Capture This Moment:

A Group Photo Essay to Preserve This Unique Time in Your Life

Nancy Kaye, Instructor and Curator

The exhibition includes the work of: Anita Dupratt, Debra Ruby, Leslie Emanuel, Lydia Friedlich, Tobi Inlender, Nancy Kaye, Lisa Kohn, Martina Ramirez, Orna Stern, 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

Hope and a cautious optimism for 2021 were the prevailing sentiments as participants documented life at this moment of the pandemic.

In our latest group exhibition, we see the COVID-19 vaccination distribution get underway in a range of venues—from stadium parking lots to clinics. After nearly a year, protocols to protect us from the virus are now familiar, and we carry on with medical appointments, self-care, exercise, and shopping. We glimpse higher education implementing a hybrid-teaching model, safe socializing, random acts of kindness, and lighthearted gestures. We also see the various ways restaurants adapt to stay afloat and keep customers safe—although noncompliance is occasionally evident.

In this moment there is gratitude for the progress made and for new routines that have formed stronger bonds among family and friends. Although the virus still dictates our way of life, 2021 holds promise and hope for a return to normalcy.

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

NYE, Robin Venturelli, December 31, 2020, Pacific Palisades

To celebrate New Year’s Eve in a socially distanced way, we joined two other couples and planned strict guidelines. We would sit in the family room at three separate tables, we would keep the sliding glass doors open to the patio, and we would each get take-out food so we each had our own meal and no shared items. My friend had a great time decorating the 3 tables with party hats and favors. We all got dressed up and wore layers for the cold room. It was a real treat to say goodbye to 2020, a year we all disliked, and welcome in 2021, a year with hope for a better future.

A New Start To A New Year, Robin Venturelli, February 10, 2021, Los Angeles

Upon completion of the Moderna double vaccination series, there is finally hope on the horizon. It feels as though 2020 is officially behind us and 2021 now marks the beginning of real hope. I can feel an end is in sight. As more people join the ranks of the vaccinated, lives are being saved and we can soon return to a less fearful way of living.

Covid Vaccine Accomplished, Robin Venturelli, Los Angeles, January 16, 2021

Covid Vaccine, Robin Venturelli, Los Angeles, January 16, 2021

Covid Vaccine Crew At Work, Robin Venturelli, Los Angeles, January 16, 2021

Waiting in my vehicle for my vaccination, I watched CORE volunteers and LA Fire Department and medical staff travel in tandem from car to car at Dodger Stadium. Pushcarts contained coolers with temperature-controlled prized doses of the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine. As I drove my way in and out of the cones, a three-hour journey, I thought of the last time I was at Dodger Stadium—for a Rolling Stones concert—and how lucky I was to be among the 15,000 people vaccinated each day.

Elated, I took a selfie with my husband and we entered the “vaccinated” zone. I felt as if I’d won the lottery, received a golden ticket, a get-out-of-jail-free card. It was my first sign of freedom. I hoped that one day I’d be back at the stadium for another musical event.

Portrait of Patience with Determination, Lydia Lane Friedlich, January 27, 2021, Los Angeles

We never exchanged a word, but the determination in his eyes spoke volumes. Waiting in line on a very cold, windy day his apparel made a statement, too. His poncho with the picture of a Native American squarely centered on his chest, complimented by a camouflage blanket, and finally his artfully tilted hat all exuded confidence. Considering the deeper question, it is clear that the mask kept him safe, the apparel kept him warm, the chair gave him comfort, and COVID kept him patiently waiting.

Hallelujah, Anita DuPratt, January 31, 2021, UC Davis

What a relief when my husband was notified that he would get his first vaccination shot. Dealing with the pandemic for a year seems like such a long time, but when we think about how quickly a vaccine was developed and how it is being administered throughout the world, we are grateful. SCIENCE WINS OUT.

Thank You Essential Workers, Debra Ruby, February 6, 2021, Placentia, CA

Walking my dog has been a wonderful way of coping with the changes since COVID-19. Until now, I hadn’t seen any new chalk drawings since last March. The Associated Student Body of Kraemer Middle School left a message of thanks at a nearby park for essential workers.

Hygienic Hygienist, Debra Ruby, June 4, 2020, Santa Monica

Going to the dentist before COVID-19 wasn’t such a big deal. Now my hygienist covers up completely and there is a cover on the chair. Before she just wore the mask and gloves and there was no cover on the chair. I have gone to the dentist a couple of times since COVID began and I feel very safe.

