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 MEET THE 2013 BRIO AWARDEES
   

Jeanine Alfieri   |  Sculpture

A graduate of the California College of Arts with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Textiles, Jeanine Alfieri work combines fabric, leather painting and steel. Using the female form, she combines these materials uniquely and without restriction. In 2007, Alfieri opened the Fountainhead Gallery out of her studio in Chelsea as an alternative exhibition space that promotes ‘artists to work together for the advancement of their careers’. She’s received multiple awards including Best in Sculpture Manhattan Arts International in 2007; The Hondo Valley Award, ENMU Roswell, 2004; Best in Sculpture Thirteenth Annual Edgewater Arts Festival, NJ, 2004; First Prize in Sculpture, Washington Square Art Exhibit, NY, 2004; The 2003 and 2004 Rose Award at Edgewater Arts Festival Edgewater. Alfieri moved her studio to the South Bronx in 2009 and the Fountainhead Gallery becomes a nomad project. She lives and works in Mott Haven section of the Bronx.
   

Phyllis Bowdwin  |  Fiction

Phyllis Marie Bowdwin is a Bronx-born activist, writer, mixed media artist and griot. She is a retired Life Skills Educator and Teacher Trainer for NYC Board of Education and Crisis Intervention Counselor for Marble Collegiate Church. Phyllis captures her people's history through writing and art. She was a panelist on the UN's 2013 Pre-Commission on the Status of Women Forum on the Elimination and Prevention of Violence against Women and Girls. Her short fiction and essays have appeared in editions of Reflections in Poetry & Prose and her news articles have appeared in The Black Star News and The Independent. Her art has been featured in The New York Times, exhibited at the New York Historical Society and acquired for the permanent collection of the Smithsonian's Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum. She holds a B.A. from the New School, focusing on Media Studies, and an M.A. in Education from Adelphi University.

   

Mark Cabaroy  |  Narrative Film/Video

Mark Cabaroy is an accomplished writer/director who has worked on features, shorts, commercials, music videos and educational industrials. After attending NYC’s School of Visual Arts, Mark became a freelance writer for the Children’s Television Workshop, writing for Sesame Street and the Electric Company, and made the short film The Math Zone which aired on Showtime. He made his debut feature, Life’s Passing Me By, for under $700 . This wasn’t low-budget or even “micro budget.” This was No-Budget, true independent filmmaking. His ‘little movie that could’ was ranked third amongst the top African-American films of 2009 by reviewer Kam Williams and TheBlackBoxOffice.com. Mark is currently developing a science fiction comedy web series called The Invaders. Visit www.theinvadersseries.com.

   

Natalie N. Caro  |  Poetry

Natalie N. Caro is a Bronx-born poet. She holds a B.A. in English Literature and Philosophy from Lehman College/CUNY where she currently teaches freshman composition. She was selected as one of the first recipients of CCNY's M.F.A. Creative Writing Fellowships and is currently completing her M.F.A. Her work has appeared in the literary magazine Obscura and she has read for EARSHOT and other reading series. During her free time, Natalie enjoys her role as an organizer for CCNY's M.F.A. Reading Series. Most of her writing is done commuting on the D train. She is currently working on her first collection of poetry.

   

Firan Chisolm  |  Experimental Film/Video

New York City native Firan Chisolm is an actor, recording engineer, director, producer, filmmaker, song writer and media specialist. After years under the tutelage of Ruff Ryders Entertainment, he graduated NYC’s Institute of Audio Research and quickly began coming into his own. As a musical artist, he made his national performance debut on “Showtime at the Apollo”. Determined to leave his mark on an ever changing music/film industry, while building his cinematic and directorial resume, he landed roles in four independent films with three more currently in pre-production. He also directed and edited music videos for two independent artists. Firan appeared on CBS’ “Blue Bloods” and “Elementary” and Showtime’s“Nurse Jackie”. He also appeared in “Love Doesn’t Hurt”, a stage play about domestic violence by Archie McNair. The future looks very bright for this 2013 BRIO Award winner.

