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Bonnie G. Kelm Edit Profile

also known as (maiden name) Steiman

educator , consultant , Art museum director

Bonnie G. Kelm, art museum director, appraiser, educator, consultant. Certified uniform standards of professional appraisal practice New York University, 2004.. In 2007 she founded Bella Kaye Designs a company that creates jewelry and wearable art, a passion she has longed to pursue most of her life. Along with her husband Bill, a sculptor, Bella Kaye Designs became a subdivision of a larger company called B & B Designs.


Kelm, Bonnie G. was born on March 29, 1947 in Brooklyn. Daughter of Julius and Anita (Baron) Steiman.


Bachelor of Science in Art Education, Buffalo State University, 1968. Master of Arts in Art History, Bowling Green State University, Ohio, 1975. Doctor of Philosophy in Arts Administration, Ohio State University, 1987.


Art teacher Toledo Public Schools, 1968—1971. Educational consultant Columbus (Ohio) Museum Art, 1976—1981. Professor art Franklin University, 1976—1988.

Legislation coordinator Ohio House of Representatives, 1977. President board trustees Columbus Institute for Contemporary Art, 1977—1981. Technical assistant consultant Ohio Arts Council, 1984—1988.

Director Bunte Gallery Franklin University, 1978—1988. Director art museum Miami University, Oxford, 1988—1996, associate professor, 1988—1996. Director Muscarelle Museum of Art College William and Mary, Williamsburg, Virginia, 1996—2002, associate professor art and art history, 1996—2002.

Director University Art Museum University California, Santa Barbara, 2002—2006. Adjunct professor department art history University Art Museum University California, Santa Barbara. Grant panelist Ohio Arts Council, Columbus, 1985—1987, Columbus, 1991—1995, since 2006.

Art book reviewer William C. Brown Public, Madison, Wisconsin, 1985—1992. Member acquisitions advisory board Martin Luther King Center, Columbus, 1987—1988. Field reviewer Institute Museum Services, Washington, since 1990.

Chair grant panel Art in Public Places, 1992—1995. Trustee Ohio Museum Association, 1993—1996. Advisory board Women Beyond Borders, since 2004.

State appointed member advisory committee Ohio Percent for Art, 1994—1996. Speaker, presenter in field.


  • Certified uniform standards of professional appraisal practice New York University, 2004.



Founding member, member advisory council Columbus Cultural Arts Center, 1977-1981. Coordinator, curator Cultural Exchange Program, Honolulu-Columbus, 1980. Member academy women achievers Young Women’s Christian Association, since 1991.

Member advisory board Women beyond Borders, since 2004, Exploring Solutions Past: The Maya Forest Alliance, since 2006. Member American Association Museum (advocacy task force, surveyor museum assessment program since 1996, national program committee 2001), Association College and University Museum and Galleries (board directors 1998-2006), Western Museum Association, Fulbright Association, College Art Association (session chair, museum committee 2004-2007), International Council Museum, California Association Museum, International Society Appraisers.


I am a tenacious survivor, given to bursts of black humor to keep going. i have had more tragedy in my life than any one person should have to endure. In 1999, just as my career was peaking, my son Michael, my only child and the light of my life was killed in a freak auto accident. He was 28 years old. I went into a suicidal tailspin tht actually brought on a dreaded autoimmune disease. There are various theories about the causes of Lupus, but one of them that many medical experts believe to be true is that it can be caused by severe trauma. One year after Michael's death with a host of horrible symptoms the diagnosis was finally made after MS was ruled out. My lfe has never been the same since. Many of my plans had to change. Two fellowship offers were turned down. When we moved across the country to start my job at UC Santa Barbara I had hoped to open a new chapter of my life. Unfortunately, the situation at the Museum and with the Administration that I walked into was such a mess from so many transitions and a budget in debt, that it quite literally made me sick. I did not know it at the time, but there was a deadly cancer growing in my body. My symptoms were bad enough however that my Rheumatologist recommended that I retire on disability which I did in 2006. In 2011 I was diagnosed with 4th stage Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma and given less than a 50% chance of survival. The cancer i have is incurable, but my wonderful doctor was able to stop the aggressive part of it before it devoured all of my organs ( with a horrible two year chemo and radiation protocol). I just celebrated my 5th anniversary of survivng the death sentence! Rather than feeling sorry for myself, i am not worried about my career, or who hurt my feelings, or whether I am going to get this or that done, I am just present in NOW. I am 69 years old. I don't know how much time I have left. I do know there is this 45 year old inside of me just waiting to jump out and enjoy life & those i love as much as possible. Oh! And I am only going to spend my time doing things that I am passionate about! My passions have changed.Over the past few years I have been nurturing my creative side and have been spending what time I have making jewelry and investigating mixed media art and photography. That's what makes me happy. I am working on two books as well, one an autobiography entitled The Highjacked Muse and the other a non-fiction work on this unlikely community I live in.


Married William G. Malis. 1 child, Michael Darren who died tragically in an auto accident at 28.