A Gentle Touch, Leslie Emanuel, Los Angeles

A gentle touch during the pandemic goes a long way as my mother gets her eyes thoroughly examined through a Retinal Imaging camera. In a world where human contact is scarce this kind gesture is heart warming.

Changing Protocol, Anita DuPratt, January 30, 2021, Grass Valley, CA

The pandemic has necessitated a change in how we do things; in-person visits at the doctor’s office to discuss the results of an MRI have been replaced with COVID safe Zoom calls on our computers. How strange the world has become; I feel like I am living in a sci-fi movie from my youth. But how grateful I am that new technologies are keeping us safe.

We Are Together in the World, Orna Stern, January 2021, Rockefeller Center, NYC

The War of the Titans, fought to decide which gods would have dominion, ended with the Olympian gods victorious. Atlas, the Titan, was forced by Zeus, king of gods, to bear the heavens on his shoulders. But with the world now bearing the weight of the pandemic, even Atlas wears a mask.

Group Hug, Debra Ruby, Los Angeles, June 13, 2020

My friends and I have been getting together on zoom every week since COVID-19 began. Last June we got together for a socially distant birthday party. This is our improvised group hug at the end of the evening. We really wanted to hug each other, but since we are from different households we thought this way would be safer.

Surmounting Obstacles, Lydia Lane Friedlich, Los Angeles, 01/28/2021

Before the pandemic, my friends and I met weekly to play Mah-Jongg inside my home at a game table, with tiles at our fingertips. When COVID-19 arrived, our games halted. We struggled to understand how to cope with the disease that stopped our lives as we knew them. Our effort to gather again involved our game, but our determination was driven by our friendships and the need to see each other. The result was that the backyard became our play yard, our tiles were replaced with tablets, and our masked distance apart was never less than six feet.

Drive Through Anniversary Party, Debra Ruby, Orange County, July 12, 2020

Celebrating milestones is different now. My friends celebrated their 50th anniversary over the summer with their son. They set up in front of their house and everyone drove by to congratulate them and say hello. Our car club hasn’t gotten together since COVID-19 began and we miss each other. It became a drive through car show for them!

Reach Out and Touch, Lisa Kohn, February 2, 2021, Woodland Hills

My dear friend’s mother lives in an assisted living facility. She’s grateful her mother has a first floor room with a balcony, making it possible to see her from a short distance during the pandemic. Most families are not so fortunate. Until recently, the front doors were closed to family members. On this day, mother and daughter share a special birthday celebration, feeling blessed to be able to reach out to each other.

A Visit, Leslie Emanuel, February 2020, Los Angeles

My mother’s first visit to my apartment after recovering from COVID-19 at the age of 94 was an emotional moment for both of us.

Captain Tom Moore, Lisa Kohn, February 2, 2021

What an amazing humanitarian. Captain Tom Moore became a beacon of hope in the early days of COVID when he raised $45 million by walking 100 laps around his garden in England to celebrate his 100th birthday in April 2020. Unfortunately, he contracted COVID in early February 2021 and died shortly thereafter. A very bittersweet story.

Once Useful, Now Useless. Anita DuPratt, January 29, 2021, Grass Valley, CA

A simple face covering that protected against the transmission of the COVID-19 virus is so carelessly discarded. The mask is a blight on the landscape, as the virus is a blight on our lives.

What is Your Narrative?, Leslie Emanuel, February 2020, West Hollywood

This photo speaks to the multilayered narrative that defines people at this time. As we peel away each layer that represents a part of our former lives—connection, spontaneity, cultural activities, travel, family traditions and life celebrations—we are aware of all the losses that we have endured.

Yarn Bomber, Orna Stern, February 2021, Westport, CT

Since the pandemic, the safest way to see friends is outdoors. It was on a walk that we noticed trees covered with bright knitted yarn. We discovered that a mysterious knitter creates these magnificent works of art, and in the dead of night installs them like a stealth graffiti artist. In these days of anxiety and fear, she brings inspiration, color, and hope to us all.

The Socially Distanced Sink, Martina Ramirez, February 2, 2021, Los Angeles

In pre-COVID times, the restroom down the hall from my biology faculty office at Loyola Marymount University could be a busy place, especially between class periods. Now, I seldom see anyone there, given that students, faculty and staff are mostly still at home, eleven months into pandemic life.

