The Thirty-A Review November 2019

The Thirty-A Review, "A Review of 30-A's Finest People, Places and Things™" focuses on 30-A and the surrounding areas. Our audience is very upscale and we tell the stories of the artists, restaurants, galleries, retailers, real estate developments, entertainment and beauty that make 30-A the incredibly special place that it is today. We tell the human interest stories that make 30-A's entrepreneurs, developers and artists tick, making the magazine appealing to both tourists and locals alike.

Feast on 30-A

INSIDE: Delicious Dining on 30-A 30-A’s Special Communities Hot Real Estate Health & Wellness Art, Business, Culture & More…

l e t t e r f r o m t h e p u b l i s h e r

Publisher/Editor-in-Chief Miles K. Neiman


Managing Editor Jennifer Thompson

The holidays at the beach are a very special time. They are a time for us to reconnect with each other, as well as the beautiful nature that surrounds us. Whether it’s with family or friends, the warmth and serenity of the holidays are only amplified on 30-A. As always, this issue is packed full of the people, places and things that make 30-A great. On the pages that follow, you will find the art, food and culture of 30-A that make the area so special and vibrant.

We hope you enjoy reading about it as much as we enjoyed writing about it. We invite you to get lost in the pages that follow as well as the days that envelope your holidays at the beach. Until next issue, we hope you find health, prosperity and happiness at the beach. Let the sun warm your body and the sound of the waves clear your head, while the people and community of 30-A help make you feel welcomed, fed and entertained. Warmly,

Graphic Design Brenda J. Oliver - Cover Design & Magazine Layout Sharon Jollay - Ads

Photography Jacqueline Ward

Contributing Writers Jessica Badour Susan Benton Andy Butcher Susan Cannizzaro Julie Herron Carson Tess Farmer Tom Fitzpatrick Tracey M. Hawkins Ellen Howle Anne Hunter Alden Mahler Levine Ryan Loftis Courtney Murray Erin Oden Bart Precourt Liesel Schmidt Kimberly Watson Sewell Ridgeley Standard Mary Welch Mary Kathryn Woods

Miles K. Neiman

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The Thirty-A Review is published every other month by Thirty-A Review, LLC. Reproductions in whole or in part, without expressed written permission of the publisher, are strictly prohibited. The Thirty-A Review is not responsible for the content or claims of any advertising or editorial in this publication. All information is believed to be accurate but is not warranted. Copyright 2006-2019. Send inquiries to 227 Sandy Springs Place, Suite D-288, Sandy Springs, GA 30328. Send press releases and e-mails to

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13 local theatre, dance, music, etc. Theatre and Events in November and December

14 dining Christiano’s Grayton Seafood Company 18 chef profile Tim Williams of Café Thirty-A


20 local artist Bailey Miller


22 local culture The Gift of the Artist 24 local fashion Design with the Tides

26 local theatre Emerald Coast Theatre Company

30 wellness High Blood Pressure… Myths and Solutions 32 local business Art & Soul 30a Design Bar: Collaborate. Customize. Repeat. 35 local realtor Dale Stackable: Personal Touch and Hard Work


36 real estate Prices Trends Along 30-A Home for the Holidays LAH at the Beach


42 legal eagles Majoring in Minors

44 goodwill Creature Comforts: Alaqua Animal Refuge

46 turf talk Putting on the Green



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Theatre and Events in November and December

Mountainfilm on Tour at WaterColor

ROSEMARY BEACH Thank You, Veterans! HAVANA BEACH BAR & GRILL 63 MAIN STREET, ROSEMARY BEACH, FL 32461 Monday, Nov. 11, 8am – 9pm As a thank you to those who served in the U.S. Armed Forces, Havana Beach Bar & Grill, located within The Pearl Hotel, is proud to welcome veterans on Veterans Day. Please present a valid Military or Veteran ID Card to receive 25% off of any Veterans Day Entrée on our Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner Menu. Havana Beach and The Pearl Hotel THE PEARL HOTEL – BALLROOM Thursday, Nov. 28, Seating times of 11 am, 1pm and 3pm The Pearl’s renowned Thanksgiving buffet will feature live music. Reservations required (call (850) 588-2882). Open to the public; $79 ++ per adult, $39 ++ per child (13 and under). Thanksgiving Menu At Havana Beach Bar & Grill HAVANA BEACH BAR & GRILL Thursday, Nov. 28, 11 am – 7pm Havana Beach Bar & Grill will be featuring Thanksgiving classics on a special three-course Thanksgiving menu (regular menu not available). Open to the public; $79 ++ per adult, $39 ++ per child (13 and under). Reservations required (call (850) 588-2882). Breakfast with Santa HAVANA BEACH BAR & GRILL Sunday, Dec. 15, 8 – 11 am Join Havana Beach Bar & Grill for a kid-friendly breakfast buffet, featuring the one and only Santa Claus! Santa will be on hand for pictures for the duration of breakfast, as well as handing out small gifts in anticipation of the upcoming Christmas holiday. The Breakfast Buffet will feature breakfast items for both children and adults. thank you for your service! Thanksgiving Buffet at The Pearl

