Nearly 150 Instagrammers submit work

17 Apr

Nearly one hundred and fifty lovers of Instagram submitted more than a 1300 photographs for consideration for the photography show Femme Cartel is curating.

True to Femme Cartel’s mission,

  • 70% of the entrants are female
  • more than half identified as “artists of Color”
  • ~50% expressed another identity (such as queer, Oakland native)
  • ~50% said this would be their first time in an art show, and
  • 20 artists ID-ed as “youth”

While Femme Cartel highlights SF/Oakland-area artists, primarily, submissions came in from locations including Nigeria, Australia, Germany, Norway, Mexico, Canada, North Carolina, Texas, New York City, and LA.

On Saturday, April 19, the curators will review and select the artists for the show, which will take place at Rock Paper Scissors gallery in the heart of Oakland “first Fridays” Art Murmur. Shortly after selection, all artists will be notified via email.

Then, the Femme Cartel community and the public will be notified, first via the Femme Cartel newsletter. To find out which artists are selected for the show and to hear about other Femme Cartel shows, news, and opportunities, sign up for our old fashioned email newsletter! 

Tips: 3 Key (Online) Ways to Boost Your Art Career

31 Mar

We know you’re busy making art, rocking out, making the world a better place, and loving up your community (and maybe even still working a day job or two).

But that doesn’t mean you can’t have a rockin online art presence. And make some $$ while you’re at it. Here are our latest tips for emerging artists.

  1. Invest in high quality photos of your art. If your art is incredible but your photo quality stinks, no one will know how badass your art is! (If you can’t pay a photographer full price, try finding a new photographer who will swap photography for art!)
  2. Sell your art 24-7. Have a web page where your fans can buy your art even while you’re creating more!
  3. Befriend the right social media—for you! Find the platform(s) you feel comfortable with–and excited about! (You don’t need to be on every platform; you just need to be consistent and authentic on the ones you’re on.)

If you found this helpful, sign up for our e-news so you never miss this kind of thing!

Also, we’d love to hear what works for you: let us know in the comments below what you think!


Femily & Christina

First 50 photographers submit work for August Instagram show

21 Feb

Since the Call for Art went up on February 3, 50 instagrammers have submitted a total of 476 pieces for consideration in the Femme Cartel instagram show, “Beyond Breakfast and Selfies.”

While taking place at the Rock Paper Scissors Collective in Oakland, CA, the show is open to the entire globe, and submissions have come from most Bay Area cities and neighborhoods as well as urban areas like Bergen, Norway; Asheville, NC; and Los Angeles, CA.

The Femme Cartel curators are still accepting submissions through April 15th. (To get the announcement for the show sign up for our exclusive, advance-peek newsletter. To submit work for the show, submit here.)


CALL FOR ART: Deadline April 15

3 Feb

We’re gearing up for a visually stunning Instagram show at Rock Paper Scissors Collective in Oakland this summer (August 2014).

This concept is fine art photography that happens to come in Instagram form.

Think gorgeous shots of everyday life, especially arty, city-centric Instagram snaps. As always, bonus points for lady photographers, first-timers, artists of Color, and youth artists.

Submit up to ten of your favorite Instagram shots hereDeadline is April 15, 2014.


Never miss a Call for Art; sign up for our e-news.

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Buy art from FLAUNT Oakland fashion photography show

14 Oct

price sheet 2    price sheet

SF Chronicle highlights Femme Cartel

11 Oct

Beautiful Coverage by the San Francisco Chronicle. Read it and see the gorgeous photography on the SFChron site.

“Even after the show comes down…[Femme Cartel] keeps pumping up the artists who show with Femme Cartel.”

The women artists of Oakland whom Emily Howe surrounds herself with these days were just ghosts to her when she first moved to California five years ago.

“I had solo shows, then I was in some group shows, and it hit me – where are the ladies? How are there no ladies here?” Howe said. “I felt that in a diverse culture like San Francisco or Oakland, it was embarrassing … like did you overlook these women? Do you not know any?”

Howe, 34, decided to seek out the women herself. Her first show featuring women artists went up in Oakland in mid-2011, and Femme Cartel – the name for the loose network she’s built – has been growing ever since.

“The ladies were so excited about it, saying it was so necessary, that they’d been looking, too,” Howe said. “It was almost in motion energetically before I put it on the page.”

That energetic motion will plaster the walls of Classic Cars West through October as part of “Flaunt,” Femme Cartel’s seventh show and its second focusing on photography.

Oakland women and their glamorous, genuine style take center stage in the photographs – and in person, during the fashion show that strutted through the middle of the gallery at the exhibit’s opening Oct. 5.

Femme Cartel’s shows often turn away repeat artists in favor of emerging talents, and Howe has a soft spot for the newcomers.

“I love working with emerging artists,” she said. “They’re so lovely and thankful and full of gratitude, and they invite their friends and neighbors and their piano teacher. It’s so earnest and loving.”

