You never know who you are sitting next to at a volunteer organization meeting. When my son, Sam, attended Dana Hills High School, I was the epitome of the “soccer Mom.” I was Vice-President of the PTA, I volunteered on the Water Polo Team, organized textbook collection and distribution, and for three years was a member of the Grad Nite and Taste of Dana Committees. What some people on those committees did not know about me is that I was also running a company at the same time.  Like most “soccer Mom’s” I had another life.


When we took time from our busy schedules to find out more about each other’s lives we found that many of these women in the ranks of volunteers also had other talents. Let me give you just one example. For two of those high school years, I worked with Kathy Shapiro on Water Polo and Grad Nite. Now I knew she was smart, creative, and able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. Anyone who disses us “soccer moms” has never actually had to raise in excess of $100,000 for Grad Nite, pull great raffle and auction prizes out of thin air, and get 700 students to and from an event safely. It takes a colossal amount of effort and coordination, and Kathy was the leader and planner for the Taste of Dana events, and a big contributor for two other Grad Nites that I worked on.

I knew she was a great photographer because she was always taking photos at swim and water polo events and I was lucky enough to see her in action. What I did not know was that she had a great talent for taking photographs and turning it into art. Since the time when our children graduated and we all moved on from Dana Hills, Kathy has started to exhibit her photos all over Southern California and other parts of the country.  I am impressed, to say the least.

This past  April her work was featured at Snap Flash 2012: CreateFixate All Photography Show, in Los Angeles, CA. Prior to that Kathy put her art on display and in the permanent collection of Hoag Hospital in  Irvine, California. She has been in various juried exhibits from Los Angeles and Orange County to Middlebury, Vermont.  Press Releases state “Shapiro has received awards in each of the past two years’ Single Image Contest in B&W + Color photography magazine. “

Currently, Kathy’s work is being shown at the Laguna Gallery of Contemporary Art. I intend to go and see it in person; in the meantime, I have been enjoying the pictures of her work posted on her Web

As I said, I knew Kathy as a warm and dynamic woman who took photos and worked hard alongside me to make our High School the best it could be. What I didn’t know was just how talented she was in her art! Now I will be even more careful with the labels I give to the people I meet..and happy to say I knew her when.

Go see her work… and tell her Cindy sent you.

Laguna Gallery of Contemporary Art | 611 South Coast Hwy, Laguna Beach, CA 92651