It was a beautiful, windless, sunny day for FC Bikes Open Streets festival. Three miles of residential streets were closed to car traffic then transformed into a pop-up-city for local non profits, food vendors, musicians, and neighborhood groups. The festival’s purpose is to promote and support walkable and bikeable communities creating the experience for participants go car-free throughout miles of fun activities.
I volunteered this year and my job was to staff an information booth right smack dab in the heart of a bustling section of the route. The thousands of bikes, and people, of all ages, shapes and sizes rolled by creating an awesome moving picture of a very diverse bike culture in a lovely, low key family environment.
However, the most surprising and enjoyable part of the day was a chance meeting with a little budding artist who has her eyes clearly focused on the future as a festival facepainter. A tiny voice behind me said “Would you like to have your face painted?” and that’s how I met Clara and her mom, Breanna Thompson. Here’s the story of how she began.
Last year, Clara asked Santa Claus for some face paints for Christmas and Santa, being the good soul he is, came through. Clara began to practice on “Emily” a manikin head given to her to practice on, as well as friends and family including daddy!
Clara explained to me that she has a dream to become a world-famous painter and she’s starting with face painting. I asked her if her art business had a name and she replied “Yes! Samona Face Painting”
She’s off to a great start as her patron traffic accelerated once people became aware of the pretty painted pictures she was creating on the faces of festival-goers; boys and girls and grown ups too! Her palette of templates included cool bats, scorpions, dragons, and sports symbols as well as flowers, angels, hearts, and swirly designs.
So Fort Collins, keep yours eyes on the lookout for Ms. Clara with Samona Face Painting at any of the area’s next festivals and be sure to stop by her booth! She accepts free-will donations.