Open to the public; $50 ++ per adult, $25 ++ per child (13 and under). Reservations required (call (850) 588-2882). Christmas Eve & Christmas Day Dinner HAVANA BEACH BAR & GRILL Tuesday, Dec. 24 &Wednesday, Dec. 25, 4 – 8pm Celebrate Christmas at Havana Beach Bar & Grill with family and friends! Enjoy a special three-course menu in the charming atmosphere of Havana Beach. Regular menu not available. Open to the public; $80 ++ per adult and $40 ++ per child (12 and under). Reservations required (call (850) 588-2882). Havana Beach will close after last seating at 8pm. New Year’s Eve Dinner HAVANA BEACH BAR & GRILL Tuesday, Dec. 31, 5 – 11pm Celebrate your last meal of 2019 at Havana Beach Bar & Grill with a special 3-course menu! Regular menu not available. Enjoy live entertainment and champagne service. Open to the public; $125 ++ per adult and $75 ++ per child (12 and under). Reservations required (call (850) 588-2882). WATERCOLOR INN & RESORT’S MARINA PARK AMPHITHEATER Nov. 1-2 A two-night outdoor film festival dedicated to educating, inspiring, and motivating audiences about issues that matter, Mountainfilm on Tour brings a selection of culturally rich, adventure-packed and incredibly inspiring documentary films that explore themes connected to Mountainfilm’s mission of using the power of film, art and ideas to inspire audiences to create a better world. Tickets and lodging packages are available at WATERCOLOR Mountainfilm on Tour at WaterColor

Mixology Series: Shaken, Not Stirred 101 FOOW, 34 GOLDENROD CIRCLE, SANTA ROSA BEACH, FL 32459 Saturday, Nov. 9, 3:30 - 5pm Guests will learn about some of the most famous classic cocktails from around the world with FOOW’s distinguished bar team. Guests will also learn shake-and-stir techniques guaranteed to wow at your next gathering. Light bar snacks will be provided. Open to the public; $30 ++ per person includes tastings, cocktails, and bar snacks; ages 21+ only. Reservations required (call (850) 534-5050). Holiday Baking Class WATERCOLOR INN – ROOM ONE Friday, Nov. 15, 7pm Get prepared to wow your family during the holidays by learning to bake holiday delights from WaterColor Inn’s very own pastry sous chef. It’s as easy as pie – or is it? Open to the public and all ages; $35 ++ per person includes treats and take-home pies for guests to bake. Reservations preferred (call (850) 534-5050). Thanksgiving Brunch WATERCOLOR LAKEHOUSE Thursday, Nov. 28, 11am – 2pm Join WaterColor Inn & Resort in giving thanks with a special buffet style brunch. $65 ++ for adults; $30 ++ for children 12 and under. Open to the public; Reservations required (call (850) 534-5050). Cook The Book: The Princess And The Pizza THE GATHERING SPOT Friday, Nov. 29, 11am Gather the kids for a literary eating event! Kids will get to play with their food – inspired by the theme of the book – as they listen to it live. Featured book: The Princess and the Pizza by Herm & Mary Jane Auch. Open to the public; $15 ++ per person (Book will be available for purchase).

Photo courtesy of St. Joe Hospitality

Reservations preferred (call (850) 534-5050). In Partnership with Sundog Books. Brunch with Santa FOOW Sunday, Dec. 1, 8, 15 & 22, 9am – 3pm Santa is making himself available for brunch at FOOW all month long! Enjoy brunch with a view and get your picture taken with Santa from 10am – 2pm! Santa will be giving out sweet treats and reindeer food to all guests. Open to the public; $25 ++ for adults, $15 ++ for children 12 and under. Around the World with FOOW: Spain FOOW Thursday, Dec. 5, 6:30pm ¡Hola y bienvenidos a España! Be swept away to coastal Spain with savory sauces, fresh breads and other enticing Spanish dishes during the latest installment of FOOW’s “Around the World with FOOW” series. Open to the public; $75++ per person includes a 4-5-course meal and a cocktail. Spanish wine pairings available for $30 ++ per person. Reservations preferred (call (850) 534-5050). Christmas Eve & Christmas Day Dinner Features FOOW Tuesday, Dec. 24 &Wednesday, Dec. 25, 5 – 9pm

