Raised in Somerset, Vallorie Henderson is proud of her rural Kentucky roots. “I’ve lived and worked in both large and small communities in and outside of the United States. My Kentucky heritage has always provided me with a strong sense of self and the confidence to approach life with enthusiasm and curiosity.” Vallorie holds a bachelor of arts in art from Berea College in Berea, Kentucky, and a master of fine arts with a focus in fibers from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Her love of fibers and textiles led her into a blended career that includes both the production and marketing of a unique line of hand-felted contemporary craft objects on a national level and a variety of leadership arts administration positions that have spanned the past thirty years. Her work is represented in multiple private and corporate collections, most recently the University of Kentucky Arts in Healthcare Program. Previous employers include the Indianapolis Children’s Museum, The Speed Museum in Louisville and the Kentucky Arts Council. Currently, Vallorie is employed by the Kentucky Small Business Development Center in Louisville where she focuses on assisting creative entrepreneurs in developing and growing their businesses to new levels of success through one-on-one personalized consulting and leading comprehensive workshops on marketing, pricing and inventory management. She has worked closely with fair trade organizations around the globe to assist artisans in developing market-ready products and to assure they are paid a living wage. In 2018, Vallorie was one of fifteen Louisville artists chosen to participate in the Hadley Creatives, a professional development initiative administered by the Community Foundation of Louisville and Creative Capital in New York. She also received a grant from the Great Meadows Foundation to pursue her interest in Japanese Boro textiles. Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer recently appointed Vallorie to serve a four-year term on his Commission for Public Art.