Oakland photographer Felicia Kieselhorst, 26, said Femme Cartel was a big change from her experiences with Oakland’s art scene, which she called “a lot of chaos.”

“In general, besides showing with Femme Cartel, it’s really male dominated,” she said. “It was refreshing to find something so lady-positive.”

The photographs in the show use portraits and street-style photos to examine Oakland’s many faces. Kieselhorst’s contribution is a snapshot of an A’s fan decked out in green shirt, yellow bowtie and wire-thin mustache tips, grinning as the Coliseum clears out after a June game.

“As soon as I saw him, I was like, ‘Oh man, I gotta photograph this guy,’ ” she said. “He was totally into it. My standard practice is to give people a card, but he never contacted me. He doesn’t even know it’s hanging in the show.”

In another of the show’s photographs, four girls stare out from inside a car, sporting streaked hair and tattoos. Photographer Amanda Lopez, whose sister is one of the girls in the photo and knows several of the others, said her goal is always to create an honest photo, “something someone can look at and relate in my way, or just believe the photo.”

Even after the show comes down at the end of October, Howe said she keeps pumping up the artists who show with Femme Cartel.

“I’ll say to people, ‘I see your space, it’s a bar, cafe, pizzeria, and I have an endless supply of artists who want to show their work,’ ” she said. “I’m a reliable person who can produce art, and they need art right now. Usually when people need art right now, they pull on people they know, but I can change that.”

Flaunt: Oakland Style: Open noon to dusk on Saturdays. Classic Cars West, 411 26th St., Oakland. Free. Through Oct. 31.

Ellen Huet is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. E-mail: ehuet@sfchronicle.comTwitter: @ellenhuet

Flaunt: Oakland-style Fashion Photography

3 Sep


“FLAUNT: an Oakland fashion photography show. October 2013. Oakland, CA.
Curated by Femme Cartel.

ART OPENING: An  Oakland art party (by Femme Cartel), beer garden (by Commonwealth), and local fashion show (by GG Page).  Saturday, October 5, 2013. 12-7pm. At Classic Cars West, 411 26th St  Oakland, CA 94612

  • 12-7pm: Gallery open with beer garden & art viewing/sales.

  • 3-7pm Official Femme Cartel ‘Flaunt’ Art Opening with 5pm Fashion show.

FREE | Bring cash/checks for art & cash for eats, sips, and photo booth.

Facebook event:
Femme Cartel online:
Femme Cartel on FB:


O A K L A N D   F A S H I O N : a photography show by Femme Cartel

Oakland, California

Oakland-based art curator duo “Femme Cartel” has assembled a photographic love letter to Oakland’s vibrant, diverse, creative nature. This photography show, at Classic Cars West through all of October,  flaunts Oakland in all of it’s confidence, diversity, hotness, risk-taking, soulfulness, beauty, complexity, and cutting edge creative rebellion.

The photos showcase the personal styles of Oakland’s finest exploring/honoring their identities through what they’re wearing and how they’re wearing it.  Rocking their own self-made fashions, or expressing their personalities through individualized and unique definitions of style and fashion. Highlighting the subversive power of self-styling, the show explores tensions between feminism and fashion, consumerism and fashion, and presents a colorful, creative challenge to the narrow world of fashion “do’s and don’ts” dictated by the mainstream media.

“We specifically sought out photography that celebrated confident, positive, zesty folks who are rocking their own version of personal style and flair, said Christina Bohn, one half of the Femme Cartel curatorial duo.

The art show, featuring work by a set of Oakland’s most loved photographers, will be open for a preview during Oakland’s First Friday event (5-9pm, Friday, October 4th). The official art opening party on Saturday, October 5th from 12-7pm will celebrate all things Oakland-style and includes a craft beer garden by Commonwealth, local vegan and meat eats, a sunny/outdoor ping pong table, a costume photo booth, and a hometown fashion show by GG Page.

Femme Cartel art openings are known as upbeat, diverse, bustling events.  

“It really doesn’t get any better than a Femme Cartel art party,” says Leanne “Elrod” Rodriguez, an artist who has shown frequently with Femme Cartel, “Our audience range is massive and the vibes are sensational. I can’t get enough of it.”

Themes have included “girly graffiti” paintings, “Naked lady” portraits, hip hop feminist collage, fashion illustration, and, most recently, a photographic love letter to the San Francisco foodie/cocktail culture(s).

While the quality of the art always comes first, Femme Cartel highlights female artists front and center. In June 2011, Femme Cartel formed to celebrate female artists, diversity, and contemporary urban art.

“In the mainstream art world, male artists are given a disproportionate share of the press attention, financial backing, and art shows,” explains Emily “Femily” Howe, the founder and co-curator of Femme Cartel, “we’re changing that—and much, much faster than anyone could have imagined.”

Since their beginnings, Femme Cartel has highlighted the work of over 90 female artists (plus youth artists as well as a few male artists with strong, relevant work.).

