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 MEET THE 2010 BRIO AWARDEES
   

Justin Allen | Painting

Justin Allen was born in Jefferson City, Missouri in 1976. He received his B.A. from St. Louis’ Webster University in 1999 and his M.F.A. from Hunter College in 2007. His first solo show of paintings are currently on view through June 12 at Robert Miller Gallery where his work was exhibited in 2009 and in 2008 at Art Chicago’s NEXT Fair. Justin’s work has been on view at Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art in Peekskill, NY, Sam Lee Gallery in Los Angeles, Scheubbe Projects in Dusseldorf Germany, and London’s Eleven Gallery where his work is currently on view in a two-person exhibition.

   
Sheryl Bailey | Instrumental Music 

Guitarist Sheryl Bailey is an in-demand leader, side-person, and educator. She currently has seven releases as a leader, including her recent “The Sheryl Bailey 3: Live in NYC.” on Mel Bay Records All of her releases feature her work not only as a guitarist, but also as composer. In addition to her solo outings, Sheryl has toured and recorded with a number of well-known musicians including pop diva Irene Cara. Sheryl has had the honor of being a Jazz Ambassador in connection with the Kennedy Center and the US State Department. Her newest release, “A New Promise” on the MCG Jazz label, is a tribute to the late Emily Remler.

 

   

Benton Bainbridge | Exp Film / Video
Benton-C Bainbridge is an artist, designer and educator who makes movies, installations, and live visual performances with custom digital, analog and optical systems of his own design. Benton-C has collaborated with scores of performers and artists on five continents. He is currently making slow motion video paintings of people and places in the Bronx. With Glowing Pictures, Bainbridge is producing the visuals for One Step Beyond, a monthly event at American Museum of Natural History that The New Yorker calls 'New York's Best Museum Party'.

benton-c.com | glowingpictures.com

   
Igor Begelman | Instrumental Music 

Winner of Avery Fisher Career Grant, clarinetist Igor Begelman’s virtuosity and imagination has been praised by critics as “remarkable display of music making” and earned him an impressive list of awards and concert engagements in the United States and abroad. Mr. Begelman keeps a very active performance schedule that combines solo, chamber music and orchestral engagements. In addition to being a Director of the Wind program at Bowdoin International Music Festival, Mr. Begelman teaches at Sarah Lawrence and Brooklyn Colleges and has been the Clarinet professor at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.

www.igorbegelman.com

   
Andrew Bui | Screenwriting

Andrew Bui is a NYC-based filmmaker, photographer, and teaching artist. Born and bred in the Bronx, his films and videos have been exhibited at numerous venues, nationally and internationally and his photography has been exhibited in a number of NYC galleries. Andrew received his BFA in film production at NYU and the Tisch School of The Arts, a fellowship from The Miramax Company (2000-2004) for study in film production, and a recipient of the 2009 Creative Promise Award from Tribeca All Access at the Tribeca Film Festival. Andrew is developing his first feature project tentatively titled “Bronxopolis” while working on numerous music video projects.

   
Vidal Centeno | Installation Art 

Vidal Centeno is a visual artist born and raised in NYC. He primarily focuses on projects that may combine three dimensional constructs, installation and various other media. Vidal studied painting and graphic design at Pratt Institute. He currently resides and works in the Bronx.

   
Michael Cuomo | Painting

The focus of my art is spiritual. It is a vehicle to express thoughts and emotion. I built cumulative layers and textures of non-figurative and figurative work. My paintings develop in stages. The first stage starts with a pencil drawing on white paper and evolves according to the response of the picture’s progress,  melding colors and textures with unrestrained energy. My goal is to continue on this path which has enabled me to find balance in life.

   
Nicholas Estevez | Performance Art 

Nicolas Dumit Estevez is an artist working in performance art, public interventions and art in everyday life. He has exhibited in the US and internationally at Madrid Abierto/ARCO, The IX Havana Biennial, Prague Quadrennial, Potevedra Biennial, The Queens Museum of Art, P.S.1/MoMA Clocktower Gallery, El Museo del Barrio, The Center for Book Arts, Franklin Furnace, and Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, among others. Born in Santiago de los Treinta Caballeros, Dominican Republic, Estevez lives and works in the South Bronx. In 2010 he will be baptized as a Bronxite in the Bronx River as part of Born Again, a public intervention developed for Longwood Arts Gallery/BCA.

   
Elizabeth Farnum | Vocal  Music 

Elizabeth Farnum is one of today’s most highly sought-after vocalists in the field of modern classical music. She has collaborated with many of today’s most prominent composers, presenting modern works at Lincoln Center, London's Institute for Contemporary Art, the American Academy at Rome and the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. She has also performed on Broadway, at the Metropolitan Opera, throughout the world on tour, and with renowned orchestras. Three of her recordings have been nominated for Grammy awards. Elizabeth is a proud resident of the Bronx and lives on City Island with her husband Ken, a keyboardist and piano technician.

