December 11, 2018

Vermont Avenue communities on display in Santa Monica

Nearly every day for a year and a half, Pamela Mayers-Schoenberg woke up at 7 a.m. and traveled along one of Los Angeles’ longest streets, Vermont Avenue. She’d snap photos of the people on the street, capturing scenes from the various distinct neighborhoods. These photos are on display at the dnj Gallery at Bergamot Station in Santa Monica through May 31. 

For Mayers-Schoenberg, 44, who also owns dnj, this is her first exhibition of her own work at the gallery. She chose to showcase her “The Vermont Project,” which she completed in 1998, because she wanted to educate people about the rich cultures that exist within the city. “People don’t travel enough in Los Angeles,” she said. “I started a more educational component to my gallery. I thought my project would be a good addition.”

The Vermont Avenue exhibition includes 50 black-and-white photos of Harbor City, South Central (now known as South Los Angeles), Hollywood, Koreatown, and Los Feliz, all taken along the 23-mile street. 

Mayers-Schoenberg documented Muslim men praying in a mosque, products on display at an Asian grocery store, Latino children inspecting plants in a garden and African-American men handing out literature about the 12 tribes of Israel. There are pictures of boys warming up for a jog, a couple dancing at an outdoor restaurant, customers at a food truck, churchgoers standing with a priest and kids coloring in a classroom.