Full ‘House’: Cultural events celebrate Vero lifestyle

John Stringer, Kay Dunn and Caesar Mistretta. [Photo: Kaila Jones]

Local designers had only just completed putting the finishing touches on this year’s Designer Showhouse and Garden Exhibition before they headed over to the Environmental Learning Center for an opening-night gala to celebrate the second House of Art, Culture and Design to benefit the Cultural Council of Indian River County. Like the Cultural Council itself, the theme of the event – Celebrating the Vero Beach Lifestyle – was a reflection of our area’s myriad cultural offerings, combining, art, design, music, fashion and food.

A portion of the proceeds from the recent four-day event, co-chaired by Caesar Mistretta of the J.M. Stringer Gallery and interior design consultant Diane Langevin, would also be donated to the Gifford Youth Achievement Center to support its art and literacy programs.

The interior rooms of the bright and airy Orchid Isle Estates Showhouse, which features spectacular views of the Indian River Lagoon, had been beautifully transformed by Gregory Allan Ness, Page Franzel, Diane Langevin, Eilis Powers, Christiana Lipscombe, Lisa DeFrances, Joe Tanacs and Josh Cook.

Victor Aprea, Tiffany Sweeney, Theresa Swett, Catherine Blum and the LED Capstone Team artfully enhanced the outdoor areas of the house, which is offered by Kimberly Keithahn of Alex MacWilliam Real Estate. Assorted luxury cars on loan from Mercedes Benz of Fort Pierce were on site, as were several boutique and concession vendors.

A tent at the Environmental Learning Center was the site for each of the special events, with shuttles ferrying folks into the private Orchid Isle Estate enclave.

At the opening-night gala, guests mingled over wine and hors d’oeuvres before enjoying a buffet dinner by Wild Thyme Catering. Big Band music by Jim Jordan and the Jordan Thomas Odyssey was the featured entertainment at the gala, as well as the next night when they returned for an intimate Evening at the Cabaret, with performers Lynn DiMenna, Scherezada Morales and Charlie Steven. Chelsea’s on Cardinal catered the Cabaret as well as that Saturday’s Let’s Get Glamorous Luncheon and Sunday’s Mimosas & Mahjong Brunch.

Melinda Cooper, owner of Cooper & Co., coordinated the Fashion Show Luncheon, which featured beautiful seasonal fashions from her boutique as well as from Cashmere Beach, Francis Brewster, Sara Campbell and Sassy Boutique.

The mission of the Cultural Council is to utilize arts and culture to illuminate lives and drive economic vitality through advocacy, collaboration, education and outreach.

Photos by: Kaila Jones
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