To produce free monthly opening receptions for the public to enjoy art, watch artists create, listen to live music, and ask questions.

To provide affordable, juried exhibition and working studio space for local artists, and provide free exhibition space, art supplies, studio space, and education for teen artists.

Additionally, ArtHatch has added an escape room to the complex to serve as an ongoing fundraiser for the program.

Inspire. Educate. Create.

Studies have shown engaging in art and creativity also generates a wide range of positive outcomes, including:

Increases in academic achievement.

Higher graduation rates and college enrollment.

Improvements in literacy and language abilities.

Better communication and performance skills.

Heightened cultural awareness.

Greater self esteem.

Board of Directors

Melissa Inez Walker

Founder and CEO

Mark Chavis

Owner, M. Chavis: Color + Texture + Fine Finishes


Jonathan Pool, CPA


Kelly Vivanco

Professional Artist


Travis Sevilla

High Tech High

Arts Teacher

Joanne Brey

Escondido Union School District

Language Arts Teacher

Advisory Board

Katie Ragazzi

Escondido Education Foundation

Executive Director

Doug Simay MD

Simayspace, Owner

San Diego Arts College, Co-Founder

Fred Baranowski

AmericanWest Bank


Lori Holt Pfeiler

San Diego Foundation

Chris Cochran

Stone Brewing Co.

Community Affairs Manager

Johnny Bear Contreras

Professional Artist

Who we are?

We are a board made up of business owners, CEOs, artists and professional community members.

What we do?

We provide artists working in all medias a place to create, exhibit, and blossom.


Melissa Inez Walker.

Melissa Inez Walker is the founder and CEO for ArtHatch. She curates the front gallery choosing featured artists from around the world to be exhibited. Walker also interviews and often seeks out the 45 local artists who rent studio space within ArtHatch.

Working with teens is no new venture for Walker. She volunteered with Oceanside's StandUp 4 Kids as a volunteer counselor for 5 years, in college she was a big sister as part of Big Brothers Big Sisters, and in high school she served as the president of Key Club, the schools community service organization.

Walker received her BFA in photography and art history from the College of Santa Fe then moved to CA where she held various esteemed positions in the art world including with the Museum of Contemporary Art, Philipp Scholz Rittermann, and Joseph Bellows Gallery. Before opening the gallery in 2004 she exhibited her own artwork at galleries and museums throughout the United States.


Mark Chavis.

Mark is a licensed architect, general contractor and owner of M. Chavis: Texture Fine Finishes. He truly understands the importance of keeping young artists working and the value of original art. Along with having collected a significant collection of emerging artists work, he is also the father of an up and coming teen artist, one of the many inspirations behind the starting of ArtHatch.

Like any good dad, Mark nurtures his daughter's talent by making sure she has the most up to date tools and going above and beyond to encourage her talent (he once took her bed to the middle of a desert for her photos shoot).


Travis Sevilla.

Travis is an artist and educator currently working for High Tech High North County. A recent transplant from LA, Travis has attended Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California, and received his BFA from OTIS College Art and Design in Los Angeles. He has an MFA in Studio Art from the University of California, Irvine and has been teaching art for the past six years. Travis is enthusiastic about art, art education, and working with young artists. He is truly excited to be part of the Art Hatch organization.


Jonathan Pool.

Jonathan is the well respected and trustworthy owner of Jonathan Pool CPA. He has been working with the gallery for many years and was the first who advised the gallery to seek non profit status. Jonathan is an avid art collector specifially of black and white photography. Jonathan has served on number boards and contributes greatly to ArtHatch and is a strong reason for it's sucess. Jonathan is a father of two and lives with his wife and youngest child in San Diego.


Press Links.

November 2017    "If Our Days Won't Last" Curated by Jon Jaylo on Beautiful.Bizarre

October 2017    "Grit" Gabe Leonard

September 2017    "Fall to Rise" Ross Jaylo on Beautiful.Bizarre

August 2017    "Immortalized: Lipstick and Chrome"

July 2017    "Superlife: Uncut" Andreas Englund on Beautiful.Bizarre

June 2017    "Fur, Tails, Feathers, Scales" ArtHatch Studio Artists

May 2017    Linda Adair Interview + Echoes @ Distinction Gallery


April 2017    June Stratton: In The Garden - Beautiful.Bizarre Magazine

February 2017    Scott Rohlfs - Artist ‘Made You Look’ with striking women - Pacific Magazine

September 2016    Jon Jaylo in The Coast News Group

September 2016    Jon Jaylo @ California Center for the Arts in Beautiful.Bizarre Magazine

September 2016    Pacific Magazine: Ross Jaylo: Transition

September 2016    Pacific Magazine: Jon Jaylo: All These Answers That May Never Come Our Way


May 2016    Juztapoz Magazine: Amandalynn @ Distinction Gallery

May 2016     Supersonitart.com: Amandalynn’s “Seasons of Change” at Distinction Gallery.

