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

Melissa Inez Walker

Melissa is the owner and director of Distinction Gallery. She is a life long entrepreneur and avid art lover and who lwas taught business from a very early age by her Dad. Sitting still is not in her vocabulary. Having come from the world's best parents she was destined to work tirelessly and in turn constantly give back.

She founded the gallery with her late husband, Sam Pulvers, in 2004. The pair purchased and renovated the space constantly until Sam's quick and untimely death from cancer in 2018.

Walker has continued to honor her late husband as well as engage her passion and love of work including adding 4 additional studios, a much needed second bathroom, and the complex's latest addition, Last Spot Art Bar, in Sam Pulvers memory. The wine and beer spot creates one more reason for guests to spend time in the 7,000 sq ft arts complex.

Megan Misako Darrough

Megan Misako Darrough is an artist and designer who works on social media and marketing for Distinction Gallery, 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 Distinction's 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.

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.

Jessica Dickerson

Jessica is Distinction Gallery'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.

Stephen Davis

Stephen Davis is Distinction Gallery'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.

Victor Roman

Victor Roman's passion for expressing himself through art motivates him to sketch and paint whenever he can. Sometimes, you can find him sketching people on the train or in a casino but on most days, you will find him painting in his studio until the early hours of the morning. Painting in the night after work, shows dedication and after 3 years of study at Palomar College, Victor's talent has grown exponentially. Victor's work is collected from patrons from around the world. Victor is the go-to guy for anything extra awesome including hanging and re-arranging art, touching up frames as needed, and creating extra special gems and surprises throughout the building.

Mia Savage

Mia Savage is a painter and art history enthusiast. Born and raised in Hong Kong, she studied ink painting before moving to Massachusetts to study art. After working in New York, she moved to Los Angeles for an artist residency and has lived in California ever since, persuing oil and watercolor. Mia teaches painting and art history to students of all ages.

Martita M. Foss

Alumni artist, Martita M. Foss is back, working as a grant writer, focused on ArtHatch's teen program. Martita took time out to work on her BA in studio art and completed her master?s in arts administration during the covid lockdown. Her art studio is a stone throw from Distinction and ArtHatch (across the street on Grand). She is thrilled to be back in the building working on grants that will serve the needs and mission of ArtHatch.


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.

July 2022    ArtHatch Studio Artists Group Show on Beautiful.Bizarre

July 2022    ArtHatch Studio Artists Group Show on AllEvents

July 2022    ArtHatch Studio Artists Group Show on SDvan

June 2022    "There's No Place Like Home" Amandalynn's Solo Exhibition on Newsbreak

June 2022    "There's No Place Like Home" Amandalynn's Solo Exhibition on KPBS

June 2022    Amandalynn's Solo Exhibition "There's No Place Like Home" on Super Sonic Art

April 2022    Amandalynn's Solo Exhibition "There's No Place Like Home" on Beautiful.Bizarre

May 2022    Kelly Vivanco's Solo Exhibition on News Break

May 2022    Kelly Vivanco's Solo Exhibition on Daily Advent News

May 2022    Kelly Vivanco "The Resilient Edges" on KPBS

May 2022    Kelly Vivanco's Solo Exhibition "The Resilient Edges" on Beautiful.Bizarre

May 2022    Kelly Vivanco's Solo Exhibition "The Resilient Edges" on Super Sonic Art

April 2022    Hoss Cruz's Solo Exhibition "Metal Earth" on Newsbreak

April 2022    Hoss Cruz's Solo Exhibition "Metal Earth" on Beautiful.Bizarre

April 2022    Beautiful Bizarre Tweet's Hoss Cruz's Solo Exhibition "Metal Earth"

March 2022    Will Gibson's Solo Exhibition "Modern Tintypes" on Super Sonic Art

March 2022    Will Gibson's Solo Exhibition announcement for "Modern Tintypes" on KPBS

March 2022    Will Gibson Solo Exhibition "Modern Tintypes" on Beautiful.Bizarre

February 2022    Virginie Mazureau Solo Exhibition announcement for "Enchanted Lands" on KPBS

February 2022    Virginie Mazureau Solo Exhibtion "Enchanted Lands" on Beautiful.Bizarre

January 2022    11th Annual Art-A-Thon on KPBS

January 2022    11th Annual Art-A-Thon on CBS8 news

December 2021    Valency Genis Solo Show "Vesceral Varmints" on Bizarre.Bizarre

December 2021    Valency Genis "Visceral Varmints" on All Events

November 2021    Denise Bledsoe "Bizarre Bazarr" on News Break

November 2021    Denise Bledsoe "Bizarre Bazarr" on Beautiful.Bizarre

November 2021    Denise Bledsoe "Bizarre Bazarr" on Super Sonic Art

October 2021    Gabe Leonard Solo Show: “Totally Under Control” on Super Sonic Art

October 2021    Gabe Leonard Solo Show: “Totally Under Control” Beautiful.Bizarre

September 2021    Caia Koopman's "Prints & Minis" on Super Sonic Art

September 2021    Caia Koopman Solo Show: "Chromalogical Luminations" on Beautiful.Bizarre

August 2021    11th Annual Palomar College Scholarship Auction

July 2021    ArtHatch Studio Artist Show on KPBS

July 2021    ArtHatch Artists Exhibition

June 2021    Jennifer Nicole Barber's 'Tiny Vessels' On KPBS

May 2021    Kelly Vivanco “Stowaway” Exhibition on GN

May 2021    Kelly Vivanco “Stowaway” Solo Exhibition, Beautiful.Bizarre

April 2021    "Monsters In My Head” Shane Paxton, Beautiful.Bizarre

April 2021    "Monsters In My Head” Shane Paxton on KPBS

March 2021    "Nomad" With Dinah Martin on Beautiful.Bizarre

February 2021    “Anuncios” Edwin Vasquez, Solo Exhibition on Beautiful Bizarre

January 2021    "10th Annual Art-A-Thon" on Beautiful.Bizarre

August 2020    Eusebio Travis Sevilla “Gizmos and Shivelight” on Beautiful.Bizarre

February 2020    “Censor Art” New Works by JoKa on Beautiful.Bizarre

April 2019    BIZstory: Distinction Gallery: known internationally

November 2019    Last Spot Bar: Escondido businesswoman honors late husband in new venture - The Coast News Group

April 2018    Meet Melisa Inez Walker of Distinction Gallery - SD Voyager

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

October 2017    "Grit" Gabe Leonard - San Diego Reader

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

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    San Diego Reader: Ross Jaylo: Transition

May 2016    Juztapoz Magazine: Amandalynn @ Distinction Gallery

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

May 2016    Hartford Courant: 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    Art People: 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 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 VIDEO • curated by Ixie Darkonn

February 2015    "Inflorescence" on Beautiful.Bizarre

February 2015    Kari-Lise Alexander, Video

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

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

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 Sandiego

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 Live Fast

March 2012     "Irrestistibly Idiosyncratic" Dan Barry in Juxtapoz

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

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

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

February 2011    "Macrocosm" on Hi Fructose

February 2011    "Macrocosm" on Creep Machine

January 2011    "Exuberance Found" on No New Enemies Network

January 2011    "Exuberance Found" on KPBS

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

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

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 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" feature on "Juxtapoz"

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

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

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

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: Midnight Parade

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

June 2007    San Diego Magazine: BEST GALLERY FEATURING URBAN ART

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: 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

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

June 2004    North County Times: Distinction Art Gallery Opens