   

Onyedika Chuke  |  Sculpture

Born in Onitsha, Nigeria, Onyedika Chuke's practice is focused on an ongoing essay composition entitled “The Forever Museum”, analyzing the history/historiography of museum objects and presents 3-D models (sculptures) based on the disjunctures among historical artifacts, architecture, politics and the human body. Onyedika Chuke has completed a number of residencies and commissions, including the Bronx Museum of the Arts’ AIM program and the Verbier Public Art Commission in Switzerland. He is the 2013 Van Lier Visual Art Fellow at Wave Hill Public Garden and Cultural Center, as well as a recipient of a New York City public art commission on Randall’s Island to be completed in summer of 2014. He is a graduate of Hostos Community College/CUNY and the Cooper Union for The Advancement of Science and Art.

   

Jamali Corniel  |  Storytelling

Jamali Corniel is the Artistic Director of the Herbert H. Dance Company at Lehman College/CUNY. Company credits include, Saligia: The 7 Deadly Sins (2010), Stand Clear of the Closing Doors (2011) and Scratch Off (2012). Man with a Hat and a Tan, a solo play written and performed by Corniel, was produced and directed by Dante Albertie for the Bronx Solo Performance Festival in 2011. Past performance credits at Lehman also include Summerworx and Lehmandance ‘O8, directed by Amy Larimer; Once on this Island (Andrea) directed by Felix Otero and choreographed by Amy Larimer; and Out of the Mouths of Babes written and directed by Dante Albertie. Since 2005, Corniel has volunteered her time as a dance instructor to young girls at Groove With Me. She has taught in other NYC areas and, in 2009, traveled to Venezuela to teach dance workshops to children living in Puerto La Cruz.

   

Joel Daniels  |  Poetry

Joel L. Daniels, better known as hip-hop artist "MaG", has seen his work featured in popular media outlets such as BBC Radio, RCRD LBL, URB, BRM, AllHipHop, The Source and HipHopDX. He has performed at Webster Hall, Brooklyn Bowl, Piano's, S.O.B.'s, Southpaw, Public Assembly and other popular venues in New York City. In 2013, he followed up the release of his first solo LP, I Ain't Goin' Back to Retail!, with "freedom." hosted by DJ Mick (fka Mick Boogie) and sponsored by RCRDLBL.com.

   

Dennis Delgado  |  Sculpture

Dennis Delgado is a multi-media artist whose work incorporates video, sculpture and drawing to examine the myriad ways that war and military culture in general have explicitly seeped into consumer products and more vividly into the world of video games. By re-editing video game trailers, sport-utility-vehicle commercials and documentary images of war, he brings attention to the way these images influence the way we as civilians in the United States learn to imagine the activity of war. Dennis lives and works in Bronx, New York.

   

Donna Diamond  |  Drawing

NYC born and bred, Donna Diamond graduated from Boston University School of Art with a B.F.A. in Sculpture, then pursuing printmaking at the Robert Blackburn Printmaking Workshop. Creating drawings and prints, Ms Diamond went on to make critically acclaimed art for books, winning numerous awards including the Newbery Medal and Irma Simonton Black Award. Fascinated by the power of narrative, she created a suite of paintings that was published as a book called The Shadow by Candlewick Press in 2010. In 2011, she received BCA’s BRIO Award for Printmaking and she was recently the subject of BCA’s 'Artist Spotlight'. She also received a 2008 BRIO Award for Book Arts. Her work continues to be exhibited in galleries and museums across the United States. Ms. Diamond is currently creating drawings, prints and books in her studio and at the Robert Blackburn Printmaking Workshop.

   

Elizabeth Farnum  |  Vocal Performance

Elizabeth Farnum is a highly sought-after performer of modern classical vocal music. She has premiered works by many prominent composers at such venues as Alice Tully Hall, London’s Institute of Contemporary Art, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam and in various venues throughout Australia. She maintains an interest in many genres. Her performances of early music, opera, oratorio, modern repertoire and ensemble music have taken her to five continents. She has been featured on over 30 CDs, four of which have been nominated for Grammy awards. In addition, Elizabeth has performed in Riverdance on tour and on Broadway and has appeared at the Metropolitan Opera. Upcoming engagements include concerts in New York as well as tours of California and Hawaii, premiering works written specifically for her. Elizabeth lives on City Island with her husband Ken, a piano technician, and their three cats.

