Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Passion for fashion drives self-taught Port St. Lucie artist with Down syndrome



from the Palm Beach Post by Julius Whigham II:
When Katie Henderson developed an interest in drawing and sketching a few years ago, it didn't take long for her to get noticed.
Her designs earned her an artist of the month award at the Ability Resource Center in Fort Pierce four years ago.
Today, Henderson, who was born with Down syndrome, is an entrepreneur who recently started her own business and had her drawings featured at a Stuart art gallery.
Henderson, 29, said that she likes to draw fashion models.
"I like fashion, I like looking at fashion magazines," she said. "I have fashion shows on DVD."
Henderson grew up in Virginia, but moved to Port St. Lucie with her family in 2005. She began drawing a few years ago, using inspirations from fashion and paper doll sketchbooks, her mother, Ruth Henderson, said. She taught herself to draw, with her images often focusing on abstract shapes.
With some help from her family, Katie started her own business last year - Miss Katie's Kreations. The online store (www.misskatieskreations.com) features golf T-shirts with designs by Katie and note cards with her fashion drawings.
"She told her dad that he needed to be an entrepreneur and (invest in her business)," Ruth Henderson said. "She has a golf line and a fashion line."
Katie's artwork was selected to be part of an exhibit last month at the Osceola32 gallery in Stuart. The exhibit was entitled "The Magical Journey of Empowered Women."
Later this month, Katie will be a guest at a Research Down Syndrome Foundation event at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind. She has contributed an original drawing and a print to the event. She also will have an exhibit at the National Down Syndrome Congress in July in Washington, D.C.
"I think she's become an inspiration to families that have children with Down syndrome (and) adults with Down syndrome," her mom said.

What are your hobbies?
She likes to draw and watch movies.
What is your favorite TV show?
She said that the television series Charmed is one of her favorites.
Who are your favorite musical artists?
'I like Britney Spears. She has a new (album) I like Hillary Duff.'
Who is your favorite artist?
'I try to do my own (style).'
What's your favorite meal?
'I like pizza.'
Who would you like to meet?
She would like to meet Britney Spears.

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