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926 N. Yosemite St., Stockton (408) 564-1910 Catalyst926.com



The vision for a business that effortlessly melds art and wellness was born out of necessity for Saul Serna. Two areas he noticed were lacking in Stockton were those that catered to the mental wellbeing of residents and those that nourished local artists looking to showcase their works. So, when a location opened for rent on Yosemite Street, a revitalized area of Stockton, Saul jumped at the opportunity to bring this concept to life.

At its core, The Catalyst Arts & Wellness Studio is a space for artists, both established and budding, and those that have an interest in art, even just as consumers. “Everything we do to the building has to be an experience and has to be instagrammable,” Saul explains. Many have stopped by to snap photos in Umbrella Alley, a curated photo-op just outside the shop, and inside, the experiences continue. Pop-up art shows and installations change every other month to showcase local artists, including many who have relocated from the Bay Area, drove out by high home prices, and given the Stockton art scene a revitalization of its own.

On Wednesday nights, Robert Kelley, an established and celebrated local artist who usually takes home large commissions for hosting workshops across the country, teaches for free, inviting the Stockton community to come in and learn to draw, whether they are an artist themselves or an amateur looking to learn the craft. From 6-8 PM, anyone is welcome to stop in and learn from the mastermind—materials provided.

For the life-long artist himself, Saul also contributes to the artist space with his own creations, commonly made out of acrylics, oils, and/or charcoals. Known around Murphys for creating Day of the Dead wine labels for a small collection of wineries, he’s hell bent on making a difference as an entrepreneur, looking forward to starting art and wine strolls near The Catalyst, bringing more artists into the space, and hosting receptions where artwork can be oogled, ogled, and bought. “My focus is to just really support art and the artists,” he says.

On the wellness side of the studio, The Catalyst hosts support groups including one for moms run by a local woman from Manteca and another for those on an IVF journey. Tackling tough topics like infertility in a safe space surrounded by peers is one way The Catalyst uses its space to provide free (and necessary) services to its community.

Yoga classes offer another aspect of healing. With three instructors on payroll, interested individuals can head to The Catalyst for a slow-paced yoga practice, or even attend a Self Care Sunday, hosted about every other month, boasting breakfast, mimosas, meditation, and sound baths.