   

Richard M. Frias  |  Fiction

Richard M. Frias, Bronx born and bred, is a product of NYC’s public school system. Known for his love of reading and writing, he attended Marist College in Poughkeepsie, New York, where he majored in English and minored in Social Work. After graduating in 2010, he tutored low-income, high-risk students, grades K-12, for Champion Learning. In 2011, he started working in the International Sales Department of HarperCollins Publishers as a Sales Support Assistant. By 2012 he was promoted to Sales Representative for Latin America. He has traveled to Mexico, Columbia, Panama, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Ecuador, and Peru. Feeling unfulfilled, he resigned in 2013 to pursue his passion: writing and helping his community. He currently works for the nonprofit organization BronxWorks as a Case Manager in the JobsPlus program. Richard spends his downtime writing, volunteering, playing video games and people watching on the BX2 bus.

   

Juliette Jeffers  |  Acting

Juliette Jeffers has written and performed two solo shows: Batman and Robin in the Boogie Down (Drama Desk/NAACP Theatre Award Nominations) and Chocolate Match.com (performed in conjunction with Vanessa Williams’ solo show in L.A.) Other theatre credits include Ah Ha Moments, Butterscotch and Fudge (NAACP Theatre Award Nom), Train to 2010 (The Crossroads Theatre) and Breakfast (The Fire This Time Theatre Festival). She’s also appeared in 9 films, 20 guest star TV roles and 40 national commercials. Some of her notable credits include “Grey’s Anatomy”, “ER”, “Without A Trace” and “Play The Game” with Andy Griffith. Juliette is an acting coach and teaches solo show workshops. www.juliettejeffers.com.

   

Jon Lewis-Katz  |  Fiction

Jon Lewis-Katz has taught in the New York City public school system and at Cornell University where he completed his M.F.A. in Creative Writing. He has received the Charles Pick Fellowship at the University of East Anglia and the Alonzo Davis Fellowship at the Virginia Center for Creative Arts. At present, he teaches writing at Bronx Community College and is finishing a collection of linked short stories about West Indians and West Indian-Americans in New York City.

   

Steven Lubin  |  Instrumental Music Performance

Steven Lubin’s career as pianist and forte pianist has brought him to many of the great halls of North America, Europe, Asia and Australia, where he has appeared as concerto soloist and recitalist. His modern-piano performances have been widely praised for their poetry, authority, interpretive freshness and technical excellence, and he is acknowledged worldwide as a founder of the 20th-century fortepiano revival. His recordings for Decca, Harmonia Mundi USA, Arabesque and Classical Soundings, including his epoch-making complete cycle of Beethoven concertos on period instruments, have earned international acclaim. This season he has toured East Asia, performing a Mozart concerto with the Taipei Symphony and has been offered a solo recital at a major cultural center in Tokyo. He is also about to bring out new recordings of works of Mozart and Beethoven on the Classical Soundings label.

   

Christian Lund  |  Poetry

Christian grew up in Connecticut, relocating in the Middle East when his pilot father moved to Saudi Arabia. He attended high school in Beirut, later receiving his B.A. in Philosophy and advanced degrees in English. He’s written for the wire services, general and investigative stories as a magazine editor and continues to write and publish poems and short stories, recently reading new work at the San Francisco Book Fair, at Poet’s House, and at NYC’s 92nd Street Y. He was a resident writer at the Vermont Studio Center and received the Boone Poetry Prize from the Heartland Review. Christian taught writing in the Freshman Seminar program at the University of San Francisco where he received USF's Distinguished Lecturer Award. He taught Philosophy and writing in Beirut, Lebanon and writing at Fordham (Marymount). He lives in the Bronx, is married to Louise Matsushima. They have two sons, Christian and Noah.

