Artists take home 11 BRIO awards


By Kate Mcneil

Riverdale and Kingsbridge residents dominated this year's Bronx Recognizes Its Own (BRIO) awards, given by the Bronx Council on the Arts. Eleven local artists - out of 25 total winners - took home a $3,000 grant for their creative works.

In the literary arts category, Riverdalians Judith Baumel and Amy Gottlieb were honored for their poetry.

A graduate of the Bronx High School of Science, Ms. Baumel is director of the creative writing program at Adelphi University. Ms. Gottlieb is currently an arts fellow at the Drisha Institute of Jewish Education.

Six local residents took home prizes for their work in visual arts: Tenille Blair-Neff, crafts; Donna Diamond, illustration; Michelle Frick, installation art; Kuniyasu Hashimoto, painting; Micky Schon, painting.

Hrvoje Slovenc, whose work is included in a permanent collection of the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago, took home an award for photography.

Mezzo-Soprano Anna Tonna Brown, a soloist in Mozart's Requiem with the West Village Chorale, was recognized for her vocal performance and both clarinetist Igor Begelman and jazz pianist Toru Dodo were honored for their instrumental music pieces.

Local pianist Steven Lubin won his second BRIO award for instrumental music. The pianist has performed in major halls in fourteen countries. His cycle of the complete Beethoven Concertos was chosen as recording of the year by Gramophone.

All 11 local residents were honored for their achievements at a ceremony on June 4.

Since 1989, the Bronx Council on the Arts has recognized 25 Bronx artists annually. The selection of the awards is based solely on artistic excellence, and made by a panel of professional artists. BRIO awardees must complete a one-time public service activity to receive their cash award.