Christmas is just prettier on the coast… Enjoy a festive Christmas meal with a Gulf view and live music (6 – 9pm). Open to the public; $85 ++ per person includes a 4-course special dining option or a la carte pricing. Wine Pairings available for $30 ++ per person. Mixology Series: Spice It Up FOOW Saturday, Dec. 28, 3:30 – 5pm Peace, Love and Booze! Sexy, sultry cocktails are the name of this FOOW game. Guests will learn about the art of creating passion- inspired cocktails, and how to infuse flavor mixes into your liquors to create your own sweet-and-spicy signature libation. Light bar snacks will be provided. Open to the public; $30 ++ per person includes tastings, cocktails and bar snacks; ages 21+ only. Reservations required (call (850) 534-5050). Mixology Series: Ringing In The FOOW Year FOOW Monday, Dec. 30 | 3:30 – 5pm Sip, sip, hooray! FOOW has the 101 on Bubbles for your big New Year’s Eve bash. Guests will learn how to put on fun twists on the bubbly to make your New Year’s Eve celebration the talk of the town. Open to the public; $30 ++ per person includes tastings, cocktails and bar snacks; ages 21+ only. Reservations required (call (850) 534-5050).

++Service charge and sales tax not included.

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Christiano’s b y C o u r t n e y M u r r a y

F amily is the core value of the locally owned and operated restaurant in Santa Rosa Beach, Christiano’s. Having just celebrated their ten year anniversary, owner Chris Chirum finds himself reminiscing on the beginning. Over a decade ago Chris and his wife Rene were getting the restaurant off the ground with two children underfoot, and they attribute a lot of their success to the support from their families. Chris says that they wouldn’t be in business without Rene’s daily hard work and love. Their family has grown, thrived, and evolved together in the restaurant business. Their children, Grace (16) and Luke (19), were raised working in the restaurant and have learned to do all of the jobs in the business. They’ve witnessed what hard work can accomplish and that there is no success in cutting corners. It’s the delicious food that brings you in, but it’s the little personal touches that keep you coming back. When you walk through the door of Christiano’s you immediately feel a sense of warmth. The scent of a simmering tomato sauce wafts towards the entrance and laughter fills the air. The vibe is cozy and friendly; you feel like one of the family. As you are seated at a table amongst family and friends, you may be so lucky to be seated at the original table from Chris’s childhood. With hundreds of restaurants up and down the Emerald Coast, you have to stand out not only to stay in business, but to have repeat patrons. In a world where restaurants have become all about who has the trendiest cuisine and most unusual food pairings, Christiano’s decides to do the opposite. They focus on simple, high quality ingredients with amazing flavors. Forget the dehydrated locally foraged truffle soufflé and bring on the home cooked lasagna. With recipes originating in Calabria, Italy and then passed down the generations, you are certain to remember your culinary experience. Chef Chris Chirum was trained in culinary arts at Johnson and Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island. His early career specialized in French cuisine, but the foundation and skillset he established carries on to his everyday meal preparation. It’s all about focusing on simplistic goodness. Chef attributes the incredible flavors of his recipes to California grown garlic, quality olive oil, and the art of seasoning. Many people under appreciate the importance of salt and pepper and finding the perfect balance. “I was taught as a young culinarian that the difference between a good restaurant and an OK restaurant is salt and pepper,” says Chirum. Simple as that. As a family friendly establishment, the classic spaghetti and meatballs is one of the top selling menu items. In addition to Italian favorites like manicotti and

With recipes originating in Calabria, Italy and then passed down the generations, you are certain to remember your culinary experience.

Chris Chirum’s family homage


Shrimp Tuscana

ravioli, Christiano’s offers an exciting menu that incorporates local seafood freshly caught in the Gulf of Mexico. The Snapper Elizabeth has consistently been a favorite dish: perfectly sautéed and topped with jumbo lump crab and almonds laced in the restaurant’s famous white butter sauce with European green beans and rice. Christiano’s has a knack for taking a basic ingredient, like zucchini, and elevating it. The Zucchini Ernesto appetizer takes delicate ribbons of zucchini and fries it with garlic and Romano batter, creating a decadent crisp. Dip one ribbon in the homemade tomato basil sauce and you are truly in heaven. If you can spare an inch of room after your meal, dessert should not be overlooked. You can’t go wrong with Italian favorites like the delicious cannoli or the sweet spumoni, but if you are really wanting to indulge your taste buds, try the chef recommended coconut cream pie. Consistency is their key to success. “We continue to live day to day, taking each day as it comes,” says Chef,

“trying our best to provide each guest an enjoyable dining experience and earn their return visit. We really enjoy the locals, as well as yearly returning guests, asking about our kids and commenting how they have watched them grow up. Hope they’ll be saying that about our grandkids one

day.” If you’re looking to feed your body and your soul, become one of the family and come dine at Christiano’s.

