Go Paint your way to save animals

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By Penny Randell

If you are searching for something distinctive, uncommon and creative to do while in Evergreen, why not go paint a rhino? Karen Belmont, owner of Go Paint, puts it another way: “Step into your imagination!” Go Paint Rhinos is the latest project of the paint-your-own pottery studio, which also includes a build-your-own miniature garden called WeeScapes. Belmont took over ownership of the business two years ago from original owner Lisa Wood. Soon thereafter, she incorporated WeeScapes and has been hard at work ever since.
Go Paint is a local favorite some call a “community tradition” and has been around for 16 years. The business often takes center stage when it comes to fund-raisers, women’s groups, team building and Boy and Girl Scouts.
“You would be surprised at the unusual events we have been involved in. I like to think outside the box,” said Belmont.
And Belmont did “think outside the box” with regard to Go Paint Rhinos. Recently, she sat down with Serena Weingardt to discuss her charitable plan in honor of her upcoming Girl Scout Silver Award, which would add to the $3,700 she earned through selling Girl Scout cookies. The 13-year-old has every intention of making a worldly difference, at least through saving animals. All the money earned will be donated to the Katie Adamson Conservation Fund, in an effort to help endangered species throughout the world. Adamson died of cancer in 2007 when the fund was set into motion.
Zookeeper and author Dave Johnson, who has a passion for pachyderms and has worked with the Denver Zoo’s collection of such since 1998, initiated the Katie Adamson Fund. He also leads people on treks to Nepal and Tanzania. On Tuesdays and Wednesdays, he makes rounds to various schools, including Evergreen, and presents facts regarding rhinos and elephants. Both Belmont and Weingardt have teamed up with Johnson to create the event.
“There will be 30 available slots for sale at $40 each to paint a ceramic rhino and then hear and see Dave Johnson’s slide show presentation regarding conservation,” said Belmont. “We are all inspired by Dave’s words, and I personally look forward to meeting Rudy, Denver Zoo’s rhino. Half of all the event’s proceeds go to the Katie Adamson Fund.”
Belmont has been a Colorado resident since 2001 when she co-owned a business in Conifer. A trained paralegal, she worked in Denver until she found her true heart’s desire. Belmont said, “Go Paint actually found me. I can remember standing on the deck talking with Lisa Wood when the feeling swept over both of us. We knew it was meant to be, and I bought it without looking back.”
The shop is open Monday through Friday, the price is affordable, and you can walk away with your own creation. On Thursdays, Belmont keeps the doors open until 8 p.m., and painting is half-price. The shop is loaded with all kinds of ceramics and fairies that are made for a wee garden or beyond.
The studio is nestled into historic downtown Evergreen, directly on Bear Creek. “We are very laid back here,” said Belmont, “It’s a happy place where you can stay as long as you like, get creative and even make friends.”