Catherine Schrenker-Executive Director
Educated as a graphic designer, Catherine Schrenker, taught color theory and graphic design for more that fifteen years, including nine years at the University of Notre Dame. She received her Masters of Fine Arts (MFA) from the prestigious Cranbrook Academy of Art, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan and a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) from Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana. Her research while at Notre Dame led to her current work with color, emotions, and behavior.
Internationally, Catherine has lived and worked in Den Haag, Netherlands as a graphic designer. She has lived in Warsaw, Poland and taught “The Philosophy of Color” at Warsaw University. In 2004, Catherine moved to Southwest Virginia and co-founded Integrated Health Concepts of Bristol, Tennessee with her brother, James H. Schrenker M.D. Primarily working with education, marketing, and community outreach, helping the public to understand the importance of an emotional connection in the healing process.
As an artist, Catherine began showing her unique bold style of watercolor painting, described as “more color than water” this past year. Her premier opening at The Gallery @ Barr Photographics of Abingdon, Virginia met with critical acclaim, popular demand, and astonishing sales. As an artist, Catherine taps into the spiritual beauty of the area she loves; Southwest Virginia.
Catherine is very excited to return to an educational environment, combining her passion for preserving the culture and heritage of Appalachian Arts and Crafts with her love and respect for education and history. According to Catherine, “Being an integral part of the Wayne C. Henderson School of Appalachian Arts is a dream come true. I have been given the opportunity to participate in the preservation and nurturing of our rich heritage. Honoring craftsmanship in all its forms while inspiring a creative community will help our town of Marion thrive, and I am thrilled to be part of the team.”
Jack Taylor "JARATA"-Resident Artist
Our first Artist in Residence is Jack Taylor, also known as JARATA. Jack was born in Sugar Grove, Virginia. Jack did not even begin speaking until the age of five and used art as his form of communication. We are grateful that he has continued to use his art forms as a beautiful means of communication, and we are blessed to have him here at The Henderson.
Jack’s artistic career has spanned decades and covered many experiences, from Ringling School of Art and Design in Sarasota, Florida to designing aircraft components for Brunswick.
He has been a featured Prismacolor Artist since 2008 and has work displayed in galleries as well as private collections all over the world. His bold style of color and energy brings delight to anyone that views his work. You are invited to view his studio and watch him as he works his way around his studio working on whatever painting or drawing calls to him, much like a musician that picks up an instrument, plays it for awhile and then decides on another tune, another song, with another instrument.
Jack states that, “being creative was and is the breath of life” and his work is constantly evolving. He began with realism, and still captures that essence in his portraits. Throughout the years, his work has become more energetic embracing bold color and shifting shapes that breathe in surrealism, abstract expressionism, fauvism and some adding in op art for good measure.
As his work continues to grow into his own style and personality, one can see that Jack’s keen powers of observation and sensitivity are translated onto canvas and paper.
Jack’s latest projects include the commissioning work of pianos for a dealer on the east coast of The United States. He has completed two, Rainy Night Blues and Island Breeze and is currently working on his third, “Picasso’s Piano”. According to Catherine Schrenker, Executive Director of The Henderson, “Having such an artistic genius and presence in this building is the most rewarding aspect of my job. JaRaTa is such a generous soul; he enjoys visitors and loves to talk about his work, his pride for The Town of Marion, and all the wonderful tiny miracles that take place in this building. He is our pride and joy!”
Bepe Kafka-Artist and Volunteer
My paintings are about light and air, a moment and a place. Sometimes I give myself a stern lecture: “Just make it pretty.” But something always seems to seep through—a little shadow, a stirring, a little edge of coldness—something that tells you that, while lovely, this sight won’t last forever. But maybe that happens because it’s art, and maybe beauty doesn’t have to always be pretty. That’s what I like to think anyway.
