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
16th Annual National Juried Women’s Art Exhibit;
13th Annual National Juried Women’s Art Exhibit;
Niche Awards; 1995
Westmoreland Arts Heritage Festival; 1994
Ohio Designer Craftsmen; 1994
Bead Society of Central Ohio;
Hector, Valerie. The Art of Beadwork, Fall, 2002.
Kenzle, Linda Fry. The Irresistable Bead, 1996: pp 6, 87, 88.
Kenzle, Linda Fry. Dazzle: Creating Artistic Jewelry &
Bead International 2002; Dairy Barn, Athens, Ohio
2001 “Evolution of a Colorist” and “Art by Design”,
2000 “Art by Design”, lecture and workshops
1997 “Evolution of a Colorist”, lecture and workshops
Fall Crafts Park Avenue; NYC, NY; 1998-2001
© 2001 Bette Kelley