Philanthropist-arts patron Ann Hatch and builder-Buddhist priest Paul Discoe form a most unusual and accomplished duo
Paul Discoe and Ann Hatch
, married now for two years, lived full and fulfilling lives apart from each other, married to other people, raising families and pursuing dynamic and -- at first glance -- disparate careers.
, timber heiress and descendent of a Minnesota family known for its contributions to the arts, has been a major mover and shaker in the San Francisco art world for decades.Philanthropist, art collector and patron of the arts are all appropriate labels, but they fall short in her
two biggest efforts -- masterpieces of her
own art form -- are The Oxbow School
in Napa and Capp Street Project in San Francisco, innovative endeavors to encourage and showcase visual arts.Both have earned national reputations, along with their founder.
For the better part of two lifetimes, Discoe and Hatch
moved in similar but different circles revolving around wood, architecture, building and art.
grew up in Pebble Beach and Carmel Valley, and by the time she
hit 21, she
was starting to feel a little hemmed in.
"There was one narrow road in and out of the valley, and you always saw your neighbors going and coming," Hatch recalled."One day I was driving and thinking about something else, evidently, and I failed to wave back when somebody drove by the other way.
"So what starts going around? 'What's wrong with Ann?
Enter Paul Discoe, who drew plans incorporating some of the original house, rough Douglas fir from Hatch's
family timber business in the California foothills and a large dose of Far Eastern influence.
At their Occidental Road property, Discoe and Hatch
have an extensive tree nursery down the path from sprawling vegetable and flower gardens.
, who has been intimately involved at The Oxbow School
since it started six years ago, is gradually graduating to college.A member of the board of directors at both Oxbow and California College of the Arts in San Francisco, Hatch is shifting more of her energy to the college, which recently folded Hatch's Capp Street Project into the school.
reached a milestone this year with full enrollment," Hatch said."I feel very good about that."Carol Vena-Mondt, a Sebastopol furniture designer, store owner and friend of Hatch and Discoe, said Oxbow and Capp Street are examples of what elevates Hatch to a higher level of art philanthropy.
"Most collectors collect either for investment or for status, but Ann Hatch
is rare as a collector and supporter of the arts," Vena-Mondt
is a great organizer, and her
love for art and helping the arts along through places like Oxbow
and the Capp Street Project are wonderful," said Margrit Mondavi.
...Hatch was president of Capp Street until 1997, when it became part of California College of Arts and Crafts (the Crafts part has since been dropped from the name).Hatch, awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the San Francisco Art Institute, is a trustee of the Walker Art Center and a member of the boards of the Oakland Museum and the Addison Gallery of American Art at Phillips Academy, Andover, in Massachusetts.