   

Leah Maddrie  |  Poetry

Leah Maddrie is a 2013 Bronx Council on the Arts’ Bronx Recognizes Its Own (BRIO) Literary Arts award honoree for her poetry. Her play Chasing Heaven was a 2008 O’Neill National Playwright’s Conference semi-finalist. She had a reading at La MaMa and a production at New York’s Metropolitan Playhouse, directed by George Ferencz, and was in the 2011 New York International Fringe Festival. Her play Dark Energy Stuns Universe was commissioned by the Sloan Foundation Project at Ensemble Studio Theatre (EST) and debuted in a staged reading in EST’s First Light Festival in April 2010. As an actor, Leah worked in theatres coast to coast, from the New York Shakespeare Festival to the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis to the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles and points between.

   

Ruth Marshall  |  Craft

Born in Melbourne, Australia, Ruth Marshall hand knits pelts of exotic endangered animals. She researches for months to create each of her one-of-a-kind textiles represent individual animals. With a M.F.A. degree from Brooklyn’s Pratt Institute, she joined the Wildlife Conservation Society / Bronx Zoo in 1995 for fourteen years as an exhibit sculptor. Her work is widely exhibited at MASS Art in Boston, Museum of Arts & Design in NYC, and the Textile Museum in Washington DC. Articles and books include The New York Times, VOGUE Knitting, and Surface Design Magazine, Textiles: The Art of Mankind by Mary Schoeser and her own book Vanished into Stitches. Exhibitions for 2013-2014 include Montsalvat, Melbourne, Australia; Australian Consulate in New York City; Brooklyn Botanical Garden and NYC’s The Arsenal in Central Park. She resides in Bronx, NY where she teaches at Manhattan’s School of Visual Arts. www.ruthmarshall.com.

   

Laura Napier  |  Documentary Film/Video

Laura Napier is a California-born, Bronx-based artist exploring behavior, sociology, and place through documentation, installation, and participatory performance. Solo projects include installations at P.S.122 Gallery and the Bronx Blue Bedroom Project. Napier recently exhibited and performed locally at the Bronx Museum of the Arts, HERE Arts Center, NURTUREart, No Longer Empty at the Andrew Freedman Home, as well as in California, Las Vegas, Berlin and New Delhi. She studied at Cooper Union (B.F.A. in 1998) and Bard College (M.F.A. in 2007). Awards include the DCA Greater New York Arts Development Fund; the Emergency Grant, Foundation for Contemporary Arts; and Swing Space with Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. In 2013 she organized an outdoor performance of the Flint Male Chorus and the Flint City Wide Choir with the Flint Public Art Project and resurrected her grandfather’s window cleaning business for Memphis Social, an apexart Franchise exhibition across multiple locations in Memphis, Tennessee.

   

Flaco Navaja  |  Vocal Music Performance

Flaco Navaja is a Bronx born and bred singer, poet, actor. He sings in both Spanish and English and has toured with various groups across the globe. If Héctor Lavoe Boxed Rubén Blades and KRS-1 was the referee you'd get Flaco — A nostalgic old sound with brand new spoken word. Navaja’s original style of poetry combines singing, beat-boxing and spoken word. He was the host of the legendary open mic showcase “All That! Hip Hop Poetry & Jazz” at the famous Nuyorican Poets' Café and has performed at national and international venues and events. In 2003, he toured internationally with the Tony Award-winning Russell Simmons' Def Poetry Jam and has appeared on four episodes of the HBO series. Navaja is a member of Screen Actors Guild and has appeared in several films and television shows including Pride & Glory, Fighting, Gun Hill Road, Law & Order, CSI NY and new web series Eastwilly.