Keep Your Distance, Orna Stern, January 2021, New York City

When I saw the floor of the Dyson store, it reminded me of a hopscotch game. Six feet distancing is the new game in town.

Shopping Anyone?, Lisa Kohn, January 29, 2021, Woodland Hills

MASKS ARE REQUIRED!!! When will the shopping malls be full of people again? Will masks be a fixture for years to come? For now, masks make me feel more comfortable and safe.

Non-Compliance. Anita DuPratt. February 6, 2021, Grass Valley, CA

In our small town there are a few restaurants that have banned together to protest COVID-19 safety restrictions, which have caused catastrophic economic hardship. These restaurants do not require employees to wear masks, they do not require patrons to social distance, and they do not limit serving to just outdoors. They are NON-COMPLIANT.

Time to Checkout, Lisa Kohn, February 4, 2021, Studio City

Going to the market is one of my favorite outings. Since COVID-19 started, it’s one of the few places I still go to weekly. I appreciate how friendly and kind the checkout person is. Wiping down the area so that she and I are safe from any nasty germs.

That Extra Step, Anita DuPratt, January 29, 2021, Grass Valley, CA

We make choices everyday, and I choose to shop at a local grocery store where someone is assigned to disinfect each cart after each use. When I enter this store, I am confident that I will have a less risky experience during this risky time.

Rituals, Tobi Inlender, January 30, 2021, Los Angeles

Grocery unpacking followed by a mother/son walk is a ritual that began with the pandemic. My son shops for both of us and is serious about wiping down the groceries. We then take off for a leisurely, generally substantial, walk. I cherish this time to talk and just be together. The quantity, quality and consistency of this time—and the amount of exercise, for me at least—would likely not be the same had we not found ourselves in the COVID time warp.

Outdoor Dining, Leslie Emanuel, LA, February 2020

This moment in time captures the reopening of outdoor dining during the pandemic. People are feeling happy to be able to resume normal activities after LA lifts the stay-at-home orders.

BRRR…It’s Cold, Orna Stern, New York City, January 2021

No one is allowed inside a restaurant in New York City. The sidewalks are populated with temporary structures, but winter is here. A new take on the freezer zone.

Deli Pick Up, Orna Stern, February 2021, Westport, CT

A COVID craving for a pastrami sandwich prompted me to order one online, and I picked it up outside the store.

Hungry and Homeless, Lisa Kohn, January 21, 2021, Sherman Oaks

I saw this man carefully digging through a trashcan in front of my car, taking his time to hopefully find something worthy of pulling out. Should I watch or turn away and give him some privacy? This is not the way it should be.

The Kindness of a Stranger, Anita DuPratt. February 11, 2021, Nevada City, CA

This past year has resulted in tremendous economic hardship. Businesses have closed, people have lost their jobs, and families have gone hungry. Without the assistance of strangers, many people will not eat tonight. How heart warming to see food being left for anyone to take.

Helping Hand, Anita DuPratt, February 12, 2021, Grass Valley, CA

Food insecurity is a major problem and during the economic downturn of this past year, many more families have been in need of assistance. I am saddened to realize how many people are “food insecure” but happy that a local non-profit organization, Interfaith Food Ministries, with the help of volunteers, is providing assistance to those in need in our community.

Street Reflection, Tobi Inlender, February 4, 2021

I drove to a new neighborhood to walk. It was a glorious, sunny day and I felt so free. Then I realized that it felt so extraordinary because I wasn’t wearing a mask on a walk for the first time in nearly a year. I went back to my car and masked up, then continued on my walk. This is what walking during a pandemic looks like.


Where is Elmo? Orna Stern, February 2021, Westport, CT

My granddaughter loves to play with Elmo. At two and a half, she has learned about masks and shares one with Elmo. Looking for a good place for Elmo brought a smile and reminded me that long after the virus is gone, Elmo will still be putting smiles on our faces, young and old.

My Favorite Mailbox, Lisa Kohn, February 10, 2021, Sherman Oaks

I drive by this bronze mailbox often. The lifelike, whimsical sculpture always catches my eye. When COVID started, I noticed that the mailbox boy was now wearing a mask, as if to remind all those who walk, run, or drive by how important masks are. He has had his mask on for the entire pandemic. I smile at this neighborly gesture every time I pass by.

