Passion Project

How the Hatch Gallery Supports Pure Art


Michael Singman-Aste

With the birth of their son in 2008, the owners of Ego Park gallery at 23rd and Telegraph—smack in the heart of Oakland’s first Friday Art Murmur—closed their doors to undertake “an art project called ‘Life.’” Lucky for art lovers, in stepped Adam Hatch, co-founder of nearby LoBot Gallery, who rechristened the space Hatch Gallery.

Hatch is in it for the long haul—he’s 10 years into his 30-year plan, he says—but he’s not in it for the money. “I want to have relationships with the artists and community that aren’t based on what sells or what doesn’t sell,” he says. “It’s not profit-driven. It’s a passion project, something I want to do, and I have to do.”

Hatch gives solo shows to previously unknown artists, such as Irwin Luckman, a 90-year-old sculptor who gave up art to support his family as an architect, and returned to it six decades later, as well as hosting shows where nothing is for sale.

Hatch Gallery has presented some of Art Murmur’s most notable exhibits, including Gaby Wolodarski’s Textie Textie—a banquet of imagery—and Aaron Hodges’ While We Sleep. The latter, paintings inspired by letters from a friend of the artist serving in Afghanistan, elicited Hatch Gallery’s first bomb threat.

“Somebody thought I was glamorizing soldiers in Afghanistan, which was not at all what the show was about. I don’t agree with any war at all. But what I do agree with is trying to humanize things as much as possible,” Hatch says. “It’s nice to have a more visceral kind of response from people. As long as they don’t blow me up”

Hatch Gallery, 492 23rd St., is open on the first Friday of every month from 6-9 p.m., and by appointment. For info: 510-798-6566 and


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