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Bette Kelley Bio

Bette has been beading for 25 years and is known as an amazing colorist. Her collars are in the personal collections people throughout the United States, Canada and England. She travels extensively to teach and has been published in Bead and Button Magazine. As a gallery artist, she was featured in two of Linda Fry Kenzle’s books “The Irresistible Bead” and “Dazzle: Creating Artistic Jewelry and Distinctive Accessories.” She also is a contributing artist in Valerie Hector’s book “The Art of Beadwork.”

Bette Kelley’s Artist Statement

The essense of my artistic philosophy is that “Art Saves Lives”. I believe that if we surround ourselves with beauty in all facets of our lives, the quality of our lives will increase and the world will become a better place.

I am fascinated by the challenge of taking something flat and making it fit something curved. The neck area fulfills this requirement nicely as well as presenting the perfect arena for my collars. My broad collar format is loosely based on the Egyptian style with additional influences from the Americas and the Victorians. Working within one confined format continually challenges my creativity by allowing me unlimited possibilities for color, texture and structural variations as well as the inclusion of non-traditional techniques. The ladders, the basic structural collar component that I use, however, are constructed using the same techniques as they were developed 5000 years ago by the Egyptians.

Color is always the driving force behind my artwork. I view myself as a translator of the world I see into color schemes. I continually try to capture the “essense” of a place I’ve been, something I’ve seen or felt, and express that essense through color. My works include portraits, both abstract and literal, expressions of emotion and feeling, and impressions exhibited by the use of color, texture and pattern.

Bio and Resume

Costuming professional dancers and actors has been the focus of my artwork for the last 15 years. In 1993 I began branching out by creating elaborate beaded broad collars for exhibit and sale to the general public. The driving force behind these two related artistic expressions is my interest in color as a means of translating emotions, ideas, memories or the world in which we exist.

The information below is a selected sample of the activities and accomplishments I have been part of during the last few years.


1990-Present Zivio Dancers
1990-Present Rhythm in Shoes
1986-Present Union Wardrobe seamstress and dresser
1992-1994 Dayton Opera
1990-1992 Human Race Theatre Company
1986-1989 Dayton Ballet


16th Annual National Juried Women’s Art Exhibit;
Fayetteville, AR; 1998
Postcard ArtworkBead Society of Central Ohio;
Columbus, Ohio; 1996
First Place, Jewelry AwardFifth National Juried Exhibition;
Fort Collins, CO; 1996
Honorable Mention

13th Annual National Juried Women’s Art Exhibit;
Fayetteville, AR; 1996
Honorable Mention

Niche Awards; 1995
Finalist: One of a Kind Fashion Accessory

Westmoreland Arts Heritage Festival; 1994
Craft Award of the Year; Award of Distinction

Ohio Designer Craftsmen; 1994
Best of 1994, Special Recognition

Bead Society of Central Ohio;
Columbus, Ohio; 1993
First Place, Jewelry Division


Hector, Valerie. The Art of Beadwork, Fall, 2002.
Invited Artist.Kelley, Bette. Adventures in Broadcollars,2001.
Author.”Daytime Drama”, Bead and Button Magazine (Vol. 17)
(December 1996): p 18. Cover, sidebar photos.

Kenzle, Linda Fry. The Irresistable Bead, 1996: pp 6, 87, 88.
Featured Guest Artist.

Kenzle, Linda Fry. Dazzle: Creating Artistic Jewelry &
Distinctive Accessories
, 1995: p 34.
Guest Artist.


Bead International 2002; Dairy Barn, Athens, Ohio
Ohio Bead Showcase; Athens Bead Society, Athens, Ohio
National Juried Exhibition; New Milford, NJ
WCA 25th Anniversary Show; Chicago, IL
ODC Best of ’96; Columbus, Ohio
Women Who See With a Wild Eye; Yellow Springs, Ohio
Embellishment Show “Gleaming Treasures”
Beadazzled Trunk Shows; Tyson’s Corner, VA
Westmoreland Nationals; Latrobe, PA
Bead Society of Central Ohio; Columbus, Ohio
Beadwork: Beyond Boundaries; Berea, KY
Ohio Designer Craftsmen Best of ’95
One Woman Show, Gallery Five; Tequesta, FL


2001 “Evolution of a Colorist” and “Art by Design”,
lecture and workshops, Canadian Needlework Festival
Toronto, ON, Canada1998-2002 Embellishment Bead Conference, workshops
Portland, OR and Sacramento, CA2001-2002 Bead and Button Seminar and Workshops
Milwaukee, WI.

2000 “Art by Design”, lecture and workshops
NY Bead Society

1997 “Evolution of a Colorist”, lecture and workshops
NY Bead Society


Fall Crafts Park Avenue; NYC, NY; 1998-2001
Holiday Crafts Park Avenue; NYC, NY; 1998-1999
Fall Lyndehurst Castle; Tarrytown, NY; 1998-2001
ACC; West Springfield, MA; 1998-1999
Media D’Arte; NYC, NY; 1999
Millbrook Crafts Fair; Millbrook, NY; 1999

© 2001 Bette Kelley

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