Soon after he was awarded Big50 in 1989, Anthony John Bellomo says he realized, “that as far as remodeling goes, we'd arrived at where we wanted to be. I had accomplished a goal and felt it was time to move on.” Bellomo's Black Forest Building Co., Mt. Clemens, Mich., had been doing design/build high-end remodeling projects that were “artsy and unusual,” he says, as well as landscaping, gazebos, and parks for municipalities. He had focused on relationship-building with clients, listening intently to who they were and trying to do something that would elevate their quality of life.
The deeply spiritual Bellomo, a sculptor and painter who taught art for 12 years before becoming involved in remodeling, always wanted to build churches. His desire to find a way to Christianize his work moved him to open A.J. Bellomo Studios ( www.ajbellomostudios.com), an arm of Black Forest that focuses on religious designs. He recently finished an extensive church renovation that includes a central altarpiece — a 9-foot bronze sculpture with etched glass. He has a stable of fine artists and hires them just as he would hire trade subcontractors on a remodeling job.
Black Forest still does remodeling, and Bellomo is happy to have successfully melded his construction skills with his spiritual desires.