The Nikos Bel-Jon Virtual Gallery
Nikos Bel-Jon was born Nicholaos Fotios
Baloyannis in the historic village of
Valtessiniko, Arcadia, Greece on March
20, 1911. He received a Master of Arts
degree from the Superior School of Fine
Art in Athens in 1936. Bel-Jon advanced
his studies at the Ecole des Beaux Artes
and the Ecole du Louvre in Paris, France
under a scholarship from the Government
of Greece in 1938. He studied Byzantine
art at the Mt. Athos Monastery in 1935.
While in Greece and France he was a
prolific painter, although the whereabouts
of most of his paintings are currently
unknown. Bel-Jon had major exhibits of
his paintings in Athens and Paris, the first
by the time he was 23.

Bel-Jon was in the Greek army during
World War II until he was hospitalized for
shrapnel in his leg. He never fully regained
strength in that leg which plagued him for
the rest of his life.

After his term in the army he was Chief of
the Section of Fine Arts for the Greek
Ministry of Religion and National
Education in Athens. In 1946 he was
given a three year leave of absence to
complete his artistic studies and observe
the functions of foreign organizations and
schools. He returned to France to resume
his studies under a scholarship from the
Government of France.

The handsome young man with dark hair
and green eyes came to the United
States from France on April 17, 1946 and
found his way to Los Angeles, CA where
he met his wife Troy Kendall, also an
artist, whom he married in 1947.

While in Los Angeles Bel-Jon was a
member of the Painter's Union. He
worked for Fox Studios and also painted
murals for the lobbies of movie theaters.

Between working on these paintings he
started to experiment with his technique
for murals on metal. His love of metal had
begun during his studies of various metal-
arts techniques of hidden treasures in the
Louvre laboratories. During his
experiments in Los Angeles he fell in love
with the tone and quality of aluminum and
after four years he finally found the right
tools and techniques to get the results he

He moved to San Francisco, CA. in 1949.
In 1950 Bel-Jon opened a studio on
Maiden Lane where he honed his
beautiful and unique technique and
launched his brilliant career.

Nikos and Troy had two daughters,
Athena Fotini Bel-Jon DeBonis and Rhea
Panayiota Bel-Jon Calkins. In 1950 he
changed his name from Nicholas
Baloyannis to Nikos Bel-Jon in and
became a citizen of the United States in

In addition to his paintings and murals,
Bel-Jon designed a truly unusual car
which he named “Athena”. He rebuilt the
exterior of a 1938 Lincoln Zephyr Coupe
with clay and then covered it with colored
metal mosaics and fiberglass. To the
amazement of all who saw it along the
way, in 1959 he drove his family in this car
cross country from San Francisco to New
York, NY. He opened a studio in an old
synagogue on east 72nd Street and then
later in a carriage house on East 69th

Bel-Jon was decorated by the Hellenic
Republic in 1964 at the Greek Consulate
in New York in recognition of his
wonderful art and contribution to Greek
heritage. He died in New York, NY on
August 11, 1966. His wife Troy continued
his work after his death.
The Nikos Bel-Jon Virtual Gallery
Nikos Bel-Jon