May 2016    instagrafite Magazine: ‘Seasons of Change’ A Solo Exhibition by Artist Amandalynn

May 2016    Discover SD: Amandalynn returns to SD for art encore

April 2016    Thumbelina by Hans Christian Andersen (Author). Illustrations by Kelly Vivanco

April 2016    Casey Weldon Presents Electric New Paintings in “Stray Voltage” - Hi Fructose Magazine

April 2016    "Stray Voltage" in Beautiful.Bizarre Magazine

March 2016    Vivanco: 'Tendrils' by Beautiful Bizarre

March 2016    Kelly Vivanco – Investigating Lands of Wonder – Artist Interview

February 2016    Rave Jaylo: LA Art Show

February 2016    Vanguard Culture: Michael Aaron Williams

January 2016    LA CANVAS: 5 Booths to Check Out at This Year’s LA Art Show

January 2016    ArtPin: 10 Booths That Caught Our Eye At The LA Art Show

December 2015    SD City Beat: ArtHatch Art-A-Thon

December 2015    Virginie Mazureau's "Free Souls" on Beautiful Bizarre

November 2015    Prints on Wood Show on Beautiful Bizarre

September 2015    "As The Moon Draws Water" on Eclectix

September 2015    "As The Moon Draws Water" on Hi-Fructose

September 2015    "As The Moon Draws Water" on Beautiful.Bizarre

April 2015    "The Nightmare in Wonderland Project" on Hi-Fructose

April 2015    "The Nightmare in wonderland Project" on OhNo!Doom

April 2015    The Nightmare In Wonderland project VIDEO • curated by Ixie Darkonn

February 2015    "Inflorescence" on Beautiful.Bizarre

February 2015    Kari-Lise Alexander, Video

December 2014    "Wonderbirds" on Eclectix

November 2014    "A Few Small Nips" on Beautiful.Bizarre

October 2014    "Figments"on Beautiful.Bizarre

October 2014    "Figments" on Hi-Fructose Magazine

April 2014    "Subnatural" in Beautiful.Bizarre Magazine

January 2014    Art-A-Thon in The San Diego Union Tribune

October 2013    "LUCK" on Live Free Podcast

October 2013    "LUCK" on Stilettogal

June 2013    "Dreaming in the Hippodrome" on San Diego CityBeat

May 2013    "Songs of Purity" on Paper Darts

February 2013    "Electric Sugar" on Eclectix

November 2012    "In The Folds" on San Diego Union Tribune

October 2012    "The Privileged Series" Video

October 2012    "The Privileged Series" on San Diego CityBeat

October 2012    "The Privileged Series" on Pacific Magazine

October 2012    "The Privileged Series" on San Diego LGBT Weekly

September 2012    "Taetrum et Dulce: Lux in Tenebris" On Cartwheel

April 2012    "Crossing the Divide" On Lost at E Minor

April 2012    "Crossing the Divide" On Argot and Ochre

April 2012    "Crossing the Divide" On Live Fast

March 2012     "Irrestistibly Idiosyncratic" On Eclectix Art

March 2012     "Irrestistibly Idiosyncratic" Dan Barry in Juxtapoz

February 2012    "The Black Market Method" in the Union Tribune

January 2012    "Art-A-Thon" on San Diego Living

January 2012    "Art-A-Thon" in the Union Tribune

October 2011    "Cuties for A Cause Calendar Release Party"

September 2011    "Immortalized: Rods and Customs of Distinction" Robert Williams Speaking and handing out awards

September 2011    "Immortalized: Rods and Customs of Distinction" Gino and the Lone Gunmen playing out front

September 2011    "Immortalized: Rods and Customs of Distinction" Blog Feature

September 2011    "Immortalized: Rods and Customs of Distinction" in San Diego City Beat

September 2011    "Immortalized: Rods and Customs of Distinction" in San Diego Union Tribune

July 2011    "Anicomically Correct" on Juxtapoz

May 2011    Jana Brike "Book of Taboo" on Hi Fructose

May 2011    "Book of Taboo" on Curbs and Scoops

March 2011    "Pillars of the Earth: A Tribute to the Masters" on Juxtapoz

March 2011    "Pillars of the Earth: A Tribute to the Masters" on Alike No. 1

March 2011    "Pillars of the Earth: A Tribute to the Masters" on Curbs and Stoops

February 2011    "Macrocosm" on Hi Fructose

February 2011    "Macrocosm" on Juxtapoz

February 2011    "Macrocosm" on Creep Machine

January 2011    "Exuberance Found" Daryll Peirce, Chris B. Murray, Mike Maxwell on Juxtapoz

