Becton Art on Display at Bellibone Salon!


Bellibone salon artists working in the presence of Becton Art!

As ideas were circling in Ms. Kehoe’s head about initiating an art exhibit for students outside of the classroom, a lightbulb went off. She was sitting in a chair at Bellibone Salon in Maywood when she noticed fantastic artwork on the gallery wall. She thought it would be “…a perfect way to display student artwork in the community” and that it “seemed like a great place to start.” After reaching out to a few small businesses to display Becton art, this opportunity came about.

Kehoe met with Sofia Magripilis, the co-creator of the female-owned-and-led business, to discuss the possibility. According to the “About” section of Bellibone Salon’s website, co-creators Magripilis and Vania DeSanctis utilize the space as “…not only a salon but also a sanctuary for their team members and local artists,” ( As part of the personal statement for the salon, it was only fitting to collaborate with Becton students. “Magripilis was very excited about the idea,” Kehoe added. So, the two teamed up and got Becton art students a place in the exhibit!

Bellibone’s art gallery staring Becton student pieces!

Starting in October of 2021, Kehoe and Becton art teacher, Dawn Savincki, sent out a survey to all students participating in art classes for the opportunity to share their work with the public. Senior Danny Perea Bravo noted that “I heard about the exhibit from Mrs. Savincki when she passed out a form explaining a chance to showcase your artwork in an exhibit and potentially SELL it.” As the word spread out among students of Savincki and Kehoe, ten students, in particular, were accepted to the exhibit.  Kehoe added, “…we will continue participating [in the exhibit] as long as possible.” In initiating the exhibition, Savincki and Kehoe worked together to choose a few students to display their work. However, all students are welcome to submit their work for a place in the exhibit. Kehoe noted that the art within the exhibit is constantly changing, especially when students’ art is purchased.

Sohpia DiDomenico’s featured and then purchased art piece!

Interested students are welcome to submit work to Kehoe and Savincki. She delved into the process, stating that “We will choose a few students to feature at a time. If chosen, they will receive a permission slip and then work with their art teacher to frame the piece for sale. They also come up with a price and title.” Since October, ten students’ artwork has been featured, including five who have sold their work so far. Most of the art produced by students has been created in their art classes.

The official artwork sent to the exhibit was printed and framed in students’ respective art classes, and Kehoe brought the art to the salon for framing. Included in the display of art were labels created stating the name of the artist, the title of their piece, as well as the price. All artwork framed and hanging in the exhibit is available to be purchased by any visitors to Bellibone. If any pieces are sold, the student artist earns money while a small percentage goes to the salon. 

Danny Perea Bravo’s fantastic tiger piece!

So far, the five students who have sold their art are Genelia Paulraj, Allision Rodriguez, Danny Perea Bravo, Elaha Ahmed, and Sophia DiDomenico. Perea Bravo had the incentive to apply to be featured in the exhibit promptly after hearing of it. “I wanted to sign up right away because I liked showing my art to the few people I know, and having the opportunity to show it to many more people gave me the extra push to sign up.” While he had another piece of art in the back of his mind when choosing one to display, he submitted a drawing using oil pastels of a tiger for the exhibit. He ultimately decided to pick it for the exhibit because the tiger “…has been [his] all-time favorite animal,” Perea Bravo added. He noted that having his artwork up in a gallery felt exhilarating to him because it was his first time being able to do so. His feelings of accomplishment indeed translated to the buyer of the piece because the piece sold just a few weeks after being showcased. 

However, Perea Bravo did not let the excitement get into his head while waiting for a potential offer. “A detail that was imperative to note during the process was not to expect the artwork to sell.” Instead, he filled his mind with feelings of accomplishment for having his art on the wall in the first place. Perea Bravo expresses his interest in participating in future art exhibits, stating that he “already [has] one in the works.” He stresses for aspiring artists to “sign up for anything that would provide a chance to showcase [their] art,” also giving advice stating “not to criticize your art too harshly because at the end of the day no one can ever perfect art.” Perea Bravo prizes uncertainty in his statement, saying, “It never hurts to try new things whether it is signing up for an exhibit or trying a new art medium or anything new in life because it can lead to many great things.” Trying new things that pique interest in oneself allows for individuals to resonate with one or more of those things, possibly changing the trajectory of their careers. For Bravo, he may utilize his talents as an artist to transform them into a visual arts career.

Elaha Ahmed’s cultural piece!

Another student, Senior Elaha Ahmed, rushed to get her permission slip filled in right away! Ahmed’s art piece revolved around her culture. She explains, “The inspiration for this art was my Bengali culture and I just wanted to pay a tribute to the brides of my culture who chose to wear masks even during their wedding day.” She named the piece ‘Ethereal’  for its delicate and light nature that presents itself as “…too perfect for this world.” When creating this piece during this past summer break, she constructed the colorful piece with watercolor paint, markers, and glitter pens. At first, Ahmed was hesitant about the piece in terms of how it looked to potential buyers’ eyes because of its diverse nature. She shared her gratuity for having her art find a home by expressing, “I was happy when it was sold because it showed me that people are willing to embrace and buy something so unique and cultural. I felt proud to have represented my Bengali culture through this exhibition.” It is easy to think that the art one has created will not resonate with others because of the specific feelings that prompted the piece to be created in the first place. However, celebrating and embracing culture is a significant step in the direction of awareness and acceptance. For Ahmed, her personal statement as an artist is, “It’s all about bringing it home.” Her pride for her homeland, Bangladesh, is a driving force in a multitude of her artistic endeavors and is her superpower.

Featured art in Bellibone Salon.

This opportunity is an incredible gateway into the professional world of having art in exhibits and selling them. Many artists face adversity for choosing a debatably ‘unreliable career.’ Still, the reality of these students selling their art says otherwise. Kehoe elaborates, “Students benefit from participating in this exhibit by being able to see how you can make a living as an artist and seeing how a gallery works.” Stepping into the art world takes a lot of courage and having a taste of what it is like outside of school events serves as a trial run of other possibilities. Becton is focused on providing a gateway into hundreds of career paths and continues to do so with the expansion of the student body and faculty. From the Performing Arts Theater’s productions to the utilization of the Katherine Wickle-Ochipa Production Studio, Becton prepares students by giving them real-life opportunities to express their creativity. Kehoe supports this by saying, “Becton reinforces the foundation for the possibility of professional work in the future by giving students an insight into the process of selling art.” The Bellibone Exhibit is a transformative opportunity open to all students interested in the endeavor. Becton Regional High School provides it’s students opportunities through the Bellibone exhibit that elevate students in the arts, are profound, and translate to personal success and growth.