Face Value

Teen do­nates pro­ceeds from paint­ing through­out area

The Republican Herald - - COMMUNITY CONNECTIONS - BY GIA MAZUR STAFF WRITER

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

JA­SON FARMER / STAFF PHO­TOG­RA­PHER

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.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

Sub­mit­ted photo

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.

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