Artist Builder Creates Total Environments

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By Denis Zelazny
Contributing Writer for Regional Marketplace
Back yard deck and landscaping create an outdoor living oasis.
Back yard deck and landscaping create an outdoor living oasis.
Expanding the home allows for growth and discovery of new spaces.
Expanding the home allows for growth and discovery of new spaces.

As an artist and builder with many hats, Anthony J. Bellomo offers his skills as a resource when asked by clients to help them with their life improvement project. He believes the entire space inside and outside the building should be considered; as “it’s all good living space”. Generally when a homeowner invites him to build a specific project, they usually have the concept pretty well thought out.

He listens as their stories reveal their spirit and preferences to all of the art elements. Listening for descriptive words in the discussion like contemporary, modern, traditional, eclectic, simple, spartan, busy, Victorian, early-American, or country all help to direct the design’s light, colors, textures, shapes, forms, and lines allowing him to create an idea specific to the client. Then, when their thoughts and words are spoken and they have no more to say, he takes this communion of dreams, prayers and stories, spills them out, and makes his unique art.

After receiving a degree in education from Wayne State University and becoming a member of The National Teachers Association, Bellomo began his teaching career in 1970. He believed his role, as an art educator, was to lead his students to the brink of their own creativity. This is exactly the approach he tries to use in building for a client who wants something more than a box.

Bellomo's eye for architecture and design detail is truly unique.
Bellomo’s eye for architecture and design detail is truly unique.

The spirit filled Cursillo weekend (De Colores), organizations like Form / Reform, The National Association of Home Builders and Remodelers, The Michigan Landscape Association, and the Association of Consultants for Liturgical Space (ACLS) have been sources of continued education, inspiration and information over the years. The message the artist ascribes to as a consultant is to share his gifts with others.

As a general contractor and developer of shopping centers and day care centers, Bellomo researches deeply the demographics of the adults and children who will use the spaces he designs and builds for them. The Reggio Emilia philosophy and approach to education and learning has inspired his buildings and art career a great deal. Bellomo wants people to grow, interact, explore and discover the spaces he builds.

As a liturgical artist, Bellomo offers himself to a faith community as an empty vessel when invited. He walks with them, prays with them, shares dreams and listens to their stories as they fill his empty common cup with their faith. In becming a member of the Society for the Arts in Health Care, Bellomo found a haven of like-minded people. This coalition of artists and medical professionals are documenting empirical data on art experiences in a health care setting and the positive effects art has on all involved. The synergy created in sharing his ideals and ideas with hospital staff, patients and their families is in itself a hopeful and a spirit healing process for all.

This past year Bellomo’s son asked him to build a tree house with him and my grandchildren. After jumping on the Internet and researching tree house safety concerns, they began. Three generations shared this tree house dream. As the structure grew into the oak tree canopy, careful not to damage a leaf or a child, another sanctuary emerged.

Becoming a senior citizen, Bellomo realizes that all his life has been part of building many sanctuaries, Cathedrals, Temples, Mosques and Synagogues. Holy places are all; in the homes, schools, gardens, hospitals, malls and the tree house with all the precious people. By listening to others and helping them build their dreams, he has come to realize his own. Curiosity has been his favorite tool. The grain of life’s wood has shaped him as an artist. Each convolution in this endless flow of experiences move his chisel, guiding it as it pleases. Trusting in his faith and people, this art and building career is only a part of something far greater. Long after the spaces and objects he has created are gone, the sharing of the spirits that created them will live beyond the boundaries of time and space.

Bellomo believes that “by sharing the crayons, a healthy talking paper conversation will lead to dreams, desires, and disagreements revealing personalities and helping me design and build a specific Life Improvement Project.”

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