   

Patricia O’Hanlon  |  Non-Fiction

I’m new to writing. In early 2012, I completed a course to teach novices how to write short stories and became addicted to writing. Words fell out of my head, always rooted in one memory or another. Numerous rejections didn’t bother me because my husband, Bob, said, “In life, you have to crawl before you can walk in everything you do.” In June 2012, I stopped crawling. Regina Williams, the editor of “The Storyteller Magazine,” took a chance on me and published two fiction pieces and one work of creative non-fiction, each winning second place in its People’s Choice Award Contest. An article about the cyber bullying of pre-teens and a memoir were published by two other magazines. My story about two Bronx kids in the 1950s won the BRIO Award for creative non-fiction in 2013. Married for 60 years, Bob and I have 4 children, 6 grandchildren, and we call the Bronx our home.

   

Melissa Primavera  |  Vocal Music Performance

Noted for her "glowing" and "sumptuous" voice, Soprano Melissa Primavera has become a favorite with NYC audiences. Melissa's operatic repertoire includes "Magda" in La Rondine, "Frasquita" in Carmen, "Nannetta" in Falstaff, "Monica" in The Medium and "Constance" in Dialogues of the Carmelites. She’delighted audiences with her comedic portrayals of "Susanna" in The Marriage of Figaro, "Despina" in Cosi fan tutte and “Adele” in Die Fledermaus. As a member of St. Petersburg Opera’s 2013 Emerging Artist Program, Melissa covered the role of “Echo” in Ariadne auf Naxos. In 2011, Melissa joined Elysium Between Two Continents’ International Summer Academy in Bernried, Germany where she performed in concert and continued her study of the German language. In 2009, she made her European and Italian concert debut as a member of the Incontro Accademico Internazionale di Musica e Teatro Bolzano and she received her first BRIO Award. Learn more about Melissa and hear her sing at www.melissaprimavera.com.

   

Amy Pryor  |  Printmaking

Amy Pryor is a Bronx-based artist who works in a variety of media, including printmaking, collage and installation to create works that both evoke and reflect on contemporary landscapes. Her work has been exhibited at numerous venues including the Bronx Museum of Art, the Islip Museum, the University of New Haven, and the 92Y TriBeCa. Her work was used as the cover art for 'Taking Aim: The Business of Being an Artist Today' (Fordham University Press). Pryor received a B.F.A. in Sculpture and Art History from Ohio University, and an M.F.A. in Painting/ Printmaking from Yale. Past residencies include Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture and Frans Masereel Centrum in Belgium. She is an alumna of the Bronx Museum of Art's AIM program.

   

Avi Rothbard  |  Instrumental Music Performance

Guitarist/Composer Avi Rothbard is an Israel-born jazz guitarist from the Bronx. Originally from Kibbutz Gan Shmuel, his first professional gig was at the age of seventeen. In 1995, he relocated to New York after receiving a scholarship to attend Boston’s Berklee College of Music. In his undergraduate years, Rothbard received numerous awards, including the Jimmy Hendrix Award, AICF Sharett Scholarship and The Boston Jazz Society Award. He’s performed and recorded with such jazz greats as Ben Riley, Richie Cole, Jeremy Pelt, Freddy Cole, Wayne Escoffery, Mike LeDonne, Grant Stewart, Warren Vaché, Mike Clark and Ray Drummond. He’s appeared at the JVC Jazz Festival, Red Sea Jazz Festival, Harlem Festival, Jazz at Aspen Snow-mass, Juan Le Penn, Tel Aviv International Jazz Festival, Cape May Jazz Festival, Brooklyn Jazz Festival, Toronto Jazz Festival and The Greater Hartford Jazz Festival. Mr. Rothbard has recorded 5 CDs under his own name. He holds an M.A. from City College.

   

Robert Silverman  |  Music Composition

Robert Silverman is a pianist, trumpeter, and composer who has been a fixture in the New York Jazz scene since 1985. After a stint in Europe and assorted gigs with Albert King, Jimmy Heath, George Russell, Cecil McBee and the Ron Levy Bluesman band, Robert went on to form his own ensemble featuring original compositions, the blues and standards. Mr. Silverman has been featured in New York on NBC TV, WKCR, WBAI and WNYC Radio's Around New York. He is the recipient of two "Meet the Composer Grants".

   

 

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