Teen donates proceeds from painting throughout area
Caroline Khoury’s art can be found in many places. There’s the paintings the 17- year- old has made that her parents proudly display on the walls of their Covington Township, Lackawanna County, home, and the colorful, realistic drawings of girls with different styles and makeup that live in her sketchbook. There also are the pieces she produces for friends, such as a portrait of R& B artist Frank Ocean she gave as a gift, that recipients keep close to their hearts.
Caroline’s most rewarding creations, though, can be seen on faces of children at events around the region through her face- painting business Face the Art. For the past several years, Caroline has kept busy throughout the summer and most weekends during the school year, donating her talents and proceeds to fundraisers, nonprofits, parties and events.
“Sometimes the kids will run around with it a little bit and come back over and ask for the mirror so they can look at it again. They’re so excited, and you know it’s something you created,” the North Pocono High School senior said. “They’re wearing your art. To see their face light up when they look in the mirror is such a good feeling.”
Caroline’s foray into face painting came when she was still pretty young herself. Her family spent lots of time at Lake Wallenpaupack, including during the annual Wally Lake Fest, for which her father, Glenn, helped organize some aspects.
Each year, Caroline along with her mom, Jennifer, and brother, Christopher, now 15, would attend the event. One year, Caroline took particular interest in a woman painting children’s faces and asked if she could help.
“I just loved it,” Caroline said. “It was really cool to be able to create something that made someone so happy.”
As a child, Caroline enjoyed coloring and painting, so face painting felt like a natural hobby. After a few years, and some incentive from her dad, she decided to create a business out of it. At first, her dad offered to match the funds she made face painting to donate back to the events she worked at. It wasn’t long after that Caroline’s business generated enough on its own.
“She’s very driven, and it’s a fun way for her to do what she loves but it doesn’t feel like it’s a job,” her mom said.
Caroline’s skills have improved over the years thanks to her constant face painting, and she now can create freehand designs instead of relying on templates. Classes in school, such as art electives and a theater arts class, gave her a broader interest in her craft.
Aside from developing a love of watercolor and tempera painting, Caroline discovered a passion for special- effects makeup. She learned how to apply prosthetics and blend colors and textures for realistic and macabre looks, which she tried out on herself and friends at Halloween. Caroline flexed her specialeffects skills during Moscow Country Fair’s “haunted” walk- through, when she made up several middle school students to resemble extras from zombie TV show “The Walking Dead.”
“People were not expecting it, and the kids looked really creepy,” Caroline said, laughing. “I love really gory makeup, and I toned it down, but people were scared of the way these kids looked. That was so much fun and such a cool feeling.”
Many times, Caroline’s role at events is more than just painting faces. One time, at a birthday party, Caroline was asked to dress up as Elsa from Disney’s “Frozen” and to perform the character’s famous song “Let It Go.” Caroline embraces these moments and does whatever it takes to make sure children at the events stay happy.
“I think this is a great thing for Caroline because it teaches her so much,” her mom said. “It’s a lesson in business and networking, but it also teaches her to adapt quickly and to have patience. ( Her dad and I) are very proud of her.”
Caroline’s appreciation for fundraising deepened over the years, too. At 14, Caroline participated in Appalachia Service Project and traveled to the heart of rural Appa-
lachia, including Tennessee and West Virginia, to repair homes in need of warmer, drier and safer conditions.
“It was eye- opening,” she said, adding she’s returned every summer since that first year and has no plans to stop. “It was the best feel-
ing knowing you made such a difference in someone else’s life. If that’s something I can do for people in other places, I want to help as much as I can where I live.”
Since beginning Face the Art, Caroline has donated her time and funds to events around the region, including IGA Cruise Fest, William R. Kramer Memorial Car Show and more. Proceeds have benefitted causes including Kate Carmody Memorial Cancer Fund, Light the Night Walk for childhood leukemia and lymphoma, Multiple Sclerosis Society, the watershed district of Lake Wallenpaupack and North Pocono Food Pantry.
“A lot of times, ( organizers) aren’t expecting me to give them the money,” Caroline said. “It’s so rewarding to see the looks on their faces when I hand that to them.”
Maintaining straight As and running her own business throughout high school, Caroline holds even bigger dreams for her future. She hopes for her path to somehow involve both art and tech while she continues to paint and draw in her spare time. Face the Art, however, will always be her direct connection to using her craft for good, making everyone from toddlers to senior citizens smile.
“You’re never too young, and you’re never too old,” she said. “People just like to get their faces painted. It’s fun for them and for me. I love helping people however I can.”
“People just like to get their faces painted. It’s fun for them and for
me. I love helping people however I can.”
Caroline Khoury, 17, of Covington Township, Lackawanna County, translated her love of art into a face- painting business, Face the Art, where she lends her talents to events around the region and donates proceeds to causes such as Kate Carmody Memorial Cancer Fund, Light the Night Walk for childhood leukemia and lymphoma, Multiple Sclerosis Society, North Pocono Food Pantry and more. TOP: Caroline began face- painting using templates but over the years her skills improved to the point where she can now create freehand designs.
Face painting began as hobby for Caroline, but she turned it into a business several years ago and donates her talents and proceeds to events while juggling schoolwork and other volunteer projects.