Now Playing

Back in Front

JoAnne Artman reveals her secret stash.

James Verbicky’s “Citta Samtana Diptych”

It doesn’t matter how many new and eclectic works JoAnne Artman displays in her eponymous Laguna Beach gallery’s main exhibit space, most folks still scurry toward the back—the very, very back—in search of hidden treasure. “It’s like they don’t even see what’s in the front,” says Artman. “They just walk in and gravitate to the back because they think I’m hiding something or there’s something going on, and that’s where all the good stuff is.” So, on May 15, Artman will reveal her hidden treasures and give her visitors a look at special works that she’s kept buried in her back rooms. The Back Room Spring Celebration! runs through June 30 and showcases creations by some of the gallery’s core roster of about 15 featured artists, including Belgium-born figurative painter Anja Van Herle, New York’s mixed-media master Robert Mars and the Seattle-based canvas-paint-sculpting team Stallman (artists Stephen Stum and Jason Hallman). Some of the notable pieces on view, Artman says, include a neon Chanel No. 5 bottle by Mars, a sneak peek at a new series by mixed-media artist James Verbicky titled Divisionaire and a new painting by Mexico’s Pedro Bonnin titled “Constellation III.” “It’s great to be able to come in and see bits and pieces of what we have going on, and I feel like it’s very strong work,” Artman says. “These are pieces that I love. It may not be everybody’s taste, but if you enjoy contemporary art, this is going to be a really wonderful show.” 326 N. Coast Highway, 949.510.5481