Bepe Boatright Kafka was born in Newport News, Virginia, and fell in love with oil paint at the age of twelve. She received her MFA from the University of Pennsylvania, studying with Neil Welliver, Janet Fish, Rackstraw Downes, Yvonne Jacquette, and other contemporary realist painters. When fate took her to Utah for fifteen years she connected deeply with that magnificent landscape. Now she is bent on exploring the wild, green mountains of Southwest Virginia and has become an invaluable asset to The Henderson. She is currently represented by A Gallery in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Jim Lloyd-Musician, Instructor, and Music Historian
Jim Lloyd has been dedicated to spreading the knowledge of Old Time Music through teaching, storytelling and entertaining. Old Time Music is original American Music and was created in the mountains of Virginia, North Carolina and Kentucky. It is the foundation of our Bluegrass music and Bluegrass is the foundation of our American Country Music.
Our music is a source of regional pride and Jim Lloyd is preserving the tunes and through his banjo museum, preserving the instruments that play it for our future generations. He is teaching our youth and demonstrating the music in many venues, festivals and music conventions. He is active in creating and driving these music venues to success. Some examples are the music performed at the Crooked Road venue of the BW Country Store (a program he mentored and helped establish), the Rural Retreat Fiddler’s Convention (he is mentoring and helping establish) and his own Black Friday Music Jam that he has held for over 10 years in his Rural Retreat Barber Shop. Jim has taught in the Augusta Program, Davis & Elkins College located in Elkins, West Virginia, the Swannanoa Gathering at Warren Wilson College, Asheville, NC and the John C. Campbell Folk School, Brasstown, NC. Jim has held music workshops at Virginia Tech, Appalachian State University, Wytheville Heritage Preservation Center, the Foaotmad Festival in England and in many other educational venues. Jim has performed all over the United States from the Galax fiddler’s Convention, Fiddlers Grove Festival in Union Grove, NC to Nice, France. He has performed at the Mardi Gras at Bangor, Maine, Mountain Stage for PBS, for the Minnesota Bluegrass & Old-Time Music Association (MBOTMA), at the DuPont Grand Opera House, Wilmington, DE, the Carpenter Theater in Richmond VA and the Loyal Jones Appalachian Center, Berea College in Berea, KY just to name a few. Find out more on Jim's website...
Steve Kilby, Musician, JAM Instructor: Guitar
Steve Kilby is one of the pioneers of JAM model, beginning as an instructor with Helen White, who developed the JAM program in North Carolina. A 30-year veteran of many bands, recording and competitions, Kilby learned much of the music he plays from his grandfather, and is honored to be part of a living musical tradition. Over the years, his guitar wizardry has earned him many honors including being named seven-time Fiddler's Grove guitar champion, two first-place ribbons and a best all-around performer trophy from Galax convention, and winner of the North Carolina State guitar champion. Find out more on his website...
Madison Greer's music career started with her parents and grandparents, who surrounded her with bluegrass music. At 7, Greere took interest in learning to play the fiddle. In 2012, she placed was featured on RFD-TV, as she scored a top 10 win in the talent competition at the National Future Farmers of America Convention. When she's not teaching, Greer is on stage, playing at venues including the Carter Family Fold in Hiltons, Va., The Pickin' Porch in Bristol, Tenn., The Bristol Mural in downtown Bristol, and Heartwood in Abingdon, Va.
Kristi McConnell, Yoga Instructor
Kristi McConnell is a certified yoga instructor which completed her yoga teacher training in Bend, Oregon, at Heart of the Cascades Yoga Teacher Training program. She has taught yoga in a variety of settings which include Weaverville Yoga Studio, Green Tree Zen Temple, CarePartners PACE in Asheville, and Within the Wild Adventure Company in Tutka Bay, Alaska. Her yoga style has been influenced by Sivananda, Iyengar, and Vinyasa yoga, and she is passionate about inclusive yoga for all ages and skill levels. She has a Bachelor’s in Therapeutic Recreation and is currently pursuing her Master’s in Occupational Therapy at Emory & Henry’s Marion campus. In her free time, she loves hiking, running, reading, and spending time with her husband, Chris, and two furry babies, Scout and Mather. She is very excited to bring her passion for yoga to the Marion community!