a new slate of programs!
Join us in the coming year for stimulating offerings by vibrant members of the Houston arts community.  You won't be disappointed!




~ Art Square Studios Open House:  You're invited to Open Studios at Art Square locations on 2711 Main and 4118 Fannin on Saturday, November 1, from noon until 5:00 p.m.  Parking is available.  For more information, visit

~ Piyali Sen Dasgupta's art is currently showing at the Performing Arts Center at Lee College in Baytown, Texas.  The exhibit will continue through November 19, when there will be a closing event from 4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.  All are invited. 

Piyali will also participate in WHAM, the Winter Holiday Art Market at Winter Street Studios on November 21-24, from 10:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.  For more information about Piyali and her art, visit
~ 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

~ 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
~ 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 these WiVLA artists on  November 8: 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: Mary Lampe
On Tuesday, October 21, WiVLA's final guest speaker of 2014 was Mary Lampe of Southwest Alternate Media Project.

For over 15 years, Mary served as Executive Director of SWAMP, a 37-year-old nonprofit media arts organization that supports the creation and appreciation of independent filmmaking.
Throughout her tenure, Mary developed innumerable educational classes and film screening programs for youth and adults. In addition, she 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 served 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 can learn more about SWAMP and the Houston Cinema Arts Festival (to be held on November 12-16), at and


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). 

~ Carol Andrews, Visual Arts Director for Newspring Visual Arts Studio, is looking for professional artists to volunteer in Spring Branch ISD middle and/or high school art classes, sharing what they do for a living.  The time required is only an hour to an hour and a half a year, and is determined by the artist's schedule.  For more details, email Carol at or click on

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). 

Submission Call for Houston Nature, a Poetry Anthology

Mutabilis Press is seeking well-crafted and imaginative poems about Houston's unique nature -- both the persistence of the natural world in spite of its growing, urban sprawl and poems about the nature of Houston itself as a bustling modern city of landscapes:  its climates, arts, cultures, ethnicities, neighborhoods and challenges, poems that define a complex city.

Poems must touch on some aspect of the theme, which has a broad interpretation.  Mutabilis is open to traditional and experimental forms, as well as diverse cultures and voices.

Mutabilis Press will only accept submissions through Submittable, their online submissions manager.  No submissions by mail or email, please.  The submittable link can be found on the press' website:  www.mutabilispress.orgSubmissions accepted now through March 31, 2015.

                                                                                                  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:  or go to

The Houston Writers Guild is teaming up with groups of writers that have chosen to take on the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) this November. If your writing group is interested in participating, email to get in on the action!

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