Archive | May, 2014

Femme Cartel Announces SOLO SHOW for Elrod

29 May

Femme Cartel is beyond psyched to announce a solo show by Femme Cartel artist Elrod.





We have always been over-the-moon for her art and swoon swoon swoon for Betti Ono gallery, our incredible gallery space for art, community & culture.

(If you would like Femme Cartel to connect you to a perfect space for your solo show or to help you with the publicity, email Or just stay in the loop about opportunities by joining our monthly newsletter list.)

VaVa Vroom! Art by Elrod

A Glittering Shrine to Kustom Kulture and the Big Haired Beauties Who Love it

Opening Night: Friday July 4, 2014 from 6-9 PM

Oakland, CA – Betti Ono gallery (1427 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94612) is pleased to present VaVa Vroom!, a debut solo show by mixed media artist Elrod. The exhibition opens to the public Friday, July 4, 2014 from 6-9 pm during Oakland Art Murmur and runs through August 9, 2014.

VaVa Vroom! is a contemporary art show created by Elrod as a sparkling celebration of kustom kulture and the big-haired beauties who love it. “Car culture is clearly a male dominated scene and women within this subculture are often seen as just hood ornaments or decoration. I felt compelled to show that there are plenty of ladies out there who are just as passionate and invested in the lifestyle as much as the men, and look damn good while they’re doing it” Elrod explains. “I hope to portray my version of female “custom culture” by honoring the time old tradition of getting dolled-up. This is how some of us customize ourselves- big hair, winged eye liner and maybe a little sparkle here and there.”

To glorify the female experience and give space to the women in her favorite cultures and subcultures, Elrod has assembled a show of bold, vibrant, glittery paintings about independent women, big hair, car culture, and overall exuberance of personality. While the show is a hot collection of sexy images of women, Elrod’s women are substantial, holistically interesting, not just sex objects. They balance femininity and power. With their firm eye gazes and mischievous depth of personality, they are not only gorgeous, but demanding of attention. So often are the images in the subculture created by men, it is time to show it from the perspective of a woman.

Elrod’s work sells out often before finishing it; mainly as a result of her sharing her works in progress on Instagram. Her Snooki series was highlighted in Hi Fructose: The New Contemporary Art Magazine, her low-rider art was featured in Lowrider magazine [October 2013], where she confessed her love for, “beautiful cars, gorgeous women, people with pride and sparkly paintjobs.”





Elrod will provide key opportunities for the community to engage with her work during her time at Betti Ono. The opening party on Friday, July 4th, Independence Day, will be an over-the-top celebration of all things sparkly (including glitter bombs). Guests will find a hot summer Oakland art party, full of contemporary art, independent women, kitsch, glitter, roller skates, and music. The event will serve as an over-the-top alternative July 4th celebration, toasting American cultures and subcultures that are often overlooked, such as Mexican-Americanness, lowrider scenes, and drag/femme cultures. Put simply, VaVa Vroom! is a shrine to the over-the-top, to the power and allure of culture and to powerful feminine sexiness.

Her encore/closing party on Friday, August 1, will feature Elrod’s sculptural work in a shrine to big hair and a large-scale collaborative art sculpture drawing from piñata culture.

Additionally, as a part of Oakland Saturday Stroll, Elrod will offer a glitter workshop (details to be posted on her web site) for aspiring through advanced glitter artists (aimed to teach the world how to not make a glitter mess!)



Leanne Rodriguez (b. 1985) is a contemporary mixed media artist aiming for total art world glitter domination and beyond. She spent a majority of her simple Southern California youth in solidarity and pursuing her “arts and craps” [as her older brother called them]. It was obvious to her family that her artistic interests would dominate her future. In her early 20’s, she left the states on a 2 year sabbatical to Columbia where she adopted the moniker “Elrod” and befriended a female drug lord and bordello Madame named Cha-Cha Blanco who taught her the loyal and merciless ways of the cartel underworld. Elrod returned to the states and proceeded to recruit her own underground fellowship of chubby female Hispanic art gangsters, known as 3XL or “Tres Xrazy Locas” who perform her miscellaneous illegal bidding. Currently, with a studio on the highest peak overlooking the entire Bay Area, Elrod spends her time making art and mischief and continuously expanding her arsenal of skills. She not only does specialFX makeup, glitter resin casting, silk-screening and  bedazzling but also instructs her highly popular underground glitter workshop “Glitter 101.”


