Capture This Moment:

March 2021

Nancy Kaye, Instructor and Curator

The exhibition includes the work of: Judy Adams, Anita Dupratt, Jeff Gottesman, Nancy Kaye, Randi King, Debra Ruby, and Robin Venturelli.

The workshop, lead by Nancy Kaye—professional photographer, educator, and curator—served not only as a creative outlet for students, but also as a way of sharing experiences and connecting with others in an empathetic way.

Organized by the Soraya Sarah Nazarian Program in Fine Arts

Chief Curator, AJU: Dr. Rotem Rozental

With the arrival of spring 2021, which marks the pandemic’s one-year anniversary, there is a sense of renewal and, for some, a pull toward resuming joyful and social activities. As more and more people receive COVID-19 vaccinations and medical experts assure us of the effectiveness of masking, we cautiously carry on. At the same time, many struggle with losses brought on by the pandemic.

Restaurants are more innovative in making social distance dining safe. Some youth group sports resume, schools edge toward in-person learning, and public spaces such as theme parks and gardens open for limited use. Signage reminding people of safety guidelines is prevalent. While some reemerge into more public activity, perhaps with creative masks and style, others remain warily ensconced at home.

The call of spring and the sense of rebirth it engenders are tempered by knowing that COVID-19 has yet to be vanquished. Many of us cautiously resume elements of our earlier lives with this reality in mind and wait for an “all clear” signal.

To view the June 2020 Exhibition, click here.

To view the July 2020 Exhibition, click here.

To view the August 2020 Exhibition, click here.

To view the October 2020 Exhibition, click here.

To view the December 2020 Exhibition, click here

To view the January 2021 Exhibition, click here

To sign up for our April 2021 session, please click here

Dining in a Plastic Tent, Jeff Gottesman, March 2021, Los Angeles

Many restaurants have been devastated by the pandemic and many get creative with ways to lure customers back. Du-Par’s Restaurant at The Grove tries plastic tents around their outdoor tables.

Covid Crop Circles, Jeff Gottesman, March 2021, Los Angeles

Circles in the grass delineate personal spaces that allow people to safely enjoy the fresh air and sunshine.

Isolation, Anita DuPratt, Auburn, CA, March 3, 2021

The pandemic has created both mental and physical isolation. I observe a man waiting to see a doctor. He appears so alone in his thoughts and in his space. The sense of isolation is magnified when I see the mandated social distancing reminders on the waiting room seats, which separates us even further. I watch and wonder when this sense of isolation will end.

Please Wait Here, Jeff Gottesman, March, 2021

You have seen them everywhere. You’re tired of them. When will we be comfortable sharing the dots with others? Will we keep them around as a reminder of life as it was?

Schat’s Bakery Line, Debra Ruby, Bishop, CA

There is always a line out the door of Schat’s Bakery during peak hours, but since Covid the line is even longer. Now, we have to spread out and wait our turn to enter. I actually prefer the shop being less crowded.

Schat’s Bakery Counter, Debra Ruby, Bishop, CA

All the suggested safety precautions are in evidence at Schat’s Bakery.

No Chances Taken, Anita DuPratt, Roseville CA, March 5, 2021

We are moving forward combating the pandemic; people are more comfortable shopping in person, and more people are in check-out lines instead of using Door Dash or ordering online. Life has a sense of normalcy. But I still shop where I feel safe, where stores mandate social distancing, and also require their employees and patrons to wear masks. I take no chances.

TJ Carts, Debra Ruby, February 2021

The other markets where I shop don’t sanitize or keep track of how many shoppers are in their store anymore, but Trader Joe’s still does a year into the pandemic. I feel safer and well cared for at their store.

Food Secure For Today, Robin Venturelli, February 19, 2021, Santa Monica

The Santa Monica Farmers’ Market has remained open each week of the pandemic. Renowned chefs, local families, and our sizeable homeless population frequent it. Organic fresh fruits and vegetables are available and priced well. I notice a woman leaving the market, who, at least for the time being, seems to be “food secure.” When I looked into her eyes, I could see the weariness and impact of living on the streets.

Light My Fire, Robin Venturelli, March 6, 2021, Santa Monica

Restaurants are now open for nighttime dining, and in Santa Monica that means sitting outside even when it’s cold. Outdoor heaters make the dining experience pleasant, so sales of heaters have sky-rocketed since the pandemic began. When I make a dinner reservation, I request “under a heater” because those tables are the first ones taken. As a back-up, I bring layers of clothing, since on a few occasions I’ve been under a heater that ran out of propane or broke down.

Dining Out, Debra Ruby, March 4, 2021

Restaurants have been innovative in creating safe dining spaces, and masked waiters keep their distance from the patrons.

At Last, Anita DuPratt, Folsom, CA, March 12, 2021

Restrictions are being lifted, outdoor dining is the new norm, and families can safely go out to eat.

Sad Eyes, Randi King, February 2021

During the pandemic, while visiting a friend, we attempted to interact through the window. I felt a sense of sadness and isolation. I missed our close interactions, which always ended in a hug.