   
Aldina Kennedy | Non Fiction

Aldina Vazão Kennedy is writing a nonfiction novel about love, authoritarianism, and rebellion in 20th century Portugal. She won a BCA BRIO fellowship in 2005 for a collection of short stories about her family’s history. Kennedy directed the 2010 Sarah Lawrence College Poetry Festival, the largest free poetry festival in New York State. Her poetry appears in Underwater New York, an online anthology. Kennedy won a Pulitzer for spot reporting in 1992 for her team covering of the Union Square subway crash. She majored in foreign policy and diplomacy at Brown University and has an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College.

   
Lisa Lebofsky | Painting 

Lisa Lebofsky is a painter residing in Bronx, New York. Her work investigates conflicts between the physical structured world and the dynamics of the boundless mind. She has an MFA in painting from the New York Academy of Art and BFA in metals from SUNY New Paltz. Her work is in private collections and has been exhibited in solo and group shows both nationally and internationally. She teaches fine art and design classes at private and public institutions in the tri-state area and is the director of Fuse Gallery in the East Village.

   
Vincent Marano | Playwriting 

For over 20 years, Vincent Marano has created his own brand of dynamic theatre. At the Belmont Italian American Playhouse he staged early works by Julia Jordan, classics of commedia dell' arte and Italian language productions of Pirandello, Dario Fo and Eduardo De Fillipo. He directed award-winning productions of Tim Nolan’s The Way Out (FringeNYC, 2002), Acts of Contrition (FringeNYC, 2003), and his own Confirmation (FringeNYC 2009). His other popular plays include A Collapse (FringeNYC 2006) note to self (manhattantheatresource 2007) and La Vigilia (FringeNYC 2008). Vincent’s critically acclaimed translation of Machiavelli’s The Mandrake was performed in tandem Richard Vetere's Macchiavelli.

   
Anthony Martinez | Spoken Word

Anthony Fascious Martinez is a writer, performer, Hip-Hop arts educator, and activist from the Bronx. He has appeared on VH1 as a featured artist and has toured across the United States, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Peru, and Colombia while sharing the stage with artists such as KRS-One, Immortal Technique, M1 of Dead Prez, Talib Kweli, Lupe Fiasco, Rebel Diaz, and Saul Williams. As an Urban Word NYC Mentor and Teaching Artist for institutions such as the Manhattan Theatre Club, Fascious has lectured and facilitated workshops at over 60 universities/colleges, high schools, middle schools, community centers, and prison facilities.

   

Ira Merritt | Photography 

Society interests me. I have founds richness where others may have cared not to look. My “Uncanny” series involves cans that take on dimensions way beyond their earlier intentions. The images, birds, fish, and pumpkins, ground the work in a more humane way that suggests that we need to think more about the consequences of our actions and the need to offer something back to the earth for all that we have taken from it.”

   
Josh Millis | Painting      

Josh Millis was born and raised in Pennsylvania. He has studied art and art history at Tyler School of Art, in the Temple-Rome Program and at the School of The Art Institute of Chicago. Josh moved to the Bronx in 2005. When he is not making art in his Bronx studio, Josh teaches art to children in public schools around the city for Studio In A School and the Queens Museum of Art, and to college students at Pratt Institute. 

   
Noele Phillips | Choreography 

Noele Phillips grew up in East Harlem and the South Bronx, performing in many school productions from elementary and high and throughout college, graduating from Lehman College with a Theatre major and Dance Minor. She’s performed with numerous theater and dance companies and was selected in 2007 as one of Young Dancemakers Company’s 10th Anniversary Artists. She choreographed her first dance piece (Street Life) at the 1997 dancenow NYC Festival with Young Dancemakers Company. Currently, a principal dancer and board member of the Bronx’s Kraven Seneca: Dance Company, Inc., Noele continues to celebrate all types of dance from Hip-Hop to Jazz to West African to Modern.

   
Ronny Quevedo | Printmaking

Born in Ecuador, Ronny Quevedo received his BFA from the Cooper Union in 2003 and has participated in the Aljira Contemporary Art Center's Emerge program as well as the Bronx Museum of the Arts' Artists in the Marketplace program. He has exhibited at museums and galleries including the Bronx River Art Center and Saltworks Gallery. Additionally, he is a Keyholder artist-in-residence at the Lower East Side Printshop. He currently lives in The Bronx.

