Gallery Q & A with JoAnne Artman

JoAnne Artman, on running one of the only contemporary art galleries in Laguna Beach.

Robert Mars, A Phenomenon, JoAnne Artman Gallery, Laguna Beach, CA

Gallery Name: JoAnne Artman Gallery

Name: JoAnne Artman

Title: Owner and Director

Gallery Address:

326 N Coast Highway
Laguna Beach, CA 92651

A Phenomenon by Robert Mars

Robert Mars, A Phenomenon, JoAnne Artman Gallery, Laguna Beach, CA

Katie Harrell: What type of art does your gallery focus on?

JoAnne Artman: The JoAnne Artman Gallery represents living contemporary artists: some of the artists are just starting out, others have established careers, and most of these artists are in my private collection!

Jam Jam by America Martin

America Martin, Jam Jam, JoAnne Artman Gallery, Laguna Beach, CA

KH: How many artists do you represent? Can you tell us about one or two of them?

JA: We represent approximately 20 artists at any given time, and over the years, we have become more selective so we can give a greater focus to each of our artists! We try to add a couple new artists into the mix each year. This year we are thrilled to have added Alberto Murillo (Spanish, b.1974) a Spanish artist based out of the Miami area. He uses brilliant colors and textures, which make his abstracts look like stained glass. America Martin (American, b.1980), a Colombian American artist out of the LA area, has become one of our most successful artists. Creating art in a range of different media, including painting, drawing, and sculpting, her lines and bold colors distinguish her work. Canadian artist James Verbicky (Canadian, b.1973) uses resins and vintage papers, and his work is also a standout at the gallery!

Sun, Woman, and Plant by America Martin

America Martin, Sun, Woman, and Plant, JoAnne Artman Gallery, Laguna Beach, CA

KH: How do you select the artists you represent?

JA: I started with those artists I personally collected and built the gallery around my personal taste. I am very passionate about the work and the artists we represent.

Citta Samtana Diptych 60 by James Verbicky

James Verbicky, Citta Samtana Diptych 60, JoAnne Artman Gallery, Laguna Beach, CA

KH: Do you have any development plans for your gallery?

JA: We have expanded our collector base by attending various art fairs throughout the country. Our most successful relationship is with the Affordable Art Fair in New York. Even though my gallery is in Laguna Beach, CA, collectors from all over the world visit and vacation in Laguna, and we have been fortunate to meet collectors from Hong Kong to New York.

Prickly Princess by Anja Van Herle

Anja Van Herle, Prickly Princess, JoAnne Artman Gallery, Laguna Beach, CA

KH: What was your biggest sale in the past year?

JA: I would have to say that America Martin’s and James Verbicky’s works sell very well!

KH: Have you noticed a trend in the origin of your buyers?

JA: The success of the gallery is the quality and diversity of the work we represent, and we are only one of a handful of Contemporary Galleries in Laguna.

KH: What is your next important show? Tell us why we should come.

JA: We just opened America Martin’s annual solo exhibition. America has started sculpting in addition to her original paintings and wonderful paper pieces. It is so exciting to see her new three dimensional work!

KH: Have you noticed any noteworthy changes in the gallery market?

JA: No obvious change: Great art is still great art!

KH: Has the Internet dramatically changed the dynamic of your business?

JA: The Internet is a double-edged sword: On the one hand, as a gallery we must be in tune with all social media, on the other hand, the collector can “shop” the Internet once they have decided on a specific artist rather than on a specific piece.

KH: What do you use artnet for? How frequently do you use it?

JA: artnet is a key piece in our marketing strategy and aids us in our Internet presence!

KH: What advice can you give to a first-time collector?

JA: Go with your gut and buy the largest piece you can afford if you love the artist and the work!

KH: If you could have dinner with any three artists, living or dead, who would you choose?

JA: Pablo Picasso (Spanish, 1881–1973), Andy Warhol (American, 1928–1987), and Cindy Sherman (American, 1954)!  Can I also pick Salvador Dalí (Spanish, 1904–1989)?

Follow Artnet News on Facebook:

Want to stay ahead of the art world? Subscribe to our newsletter to get the breaking news, eye-opening interviews, and incisive critical takes that drive the conversation forward.
Article topics