“Think about it,” says artist Leanne “Elrod” Rodriguez, “ If you’ve got some courageous female masterminds always bringing together a beautiful and insanely talented group of female artists, that is going to constantly produce some of the best art parties in the bay area, and that’s exactly what we’re doing.”


  • Abby Wilcox

  • Amanda Lopez

  • Bousa Concepts + GG Page

  • Caroline Egan Dahlberg

  • Chun-Mui Miller of OAK STREET STYLE

  • Flee Kieselhorst

  • Jamie Thrower

  • Kevin Brown

  • Meg Allen

  • Sarah Cross

  • Thomas Victor

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


Femme Cartel’s Emily “Femily” Howe & Christina Bohn:

New Artists Announced

19 Jul

Femme Cartel is excited to announce the artists who were selected to participate in the “Oakland Style” contemporary urban art photography show in October 2013.

The show will question, explore, and celebrate personal style, independence, fashion, and identity…in our vibrant, resilient, diverse, creative, stylin city of Oakland.

The photography highlights individuals living, working, playing, activating, flirting, and makin it happen in Downtown/Oakland Metro, Uptown, East Oakland, West Oakland, Jack London Square, Port of Oakland, North Oakland, Peralta Junction, Lake Merritt, China Hill and Temescal.

Congratulations, artists:

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

Call for Photography

5 Jun


Oakland Style: a Photography Show by Femme Cartel

A group art show questioning, exploring, and celebrating personal style, independence, fashion, and identity.

DEADLINE: 7/1/2013. (You may submit final photos or samples/concept.)


The show, organized by Oakland-based Femme Cartel, will be a love letter to Oakland—our vibrant, diverse, creative, STYLIN’ city. The curators are looking for photography that flaunts Oakland-style in all of it’s confidence, diversity, hotness, risk-taking, soulfulness, beauty, complexity, and cutting edge creative rebellion.

Photos should showcase Oakland’s finest exploring/honoring their identities through what they’re wearing and how they’re wearing it, rocking their own self-made fashions, or expressing their personalities through individualized and unique definitions of style and fashion.

Highlighting the subversive, free-ing power of self-styling, the show will explore tensions between feminism and fashion, consumerism and fashion, and will present a colorful, creative challenge to the narrow world of fashion “do’s and don’ts” dictated by the mainstream media.

Bonus points for

  • Oakland streets, scenes, and settings…
  • Local fashions made by local Oakland designers…
  • People of all Colors and Ages…and Genders!
  • Fierce femmes, curvy & plus size queens, tattoo girls and boys, queer fashionistas…and other fashion/style boundary pushers!
  • All kinds of photography: Black and White, Color, Sepia, print, digital, photo-edited, instagram, hipstamatic, etc…

If you think it’s in the realm of “Oakland fashion photography”, submit it!


  • APPLY TO BE IN THE SHOW: By 7/1/13: Submit your work—or if you are inspired to do a photo shoot for this show, submit samples of your photography and a concept. (SUBMIT ONLINE:
  • GET THE NEWS: By 7/15/13: Femme Cartel notifies all applicants.

Femme Cartel Announces Foodie Photography Show

25 Mar


San Francisco, California – March 28, 2013 —

San Francisco’s foodie scene and cocktail culture is featured in a delicious art show at Roll-Up Gallery at Public Works.

The show, “Sip. Savor. Share! San Francisco Foodie Photography,” an art show by Femme Cartel opens on Thursday, May 9, 2013 with a reception from 6-9pm. (Yes! Eats, sips, and art will be for sale.)

“An intriguing mix of views into the foodie worlds of San Francisco, our show blends breathtaking instagram shots highlighting San Francisco’s diversity of food cultures, fine art food photography that borders on the abstract, and portrait photography of some of the most well-known Bay Area foodies and beloved cafes, bars, and restaurants,” explains co-curator Emily “Femily” Howe.

“Sip. Savor. Share! San Francisco Foodie Photography” is a dynamic mix of flavors as complex yet fitting as San Francisco’s complex and iconic food culture. It features some of the area’s top food and SF scene photographers:

While the show is a love letter to San Francisco, it also tips its hat to female artists. With a mission is to celebrate female artists in the contemporary urban art world, co-producer Christina Bohn explains, “Femme Cartel puts great talent and concept first. And, there is definitely a feminist mission driving our shows, whether you can see it reflected obviously in the show or not.”

Since their launch just two years ago, Femme Cartel has highlighted the work of over 70 female artists (and a handful of male artists). “With Femme Cartel,” says Leanne “Elrod” Rodriguez, a longtime artist with Femme Cartel, “You’ve got some courageous female masterminds always bringing together a beautiful and insanely talented group of female artists.”

Other recent Femme Cartel shows include a graffiti girl art show at an Oakland warehouse, a San Francisco gallery show on fashion illustration, an emerging urban artists show, a feminist hip hop culture art show, and a show dedicated to art about powerful independent ladies—in the buff.

Femme Cartel
Emily “Femily” Howe, Christina Bohn
510-520-2891 (text or call)