Author: Melissa Karen Sances

The Ultimate Cat

The Jaguar practically purrs. It doesn’t matter if you’re driving the F-TYPE, a sports car engineered for performance; the XF, a mid-sized executive car; the XJ, a full-sized luxury saloon; or the XK, a luxury grand tourer. Designer Ian Callum’s F-TYPE won the World Car Design of the Year Award last year, and the Jaguar brand was named number one among luxury brands in the J.D. Power 2013 Sales Satisfaction Index Study.

Crazy Beautiful

Nine years ago, Joey Pantoliano was a sought-after murderer who knew he had more to offer. Best known for his Emmy award-winning portrayal of Ralph Cifaretto on “The Sopranos,” Joey feared being typecast as the man everyone loved to hate and wanted his next role to set everyone straight.

In Good Faith

From the beginning, Saint Edward’s School was defined by an extraordinary fidelity. Most people don’t know that the independent day school with a nine-to-one, student-teacher ratio and a 100 percent college acceptance rate faced debt that could have closed it down in its first year – and that it was rescued by a 25-year-old headmaster. Or that a group of parents bought Saint Edward’s its first school bus, a VW Wagon, so its students from Fort Pierce could commute together. Or that the first graduation was conducted in a tent that nearly collapsed during a rainstorm. The fact is, there have been points in its 50-year history when Saint Edward’s has operated solely on blind faith.

See Rock City

In 1978 Ed and Hilda Chapin, second-generation owners of Rock City – who also lived part-time on John’s Island – visited what was then known as the Wabasso Nursery, just north of town. At Hilda’s insistence, the two purchased the seven-acre property from Ralph Ruhl, who had established it in the mid-1960s. The Chapins immediately changed the name to “Rock City Gardens,” but it wouldn’t become a local destination until current owners Tom and Rhonda Lowe came into the picture in 1980.

Seeing Stars

For four days last June, Seth and Mary Baker lived like rock stars. Exchanging their quiet Vero Beach home for a 700-acre farm in Manchester, Tennessee, the Bakers joined 90,000 people – including Elton John, Lionel Richie and Sam Smith – for the 13th annual Bonnaroo, a festival that Rolling Stone magazine says has changed the course of music history.

As Good As Gold

After a successful career in advertising in Manhattan, John Howard’s painting career started as a marketing venture. “I figured what helps sell a painting is to make it look like a painting that should be sold,” says John from his home in Vero Beach.

The Natural

For James Kerr, painting has always been like breathing – a natural extension of being. Featured at the Meghan Candler Gallery since 2002, James was born in 1953 in Buffalo, New York to two artistic parents. By the time James had learned to walk, he could already wield a brush.

Fish Out Of Water

When the Indian River Land Trust learned that paintings of life-size fish would be displayed at the Vero Beach Museum of Art, they proposed an idea to make the fish even more realistic – and bring the lagoon to life. With the help of Bonefish & Tarpon Trust and the Florida Institute of Technology, the Land Trust installed a 550-gallon, 5,000-pound aquarium in the museum’s Buck Atrium where fish indigenous to the Indian River Lagoon will live for the duration of the James Prosek – Ocean Fishes exhibit. The show opened on June 6 and will continue until September 6.

True North

While art has always been Joy’s “true north,” her career has unfolded as a series of evolutions – banker, mother, photographer, watercolorist, baker and teacher – before she became a featured impressionist painter at the J.M. Stringer Gallery on Ocean Drive.

Riding The Wave

It started as a quiet collaboration between a boy and the ocean. The ocean gave Mark Castlow recreation – primarily surfing – and his return was production – starting his first surfboard line, Atlantis, by the age of 16. That’s when their partnership went public.

Play It By Heart

“It’s a boring family,” says Bev, and they both laugh. Music lovers at heart, the couple has passed on their passion to the next generation while honoring what’s enduring about their own. Co-producers of the Masters of Music series, they were largely responsible for bringing the first-ever, three-part music program here last year, when Paris Productions teamed up with Vero Beach-based MusicWorks Inc. to bring Livingston Taylor, John Sebastian and duo Janis Ian and Tom Paxton to the Emerson Center Stage.

Game Changer

Ron Tinney needed a hobby. At the age of 42 and in his third winter on Cape Cod, the avid golfer’s next tee time was months away and the greens were glistening white. Out of sheer boredom, he enrolled in a local art class.

A Ray Of Sunshine

Every Tuesday and Thursday, Joey participates in Sunshine’s assisted fitness program, which he was referred to following the completion of physical therapy for a knee injury in 2012. Joey’s personal trainer, Sherry, takes him through a circuit of strength and endurance-building exercises. On both days his workout is just a warm-up before more serious obligations.

Making Peace

In the four years since he arrived in Vero Beach, his return to art has been anything but private. Thomas has exhibited for Dale Sorensen Real Estate, the Vero Beach Museum of Art, the Regina Stark Gallery and Forward America, which featured nine of his paintings in honor of the President’s election in 2012. Since then he has created two pieces for the Obamas; and last year he published his first book, The Art of Thomas Rose.

Capturing The Imagination

The artist calls his work “evocative,” but to his patrons it is peaceful. He is inspired by the complex interaction between sky, water and land – the boundless horizon that provides an intoxicating space for his imagination to roam. Most viewers are unaware that the simplest elements – a sailboat’s position on the horizon, a cloud’s swirl – have been painstakingly considered as he tries to capture the ever-changing moods that light imposes on what he sees.

Vero Beach's Miracle Worker

Now 34 and the founder of Safe Refuge International, a nonprofit to help women and girls devastated by poverty, abuse and the sex trafficking industry, Naomi has looked into unfathomable darkness and focused on potential. In the eight years since she started the organization in the Philippines, Naomi and her staff have helped more than 300 girls – some as young as five years old.

A Guiding Light

An alumnus of the nationally known Avenue D Boys’ Choir, Deaunta found salvation in singing. Like many of his fellow choristers, Deaunta, 27, grew up without two full-time parents. He saw his father about once a year, and he watched his mother work two or three jobs to support him and his brother. His grandmother lived on the corner of Avenue D and 21st Street where he witnessed drug deals and even saw someone get shot.