Can I Come Out Now?, Jeff Gottesman, March 2021

Some of us remain sequestered in our homes, and this spring are finally asking if it’s safe to emerge now.

City Hall, Randi King, February 2021, Los Angeles

During the Covid shutdown, downtown city streets were empty as people worked remotely from home. This reflection of City Hall as seen from a vantage point across the street, made the urban scene seem remote. It all felt surreal!

The New Normal, Anita DuPratt, Grass Valley, CA, March 14, 2021

After a huge fund raising campaign, our community arts center was gutted and replaced with a state-of-the- art performing arts facility. It opened in early March 2020, but after only one performance, the pandemic shuttered the facility. In March 2021, shows are still virtual, performed to an empty house, with only cut-out cardboard faces watching.

Finding a Way, Anita DuPratt, March 16, 2021, Nevada City, CA

Faith can be a guiding light, particularly in times of distress. During this pandemic many houses of worship have embraced modern technology as a means of nourishing one’s spiritual being.

The Friday Boys, Robin Venturelli, March 5, 2021, Santa Monica

I encountered The Friday Boys on a Friday afternoon as they were out spreading the word about the upcoming Passover holiday. They handed me instructions on the Biblical mitzvah of eating matzah, and the latest edition of their periodical. I told them about my Jewish mother; they listened with interest and we enjoyed a spirited conversation, as they let me take their portrait.

Vaccine Prep, Nancy Kaye, 2021, Los Angeles

The health care worker preparing a syringe showed a precision to her task that gave me tremendous reassurance—after all, the Covid-19 vaccine is a precious commodity. I also noted the thorough sanitary precautions taken, including the band-aid sealing her mask to her nose.

Finally, the Jab, Jeff Gottesman, March, 2021

Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe, who has granted us life and sustenance and permitted us to reach this moment.

No Crowds Yet, Judy Adams, March 13, 2021, Universal City

Scanning for 100.4, Judy Adams, March 13, 2021, Universal City

We’re Going to City Walk, Judy Adams, March 13, 2021, Universal City

Happy to Have You Back, Judy Adams, March 13, 2021, Universal City

Los Angeles County entered the Red Tier in March 2021, which allowed shopping and dining to reopen. Theme parks could hold limited capacity special events but rides were not yet open. It felt good to be outside on a beautiful weekend afternoon, although City Walk was full of reminders that we’re still a long way from returning to “normal.”

Runners, Jeff Gottesman, March, 2021

Like young shoots pushing their way up out of the soil after a hard winter, runners make their way down Ocean Avenue in Santa Monica. Still masked, but signs of renewal are becoming apparent.

Play-It-Safe, Anita DuPratt, February 28, 2021, Rancho Cordova, CA

After a year of no team sports, we are entering a new phase that allows children to renew friendships, to improve athletic skills, and to compete in tournaments—but also to play-it-safe by wearing a mask!

March Madness, Judy Adams, March 9, 2021, Lake Balboa

Over the past year my physical activity has been limited to dog walks around my neighborhood. On a rare trip to the park I was pleasantly surprised to see that these young men—for the most part—have not let mask requirements prevent them from driving to the basket.

Morning Rides with Ashley, Jeff Gottesman, March, 2021

Early in the pandemic, I gave up my gym membership and purchased an exercise bike. I spent a lot of time on this bike and travelled the world on it (well, in my imagination anyway). Here I am in Switzerland on a beautiful morning with my virtual trainer Ashley.

Stretched to the Limit, Robin Venturelli, March 3, 2021, Santa Monica

My daughter used to do an exercise cycling class in a room with loud music full of many sweaty people and a peppy instructor. She loved it so much that she held her birthday parties there and had us all take the class with her. Now that her class is shut down, she exercises without friends on the beach or in an apartment. She misses the companionship. She is stretched to the limit.

Dedication, Robin Venturelli, March 4, 2021, Santa Monica

This is Sal, the postal carrier for my apartment building. He works 12-hour days, and often seven days a week. He chooses to do overtime because he takes care of his elderly parents. Despite this grueling work schedule, he is continuously cheerful. I’m grateful for the dedication of postal workers. Whether they bring catalogs, bills, or personal notes and gifts, I’m glad for the connection mail provides to the outside world.

Protect and Respect, Randi King, March 9, 2021, Los Angeles

I noticed this sign—protect and respect—in front of an empty elementary school. It expressed our civic duty to treat everyone equally. A valuable, teachable lesson so perfectly located in front of an elementary school.

Live Together, Ride Together, Debra Ruby, February 2021

Wearing masks is a part of life now everywhere. The management at the ski slopes posted guidelines to keep visitors safe. This lift operator was tired of telling skiers and snowboarders to cover their noses, so he added additional instructions to the sign. Why bother wearing a mask if you don’t wear it properly?

Masked, Debra Ruby, February 2021

In addition to the protection of masks, many people choose theirs to make a personal statement. Never underestimate an old man with a Corvette—this “old” man will out drive you and out race you.

