Irene Kai- Director of Development
An internationally known artist, author, and speaker, Irene Kai was born and raised in Hong Kong. At age 15, she came to New York City Chinatown with her American born mother. She received her BFA from the School of Visual Arts in NYC and MFA from the Royal College of Art in London and was an Instructor of Design at Penn State University. She currently teaches Design and Painting at the Rogue Community College in Southern Oregon. Irene posed for George Segal and her images are now in the Whitney Museum and the San Diego Museum of Art. Her work has been shown in galleries in London, New York, Los Angeles and southern Oregon. Irene was also a West Coast Regional Karate Champion at age 50. She traveled extensively to China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, Kenya, Ethiopia, Morocco, Yemen, Egypt, Italy, England, France, Netherlands, Switzerland, Germany and Mexico.
Irene served as president of the Southern Oregon China Connection and coordinated the Oregon Legislative and Business Delegation for Trade Mission to China. She also is a longtime supporter of peace initiatives. Irene designed the logo for the Culture of Peace Initiative (CPI), a United Nations Peace Messenger Organization, and her inspiring Peace Dove image hangs in the United Nations building in New York City. The logo and CPI website are used around the world and highlighted annually on the International Day of Peace in September. Irene co-founded the leading edge Ashland Culture of Peace Commission and is actively engaged in the commission’s local-global activities. She also leads the initiative to bring the World Peace Flame Monument to Southern Oregon in September 2018.
Irene’s two published books - The Golden Mountain: Beyond the American Dream and What Do You See? have been chosen for course studies in major universities and have won Independent Publisher Awards for Best book of the year, for Multicultural Non-fiction, and Freedom Fighter Award for promoting free speech, racial and religious tolerance.