Carmel photographer opens BEHN Gallery in Carmel


From left, Roben Bellomo and his daughter, Neva, son, Bodhi, and wife, Adrienne, in front of the the BEHN Gallery. (Submitted photo)

Carmel photographer Roben Bellomo didn’t want a traditional art gallery.

Bellomo and Dallas-based photographer Jim Hamel wanted a more creative approach to their gallery, providing experiences through the art.

“We wanted a place where everybody could engage in some way, shape or form,” Bellomo said. “We are doing quarterly exhibits of limited pieces. The opening collection is part of a perspective series, which plays on the way we all experience the world in different ways. We were on a trip to Ireland last year for two weeks. We went to all the same places and at all the same time. What we were trying to do was show how differently we saw what we saw and how differently we captured it. Maybe we should take more time talking and listening to how other people experience the world instead of thinking it’s all the same.”

BEHN Gallery, 2149 Glebe St., Suite 100, opened late last month in the Village of West Clay in Carmel.

The gallery’s name is derived from the initials of the names for Bellomo and his wife Adrienne’s children, Neva and Bodhi, and Hamel and his wife Susan’s children, Elizabeth and Hannah.

Although Ireland was the first exhibit theme, Bellomo said there will be different artwork to display the creativity of both co-owners.

Bellomo and his wife opened BELLOMO Studios in 2014, centering on fine Portraiture, small business branding imagery and commission pieces.

“We’ve been growing since then,” he said. “I was looking for an outlet for my own creativity,” Bellomo said. “The idea of BEHN Gallery was born to start displaying work.”

From left, Roben Bellomo, Adrienne Bellomo, Susan Hamel and Jim Hamel at BEHN Gallery’s grand opening. (Submitted photo)

In addition to art, the pair plans to offer art education, multi-sensory events, networking opportunities, overseas excursions and more. Plans are under way for photography trips to France and Ireland in 2022, hence the selection of entertainment for the grand opening event.

Bellomo plans some workshops.

“I taught school for 10 years, so I plan to bring workshops here that revolve around the studio business. It could be for business on branding, it could be about portrait work or an educational thing about how to use a camera,” he said. “It could be enrichment. Maybe I’ll do a short kids’ program. I’m into partnering with other business. Our goal is to bring art in the community and allow people to engage with it.”

Bellomo said the free introductory workshops will provide an opportunity to learn about the business. The workshops are presented in two different times spots on the BELLOMO Studio’s four tiers, with the gallery being the fourth tier. The sessions are 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 5 to 6 p.m. Tier 1 is Fine Portraiture, Oct. 7; Tier 2 is Business and Personal Branding, Oct. 14; Tier 3 is Commissioned Fine Artwork, Oct. 21; and Tier 4 is BEHN Gallery, Oct. 28.

“The artwork in the gallery will rotate,” Hamel said. “We don’t intend to put up our greatest hits and leave them there, but rather create an evolving collection of limited-edition pieces. Our goal is to introduce art into people’s lives in a way that helps them feel connected and creatively energized.”

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