   

Hannah Rosenbaum | Vocal Music
Soprano Hannah Rosenbaum was lauded for her “crystal-clear soprano” (USTownhall.com) and was referred to as “dramatically convincing” (New York Times) in her performance as Inez in Bronx Opera’s recent New York stage premiere of the Mahler/Weber Die drei Pintos. Last season, she appeared with Bronx Opera as Pamina (cover) in Mozart's The Magic Flute and sang Javotte in Massenet’s Manon with dell’Arte Opera Ensemble. Also with dell’Arte, she performed as Donna Elvira in scenes from Mozart’s Don Giovanni and this summer will sing La Ciesca in Gianni Schicchi. A graduate of the New England Conservatory, Hannah Rosenbaum now resides in the Bronx.

   
Jose Singh | Vocal Music

Discovered at the age of 18 by PMD of the legendary Hit Squad crew, Session has been slowly developing under the radar into a conceptual monster of mythic proportions. In 2000, he joined underground veterans Tonedeff, PackFM & Substantial to form the group Extended Famm. Since then, he’s been busy working the mixtape circuit, appearing on tracks with everyone from DJ Green Lantern to Sickamore to DJ Honda, to name a few, via his own New Money mixtape hosted by DJ Envy & DJ KG. He’s been featured in The Source Magazine’s “Off The Radar” column, XXL Magazine’s 24HourMC’s License To Spit, Import Tuner and URB.

   
Hrvoje Slovenc | Photography

Hrvoje Slovenc received his MS in Biochemistry from University of Zagreb and MFA from Yale University School of Art. He is a recipient of a London Photography Award, International Photography Award, Golden Light Award, Photography Now Award, American Photo Magazine Images of the Year Award, Mortimer Hays-Brandeis Traveling Fellowship, 2008 and 2010 BRIO Award, and Alice Kimball English Traveling Fellowship. His photographs are included in permanent collection of the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago.

   
Christy Speakman | Photography

Born in New Orleans in 1979, Christy Speakman is a photographer and video artist based in the South Bronx. She has received artist residencies at Portland’s Oregon College of Art, the Santa Fe Art Institute, and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, among others. Her work has been exhibited internationally in Japan (2008) and Brazil (2003) and nationally at the Bronx Museum of the Arts, NY (2009), Seattle’s Wallspace Gallery (2009), New Orleans’ Palma Gallery (2007), and the Bronx River Art Center (2006) to name of few. Speakman received her MFA in Photography from Ohio University in 2005, and her BA in Fine Arts from the University of New Orleans in 2002.

   
Pam Sporn | Doc Film / Video 

Pam Sporn is an award-winning, documentary filmmaker whose work interweaves historical narratives and personal storytelling. She has an MFA in Integrated Media Arts from Hunter College where she’s taught in the Department of Film and Media Studies. Currently teaching at Fannie Lou Hamer Freedom High School, she and her students have developed “Fannie Lou TV,” an internal, on-line monthly news show. Her “Con El Toque De La Chaveta/With a Stroke of the Chaveta” (2007) traces the tradition of “el lector” reading to cigar makers while they work, andCuban Roots/Bronx Stories” (2000), looks at immigration, racial identity, and US-Cuban relations through the lens of one black Cuban-American family.

   
Bruce Tallerman | Fiction 

Bruce Tallerman’s short stories have been published in a number of literary magazines, including the Laurel Review, the Paterson Review, Quarter After Eight, and the Green Hills Literary Lantern. His newest short story, The Beans of Belac, will appear in the Southern California Review in June, 2010. A graduate of Syracuse University, he has studied creative writing at the New School and the Sewanee Writers’ Conference. He currently teaches fiction at the Gotham Writers’ Workshop, and writes marketing and sales content for well-known corporations. Bruce is a two-time BRIO winner, having received the fiction award in 2007.

   
Nelida Tirado | Dance

Nelida Tirado, recently hailed as “magnificent” from The New York Times, is known for her intense grace and powerful style. She began her formal training at Ballet Hispanico of NY, training in classical ballet, graham, Spanish dance/ flamenco. At 19 she toured the US with Jose Molina Bailes Espanoles, was a soloist and dance captain of Carlota Santana’s “Flamenco Vivo, and was an original member of the Metropolitan Opera’s Spanish Ballet in Franco Zeferelli’s production of “Carmen”. Nelida has performed in Europe and Asia as well as the USA. She was a BRIO winner in 2007, the same year she was featured in Dance Magazine’s “25 to Watch”.

   
Sam Turner | Poetry       

A professional gardener, married with two children, Sam Turner has won the Bronx Council on the Arts BRIO award (1998, 2000 and 2003), the William C. Woolfson Award for Literary Excellence (1998), and the SUNY McIllwain Award for Poetry (1983). Sam has led workshops at the New York Public Library and the Celia Cruz Bronx H.S. of Music.  Publishing credits include: Alaska Quarterly Review, The Little Magazine, Nadir.

 

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