Bodypaint by Steve Horlock at Skin City Photo by Ken Elsner
KareeAnne Salgado, 25 years old, is one of Skin City Body Painting’s most-painted models. You can find her at Skin City studio at least once a month, volunteering to be a human canvas during the First Friday arts festival. A resident of Las Vegas since 2014, she is a working model as well as a mother of 3, currently expecting her fourth child, due in late March. This First Friday, exhibiting artist Audrey Fox will be painting KareeAnne’s “belly bump” as a live bodypaint demo, in conjunction with Fox’s painting exhibit on Skin City’s gallery walls. “I’m planning on using the theme ‘The Tree of Life’.” explains Fox. “Painting KareeAnne is very exciting because the expectant body offers numerous possibilities to accentuate the theme of renewal and birth!”
Photo by Edward Hernandez
Before moving to Sin City, KareeAnne was an aspiring model in the small town of Montville CT. As a child, she always dreamed of modeling. At the age of 18, she found local photographers throughout CT, and got to work building a portfolio and a name for herself, hoping one day to move to a big city. In the meantime, she supported herself working at the local Home Depot. “It wasn’t very glamorous”, laughs KareeAnne. “But it was all worth it because I met the love of my life working there!” She and her co-worker Johnathan Davenport fell in love, and once he saw how passionate she was about modeling, he decided to support her in pursuing her dreams. With no savings or job prospects, they left everything they knew behind to move out West, and quickly got settled into Vegas life. KareeAnne landed a job as a sidewalk showgirl, posing for pictures with tourists, and Johnathan currently works in a furniture warehouse. “We like to live life day by day, no matter the stuggles we face. Our life makes an amazing story because we push each other,” she explains. “Some people might wonder why I wanted to have kids so young, especially with my modeling career to think about. Well, when I first got pregnant I wasn’t exactly trying to, and I had a miscarriage. From the heartbreak that gave me, I knew I wanted to try for another child to ease the pain I had. Then I had Leiyah!” KareeAnne beams, “I loved being her mother so much! She always brought a smile to my face and lifted me when I was down. She made me a better person, and I realized then that I wanted to have a big family of my own.” KareeAnne and Johnathan soon welcomed Isaiah, a boy – now 4, and Makaiyah, a girl – now 2, to their brood. (Leiyah is now 6). “Honestly, deciding to have a big family is the best decision I’ve ever made in my life!” In March they look forward to welcoming another boy, to be named Ezio.
Photo by Kim Sajkowicz
Multiple pregnancies didn’t stop KareeAnne from her modeling, however, and she happens to be in that lucky group of women who can bounce back quickly from a pregnancy. About a year ago, she found Skin City on Facebook and knew she had to try bodypainting. “It’s an honor to work with Skin City. I love the feeling of being ‘walking art’, and working with such great talent.” Even with all her bodypainting experience, this will be KareeAnne’s first maternity belly paint. “Getting painted while being with child has been something I’ve wanted to do since my first pregnancy, and I’m so happy it’s finally going to happen! I’m so excited to be able to capture this beautiful moment, and have a great memory to show my children when they get older, as well as have an amazing experience I will forever cherish.”
Body paint by Skin City Photo by Ken Elsner
Come see KarreAnne’s belly paint happen live on Friday, February 6, 2016; 6-10pm at Skin City: 1800 Industrial Road, LV NV 89102