Catherine Schrenker is the executive director of The Wayne C. Henderson School of Appalachian Arts (“The Henderson”) in Marion, Virginia. Educated as a graphic designer, Schrenker, taught color theory and graphic design for almost twenty 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 Catherine to become a distinguished pioneer in color theory and the integral role color plays in our emotions and behavior.
Internationally, Catherine has lived and worked as a graphic designer in Den Haag, Netherlands. In 1996 she taught “The Philosophy of Color” at Warsaw University, Poland. In 2004, Catherine moved to Southwest Virginia and co-founded Integrated Health Concepts (IHC) of Bristol, Tennessee primarily working with education, marketing, and community outreach; helping the public to understand the importance of an emotional connection in the healing process and how color can influence these emotions. In 2010 Catherine was the national spokesperson for “The Color Prescription” campaign for Freshaire Choice paint, carried exclusively at The Home Depot, which gave her the opportunity to travel and speak throughout the United States.
Since her appointment in 2014 as founding director, The Henderson has become a flagship for embracing traditional arts and culture in Virginia. In 2018 The Henderson received the 50/50 Award from The Virginia Commission for the Arts as “Best Emerging Arts Organization.” Catherine continues to bring national recognition for outstanding programs including Lutherie and Letterpress. Her ambitious after school programs focus on helping youth understand their mountain roots through craft and music; empowering them to take pride in their unique Appalachian history and heritage.