Karen Rezai served as an art consultant for Booker-Lowe Gallery specializing in Aboriginal art from Australia from the gallery’s inception in 2001 until she retired in 2017. While with Booker-Lowe, she led the organization in mounting successful exhibitions of indigenous artwork both within the Houston-based gallery and also for many off-site venues including the Pearl Fincher Museum of Art, Williams Tower Gallery, One Allen Center and the City of Houston’s Houston Public Library’s Julia Ideson Building. Along with curating exhibitions, she maintained client and vendor relationships, developed strategic marketing plans and oversaw the financial operations of the business.
Prior to joining Booker-Lowe Gallery, Karen served as Director of Communications for M. David Lowe Staffing Services, Inc., the largest privately-owned staffing firm in Texas until the company was sold in 1998.
Karen earned her BS degree from Louisiana State University.
Karen is an emeritus member of the Houston Arts Foundation Board of Directors. In her spare time, she has volunteered her energies to assisting Texas-based Redbud Projects with national and international exhibitions including Amistad I at the Museo de la Nacion, Lima Peru in 2007; co-curating the 2007/2008 Kemp Center for the Arts Sculpture Garden exhibition, Wichita Falls, Texas; and grant-writing for Go West, a dialogue of Texas contemporary art in Paris France in 2011. Additionally, Karen has co-curated several exhibitions of Houston artists at City Hall for the Mayor’s Office of Special Events, City of Houston.
Karen and her husband, Cameron, are the proud parents of two adult sons. Together, the family is very active in supporting the visual arts in Houston and they enjoy traveling around the world.
What originally inspired you to join the Monarch board and why did you become involved with Monarch Institute Board of Directors?
One of my sons began attending Monarch in 2010. From day one, I have been inspired by the innovative mission, passion and dedication of the faculty and professional educators. Through my son, and other learners, I have seen amazing development and growth that impacts not only the individual, but the entire family, and in turn, the greater community. Monarch’s focus on the whole child and the desire to help that individual to a position of self-determination, to not create a self-contained community for Monarch learners, but to create opportunities for the learners to get out and contribute to the Houston community inspires and motivates me daily. My trail from parent to member of the Board of Trustees, began with involvement with the faculty and asking lots of questions. After a few years, I was asked to participate with a Strategic Planning weekend and, later, to join the Institutional Advancement - Marketing Committee. In the fall of 2015, I was invited to join the Monarch Board of Trustees, and without hesitation, said yes. Being able to contribute to, and help this fine organization, is an honor and a role I take with great seriousness. My son’s future depends on it, as well as that of current and future learners to come!