Betti Ono’s mission is to inspire limitless creativity, presenting multidisciplinary arts, media and performance exhibitions, programs and experiences with a slant towards experimentation and independent thinking. The art space includes a commercial gallery, performance venue and retail shop that connects downtown Oakland with the City’s vibrant Uptown Arts & Entertainment District and was founded by Anyka Barber in 2011.


  • Interview with Betti Ono founder/curator Anyka Barber
  • Interview with artist Elrod
  • High-resolution images and artist biography all available upon request
  • Contact: Anyka Barber


Tips: Balancing Art and Life

8 May

Quotations from from Real, Working Artists:


“Sixteen months ago I left my full time job to run my own photography business. It was simultaneously the most terrifying and the most empowering experience of my life. 

I have keep reminding myself of the many years of school, bad jobs, and other prep that went into getting me to this stage. Success or no, I never stop working.”

–Photographer Flee Kieselhorst


“I often get asked how I balance working full time and painting full time and I tell them that I might not sleep much, but I am happy.

My art is my reason for living, so I HAVE to do it.

The whole point is, JUST DO IT. Don’t let a little thing like working for the man hold you back from being an artist.”

–Artist Leanne “Elrod” Rodriguez



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Artists selected for Instagram show!

7 May

Femme Cartel is thrilled to announce the artists selected for our next art show, “Beyond Breakfast & Selfies: Instagram Fine Art Photography.”

The show will take place in August 2014 at Rock Paper Scissors Collective gallery in conjunction with Social Print Studio. To make sure you get the details about the art opening, sign up for the Femme Cartel newsletter.

Selected Artists

AJ Sharkstar  |  @ajsharkstar
Alexandra Nazari  |  @AlexandraNazari
Alicia Dornadic | @adorndesign
Alison Millar  |  @Slightlysurly
Amber Schadewald  |  @aschadewald
Antonette Streeter  |  @Scenebystreeter
Brittany Ko  |  @savethelizards
Brittany Luby  |  @technicolorbrit
Brook Vanderford  |  @brook_v
Carmina Eliason  |  @carminaeliason
Caroline Egan  |  @coeurdela
Christopher Byrne  |  @atrophybeauty
Ciara Sudjian  |  @tacorosey
Courtney Cerruti  |  @ccerruti
Cristal Veronica  |  @cisforcristal
Dane Pollok  |  @danepollok
Ebony Haight  |  @ebonyh
Elena A. Harper  |  @elenaarielle
Erin Fenley  |  @erinwithan_e
Eyra  |  @oeyra
Jane C. Allen  |  @janecallen
Jen Firlik  |  @jenfir3000
Jes Espinoza  |  @Jespi78
Jessica Davies  |  @jdmetalworks_
Jose Vaca |  @mav_rik
Juli Elin Toro  |  @Sunfunnels
Juliette Spirson  |  @spirson
Kaitlin Trataris  |  @kaitlintrataris
Kato Lawton  |  @KatoPopStudio
Keelan Sunglao-Valdez  |  @premiumkeek
Kenny Robinson  |  @notkendra
Kris Austin  |  @kristellaface
Lauren Crew  |  @laurencrew
Leah Korbin  |  @wrinklywrink
Lila Kahn  |  @lilakahn
Madeline Wilson  |  @machiavelcro
Maija Burnett  |  @maijabeee
Maria Fatima Urbi  |  @Paloma_in_black
Marie Metran  |  @mcm1216
Michelle San Agustin  |  @quichemeesh
Mollie Ito Roark  |  @mollitoroar
Monica Palos  |  @monicamarie5
Nam Black  |  @handxfire
Naomi Thompson  |  @NaomiStrange
Natasha Wilder  |  @Tashiworld
Nicole Dargahi (NDar)  |  @ndargahi
Nicole Gervacio  |  @nicolegervacio
Rachel Escoto  |  @pixelina
Rachel Welles  |  @rule_of_red
Roselly Monegro  |  @RoxieMo
Sara Diamond  |  @saramyrupdiamond
Sarah Deragon  |  @sarahderagon
Sharlynn Vee  |  @sv1
Sherese Elsey  |  @sherese_romo
Sierra Hawthorne  |  @srhawtho
Simone Blakeney  |  @ifwenever
Stephanie A Lindsey  |  @steph_lindsey
Theresa Bruckner  |  @tea_bea
Tina Noren  |  @tinaisrad
Vivian Chen  |  @vivianchenphoto

Congratulations, artists!

High five, especially to those artists showing art for the first time!

See the list of all artists who have shown work with Femme Cartel.