A Mask Out of This World, Robin Venturelli, March 14, 2021, Santa Monica

This bartender on Ocean Avenue mixes up martinis and margaritas for locals and tourists along a bustling sidewalk restaurant. Her sunglass mask is a form of face-shield, which gives her a chic futuristic vibe. People notice her mask from far away and come to check out the restaurant. As techno music plays in the background, my husband and I enjoy our outdoor Sunday brunch there each week.

Birds of a Feather, Robin Venturelli, February 19, 2021, Santa Monica

This stylish girl and her bird were waiting patiently for the bus. She was not going to let a pandemic crush her fashion-sense and originality. Seeing her made me feel happy, carefree, and hopeful.

Precious Pups, Robin Venturelli, February 7, 2021, Sausalito

I couldn’t help but notice “the most popular lady” on the street. People in the neighborhood wanted to stop and chat with her and see her pups. Going for a walk with her dogs dressed in outfits matching hers turned out to be the perfect way to attract strangers to chat with her. Given the lonely and self-isolating times we are experiencing, she seemed to be enjoying every minute and every person who stopped her to say hello.

Joy At Last, Robin Venturelli, March 7, 2021, Pasadena

This lady dressed up in a vibrant outfit to spend a day in the Huntington Gardens. She told me she was full of joy at the prospect of finally being able to leave her home. She wore a flower-filled outfit to celebrate her newfound freedom and the coming of spring, hope, and anticipation of the ending of our worldwide pandemic.

Foster Success, Judy Adams, March 19, 2021, Lake Balboa

In the first week of the pandemic, I brought a sweet dog home, thinking I’d foster him for a couple of weeks until the shelter reopened. People joked that I’d be a “foster fail,” but everything about having Toby keep me company during the past year has been a success. We celebrated the day he left the shelter while simultaneously marking one year of sheltering at home together.

Mystery, Nancy Kaye, Los Angeles

With most people wearing masks during the past year, I’ve missed seeing new faces. At least character masks create a humorous look, and I’m intrigued by the transformation. The carefully coordinated outfit stood out at the park where an open-air structure was partially enclosed to create a more private place to administer vaccinations.

The Wolfman, Jeff Gottesman, March, 2021

The Farmers’ Markets seem to have much less foot traffic during the pandemic. Here, a vendor sports an attention-getting mask, which sure got my attention and business as well.

Peas in a Pod, Jeff Gottesman, March, 2021

A Santa Monica Farmers’ Market vendor has adapted by making and selling her own masks. So many people have gone into the mask business as a side gig. Perhaps the doll is a role model for children.

Joy, Anita DuPratt, March 10, 2021, Grass Valley, CA

Imagine my delight when I saw this adorable girl, wearing an adorable mask, with her adorable dog. When I asked her parents if I could take her photo, they were delighted as well. And they were so grateful when I sent them a copy of the photo! Simple things spread joy, particularly during this time of the pandemic.

Shopping Indoors, Risky Business, Robin Venturelli, March 14, 2021, Santa Monica

I’ve spent a year buying everything online, from groceries to prescription medication. When I finally got vaccinated, I decided to treat myself to a new pair of shoes. I ventured into the mall and entered a department store. I felt so sneaky! It was a luxurious thrill to try on shoes and purchase a perfectly fitting pair.

All Your Bubbly Needs, Judy Adams, March 13, 2021, Universal City

With hands dry and chapped from overuse of astringent antibacterial soaps and hand sanitizers, customers are now eager to pamper themselves with fragrant bubble baths and rejuvenating lotions.

Sunday in the Garden, Robin Venturelli, March 7, 2021, Pasadena

The Huntington Gardens is the ideal location to stroll amongst the trees, sit in the shade, smell herbs, or get lost in a jungle. Families and couples find welcome relief there from their quarantining at home. Early 18th and late 17th-century statuary line the path to the central Baroque Fountain. I couldn’t help but notice the frolicking statues watching over the frolicking visitors in the garden. It seemed that everyone was happy to be out in the garden on Sunday.

Photographer, Robin Venturelli, March 7, 2021, Pasadena

The Huntington Gardens is a lovely place to spend a Spring afternoon. I noticed this young couple in the Chinese Garden, and the fact that he was shooting portraits of her while she was wearing her mask. They were capturing the moment and not trying to necessarily “make a perfect photograph.” They will look back on these pictures and remember the day as it was, masks and all.

Waiting For…, Jeff Gottesman, March, 2021

The pandemic has put our lives on hold. We have been asked to practice patience and persevere through the lonely days, the solitary holidays, and the missed get-togethers—all in the name of the common good. The slow pace of life, the boredom, and the melancholy days drag on as we wait for life to transition back to normal, as we stay safer at home.

No Signal, Please Stand By, Jeff Gottesman, March, 2021, Santa Monica

In this past year many businesses have failed and employees laid off. The places that used to be bustling and full of people have been quiet and empty. Such places have become a common sight in my neighborhood. It will not last forever. We just wait for a signal, and we stand by.