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 space for local artists, to provide affordable studio spaces for local artists and creative small businesses, and provide free exhibition space, art supplies, studio space, and education for teen artists.

ArtHatch provides continual networking and business development opportunities to artists and small businesses at no cost for tenants.

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.

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.

Gallery Staff

Megan Misako Darrough

Megan Misako Darrough is an artist and designer who works on social media and marketing for ArtHatch, helping other artists get exposure in the community and beyond.

Her passions include writing graphic novels, painting, drawing, and scaring people.

During Halloween season she works as a haunted house scare actor and does SFX makeup for monsters and zombies at her family's company: Dead Time Dreams Haunted Attractions. She holds a BFA in Illustration from the California College of the Arts in San Francisco.

She loves green tea ice cream and dressing up like zombies.

Be sure to experience Megan's hilarious posts on Last Spot's IG as well as her art first hand in our windows and in our uber cool new, Micro Gallery - all artworks 10 x 10 of smaller. You will fall in love with her characters and find them very hard to resist.

Stephen Davis

Stephen Davis is ArtHatch's extrodinary event photographer who captures all of Distinction's important events, including monthly receptions and all night Art-A-Thons! You can find him wandering the building with lots of gear and perfect timing as he subtly captures the night's events and his subjects demeanor.

Additionally he shows his fine art fine art photography around town and beyond including at The Photographer's Collective Eye and EThe Escondido Arts Partnership.

Stephen is known for his innate ability to capture artists doing what they love. His street photography as well as his portraits connect us to his subjects innocence.

Jessica Dickerson

Jessica is ArtHatch's lead graphic designer. She creates all of our ads, postcards, vinyl, websites, and related print and digital marketing materials.

She is meticulous, creative, and organized. She is a huge asset to the gallery and we are grateful that she has stayed with us for so many years.

Jessica is a local artist - she loves anime - as well as an avid biker, camper, and illustrator.

.If you are looking to hire a phenomenal free lance designer Jessica is available for outside jobs.

Suki Liebow

Suki Liebow is a contemporary artist who uses multi-media art including paint, micrography (tiny writing), wire, enamel, pen and ink, plaster, and pencil sketching as a form of emotional movement and expression. In Suki's more than 20 years of research on the impacts of emotional trauma on human psychology and behavior, her primary focus has been on the successful integration of emotional processing as a key component of achieving productive communication and healthy relationships. Much of her artwork is the outcome of her own emotional work.

Along with several other businesses, Suki Founded Suki Liebow Designs where she offers commissioned art and custom design work. She is a Studio Artist and Grant writer at Arthatch and is an executive board member of the Oceanside Cultural Arts Foundation, and currently resides in Oceanside, CA.

Melissa Inez Walker

Melissa is the CEO and founder of ArtHatch. After craving a creative space to work ArtHatch was added to the complex in 2010. It has been the perfect way to work around other creatives as well as give back to the community.

Michael Walrond

Michael is ArtHatch's preparator and often assists in event planning.

As an artist, Walrond thrives in the surreal. His photos are never quite what they seem to be. Striking images of women are juxtaposed with flora or strokes of colored lights. In another, the figure is partially submerged underwater, creating a rippling effect that otherworldly mottled the skin. A few others were physically manipulated, either through rough pen scrawls or the mutilation of the negative itself.

Looking at Walrond's photographs is like looking through a dream-like haze into another universe only colored with bright colors or muted tones, never in between. It is impossible to focus on anything, yet you are intimately aware of everything.

Be sure to visit Michael in studio 5A. Hopefully you can experience his art in person before he heads off to Berlin for a summer residency, but don't worry he will be back soon and undoubtedly with a phenomenal collection of film based imagery.

August Williams

August is our go-to tech consultant. He can literally make anything tech related you can possibly dream up turn into reality. He has pioneered many of our high tech projects including the puzzles in ArtHatch Escape Rooms, Last Spot Art Bar (come see his cool ceiling that lights up to match our art videos!) and dozens more projects. His latest creations have been NFT projects for both the gallery and in house artists!

Additionally, he is an artist, printer, and dabbler in all electronics.


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.

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