Bay Ridge — Georgine Benvenuto had her picture taken at the Community Board 10 meeting Monday night. It was an unusual experience for her; after all, she’s usually on the other side of the camera.
Benvenuto, an award-winning photographer whose work has graced the pages of the Bay Ridge Eagle, is used to taking pictures, not being in them.
But when Board 10 Chairman Joanne Seminara asked her to lead the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance, she couldn’t resist. Seminara invites a prominent person from the neighborhood to recite the pledge at the start of the board meeting each month, a tradition called “The Honor of the Pledge.”
Benvenuto is a leader in Bay Ridge’s arts community whose work has been nationally recognized, according to Seminara.
“Her photographs have appeared in newspapers, television and film,” Seminara said. “Her Sept. 11, 2001 photographs are in the permanent collections of the New York Historical Society and the Library of Congress and were included in the book Here Is New York: A Democracy of Photographs and in the documentary film 9/12: From Chaos to Community. Also, some of her news coverage photographs were used in an episode of ‘America’s Most Wanted.’”
“No matter the commissioned assignment, or spot news event, Georgine has a sharp eye for detail, an intuitive sense for capturing the moment, and is driven by the need to tell a visual story through her photographs,” Seminara said.
Benvenuto is also the founder of Gallery 364, an art gallery at 364 72nd St. that features exhibitions of photographs, paintings and sculptures.
The gallery is a place “where emerging artists of all mediums join together as a group for art openings, competitions, lectures and film screenings,” Seminara said.
During the summer months, Benvenuto can be found participating in outdoor events such as the Summer Art Series at Narrows Botanical Gardens and the Greenmarket Art Fence Show. She is a co-founder of both events.
Seminara and Board 10 District Manager Josephine Beckmann presented her with a certificate of appreciation.
Benvenuto said she was honored to have been asked to lead the Pledge of Allegiance at the meeting. But the shy photographer turned down a request to speak at the meeting. “Joanne asked me if I wanted to say something, but I didn’t want to,” she said.
— Paula Katinas