The Car as the New Classroom, Martina Ramirez, January 30, 2021, Los Angeles

Doing Science Behind Plexiglas, Martina Ramirez, January 30, 2021, Los Angeles

Doing Science Through Glass, Martina Ramirez, February 9, 2021, Los Angeles

As a biology professor at Loyola Marymount University, I’ve helped undergraduates in my Spider Research Lab adapt to COVID safety protocols, including social distancing, maximum occupancy limits, and Plexiglass shields. Students work together safely, as with these seniors who are weighing a tarantula skin. Students can sometimes be seen on opposite sides of glass doorways, showing each other experimental items while speaking loudly. Some students regularly log into online biology Zoom classes while seated in their cars in order to get better internet connectivity; to escape from siblings, pets, etc.; to have parking lot meet ups with classmates; and more. Yet another challenge they’re navigating during the pandemic.

Photography in the Round, Orna Stern, Tel Aviv, Israel November 2020

Photography helps us to bond with each other and enriches our lives with inspiration and healing power. The annual Tel Aviv photography festival was held in the open air this year of COVID and the images were hung on a temporary wall. I travelled to Israel to see my mom, and visited the site a few times. During COVID times we have to reimagine new ways to connect and enjoy art.

Baby Biker, Robin Venturelli, February 3, 2021, Santa Monica

Driving down the street, my heart melted as I saw this father son masked duo out for a bike ride. I had to stop and take a photo. The “baby biker” seemed to enjoy the ride and not mind wearing a mask, which he’s probably quite used to. It made me wonder about our youngest generation—how much of the pandemic they’ll remember as they grow older; how much of the pandemic realities will perhaps become a part of their daily lives.

Catch Me if You Can, Orna Stern, February 2021, Westport, CT

The bright pink color and the matching mask caught my eye. Stores are missing on Main Street and so is some of the vitality, but life goes on for the kids who just want to play.

Gymnastics, Tobi Inlender, February 5, 2021, Los Angeles

Slowly, my grandchildren have been able to resume some of the activities they enjoyed prior to the pandemic, albeit with adjustments. The gymnastics coach comes to the backyard rather than the kids going to the gym. I used to love to go watch the energy of the group activity at the gym and see the older girls as they progressed as well as the little ones. But I am ecstatic to be able to cheer my granddaughter on in the yard.

The Mask, Lydia Friedlich, Los Angeles 01/28/2021

For the past year the mask has been the focal point of my activities, as it is here in the photo. It is a necessary accessory to safely enjoy bike riding and hiking, while my garage is a safe place for working out with my new hand weights. The spirit is willing, the mask is ready, let the games continue!!!!!

Anytime, Anywhere, Nancy Kaye, January 18, 2021, Culver City

Using sheets of straw draped over metal piping, Anytime Fitness constructed an outdoor gym in a section of their parking lot. There are many rules clearly posted about safely using the makeshift gym, but how well are they observed?

My Time, Anita DuPratt, Grass Valley, Ca, February 1, 2021

Pressures, anxieties, fears, and frustrations melt away while practicing Tai Chi. Emptying ones mind and focusing on breath and movement is a much needed respite during this year of the pandemic. I am so grateful for Zoom, which provides me this opportunity, in the safely of my home.

It’s Required!, Anita DuPratt, February 2, 2021, Nevada City, CA

So many new protocols to follow during this pandemic if one wants to stay open and stay safe for oneself and one’s customers. Sanitize, sanitize, sanitize.

Victor’s Glorious & Much Needed Haircut, Lisa Kohn, Woodland Hills

My husband loves his haircuts. And he loves getting them like clockwork. With salons in Los Angeles closed from late Fall till late January, you can imagine how grown out and unruly his hair was by then. After the cut I could see he was a very happy and grateful man.

Hope, Anita DuPratt, January 31, 2021, Sacramento

While my husband and I were waiting at UC Davis to be checked in for our first COVID vaccination, I noticed a display on the wall. How appropriate to see the words “Partners in Hope” given the year that we have experienced and the step we were about to take—getting our vaccination.

Hope Rolls On, Leslie Emanuel, West Hollywood

My daughter is leaning against the mural wearing her mask while deeply feeling the restrictions the pandemic has placed on her life. Meanwhile, in an alternate universe, she is driving away without a care in the world…