January 2011    "Exuberance Found" on No New Enemies Network

January 2011    "Exuberance Found" nastyKEMical Blog

January 2011    "Exuberance Found" on KPBS

September 2010     "Quiet Homes Await an Indian Summer" Andy Haynes in Juxtapoz

August 2010    "JEST in Time: The Phylogenesis of Clowns" in Juxtapoz

August 2010    "JEST in Time: The Phylogenesis of Clowns" on Arrested Motion

May 2010    "The Lost Children": Bob Pincus and editor's pick in the Union Tribune

May 2010    "The Lost Children": Jana Brike on Arrested Motion

May 2010    "The Lost Children": Jana Brike in Juxtapoz

May 2010    "The Lost Children": Jana Brike in City Beat

April 2010    "Self Preservation": Andy Haynes and Jacub Gagnon

April 2010    "Self Preservation": In Arrested Motion

April 2010    "Carving Out A Space For Art, Artists, and Family": Union Tribune Arts by Bob Pincus

March 2010     "Curious Reminiscence": Night and Day by Bob Pincus

March 2010     "Curious Reminiscence": City Beat

March 2010     "Curious Reminiscence": KPBS: Culture Lust

December 2009    Gabe Leonard interview on ARTROCKS Radio

December 2009    Gabe Leonard in City Beat

December 2009    Gabe Leonard photo and blurb in the Union Tribune

December 2009    "SUB1K: CA STYLE" Story on sdentertainer

June 2009    "The Journal Entries of Changing Tides" and artist studios feature on "Channel 6 news"

June 2009    "The Journal Entries of Changing Tides" feature on "Juxtapoz"

June 2009    "The Journal Entries of Changing Tides" feature in "Hi Fructose"

May 2009    "Under the Sun" feature on "Drawing Attention"-pg 28-29

March 2009    "He Said, She Said" Featured in CityBeat

February 2009    "Plastic Prophets of Vinyl Redemption" Pick of the week in City Beat

December 2008    "Infinity Squared" blurb in the Union Tribune (published with Vivanco painting)

December 2008    Kelly Vivanco featured on cover of City Beat as part of feature on "Infinity Squared"

December 2008    "Infinity Squared" on Juxtapoz

November 2008    Destination Unknown Paintings on Display

September 2008    Over $15,000 raised for LBDA, see page 3

September 2008    Project 57 video on Nostica TV

August 2008     Project 57 photos on Juxtapoz

August 2008     Project 57 photos on Vinyl Pulse

August 2008     Story in the North County Times about Lewy Body Dementia and Project 57

July 2008    Saratoga Sake on Juxtapoz website

July 2008    Interview with Saratogoa Sake in "Under the Sun"

June 2008    Upcoming show "Vamperina" on Lost At E Minor

June 2008    Isaac Pierro interview in Juxtapoz

June 2008    Photos from opening night of "I Killed Qupid"

May 2008    Photos from opening night of "Mode"

April 2008    Juxtapoz

March 2008    Photos from opening night of "Midnight Parade"

March 2008    Distinction Gallery Presents:

February 2008    An Incomplete Theoretical History of a Dying Doppleganger Multiverse New Works by Josh Taylor | Opening Reception

January 2008    Feature about "Sub 1K"" and interview with the owner in the Union Tribune

December 2007    Photos from opening night of "Sub 1K"

November 2007     Photos from opening night of "If Opened Alarm Will Sound"

November 2007     Distinction voted Best Art Gallery on Channel 10 news for 2007

August 2007    KPBS: Weekend Preview

June 2007    San Diego Magazine: BEST GALLERY FEATURING URBAN ART

June 2007    KUSI News San Diego: Rod Luck showed up with artist Justin Bua - Watch Video

June 2007    Juxtapoz Opening night photos: Justin Bua appearing at Distinction Gallery

June 2007    KPBS Radio, 89.5 FM: Focus on Justin Bua and his upcoming opening at Distinction Gallery

June 2007    The San Diego Union Tribune: Justin Bua, Celebrating the Urban Experience article

June 2007    The San Diego Union Tribune: Melissa Inez Walker honored for contributions to downtown

February 2007     San Diego CityBEAT: Interview with artist Sake

December 2006    North County Times: Oceanside artist living her dream with '3 Way'

August 2006    Absolute Arts: Christopher Polentz announces solo show

August 2006    North County Times: San Marcos artist 'Lost Exhibition'

June 2006     Vision Magazine: Featured artist Hugo Salinas

May 2006    The San Diego Union Tribune: Interview with Blaine Fontana

May 2006    Today's Local News: San Marcos artist gives Escondido something to look at

October 2005    San Diego CityBEAT: Mike Feeney's March of the Penguins

June 2004    North County Times: Distinction Art Gallery Opens