Christiano’s is open for dinner and take out Tuesday- Saturday starting at 5pm. The restaurant is available for private parties and daytime events. With the holidays right around the corner, consider Christiano’s for your corporate luncheon or family gathering. They can also provide on-site and off-site catering services. Please call (850) 267–2185 or visit www.meatballsrb. com for more information.

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Grayton Seafood Company b y L i e s e l S c h m i d t

W hen Grayton Seafood Company first opened its doors to 30-A in summer 2015, owner Kenny Griner had a plan to present fresh, locally caught seafood in a restaurant driven to return to simpler times: before the development of Seaside when there was little besides long stretches of untouched beach and paved roads were nowhere to be found. “I wanted to create an old-school atmosphere,” explains Griner, who also owned the highly successful Chet’s Seafood Restaurant in Pensacola before shifting his focus to 30-A. That old-school atmosphere pairs well with the cuisine with its New Orleans inspired flavor, which is most decidedly present in dishes like the Fried Green Tomatoes topped with their signature Shrimp Remoulade sauce; Crab Cake Eggs Benedict served with Cajun-spiced poached eggs; a Sunday Brunch feature; and their famous crawfish boils in the spring. “New Orleans has always been like a second home, and it’s hard not to be influenced by the culture and some of the best food in the world.” says Griner. Griner went on to bring on partner Tabitha Miller in 2018. Seeing how the restaurant has prospered over the past four years, it’s clear that their vision has been brought to life in the best way. Their dedication to Gulf- to-table, scratch made coastal fare with that NOLA flair is something that their guests connect to, as is the warm reception they receive. “One of the things that people love most about this place is Tabitha, and whether you’re coming to eat with us for the first time or the hundredth, everyone’s a local here and greeted with a genuine welcome — and probably a Tabitha hug!” notes Griner with a wide smile. Supported by what Miller and Griner consider to be an “awesome, dedicated, professional, and fun staff,” Grayton Seafood delivers beyond expectation, tempting diners with signature dishes that take full advantage of all that the local waters have to offer. Still, even the most beautiful product is nothing if not entrusted to the proper hands, and it takes only one bite to confirm that Miller and Griner have indeed found the perfect person to man the pans and drive the kitchen. Keeping the dishes on point, new teammate Chef Shelley Thomas brings her culinary prowess in each plate she creates, showcasing the skills and techniques she learned at Culinary Arts at Johnson & Wales University of Denver with every component she adds, every flavor profile she highlights. And some might say that her

studies in English and Art History at Birmingham could be considered as a proving point for her level of creativity, some- thing that truly serves as an asset to her role as executive chef. A stickler for making everything from scratch using only the very best locally caught seafood, the freshest produce, and the finest meats, Chef Shelley

Fried Crab Claws

Creole Linguini

Idyll Hounds, Grayton Beer, and Oyster City Brewing Co. served on tap. “It’s all part of creating that laid back, old-school atmosphere where people can relax and just enjoy the food, the drinks, and the company,” Griner contends. With all that they have to offer, it’s little wonder that Grayton Seafood Company has people on the hook and ready to be reeled in.

has diners lining up for such favorites as the Pan Seared Crab Cakes: an abundance of crabmeat perfectly encased in a golden crust and served on a bed of fluffy, aromatic garlic mashed potatoes served with sautéed vegetables and drizzled with a lemon butter cream sauce. Featuring plump, sautéed shrimp and crawfish with bell peppers and onions in a creamy Alfredo sauce, the Creole Linguini is a new twist on the traditional Italian dish, serving up flavors reminiscent of the Bayou in each bite. Bringing even more of the heat, the Seafood Gumbo is a bowl full of soul that keeps guests coming back for more; and the Fresh Local Catch is always a chart topper worth tasting. “What we do here and what we create in the kitchen is a lot of work, but we’re proud of the level of quality we achieve in doing that,” says Miller, who, by all accounts, is the heart and soul of the restaurant. Naturally, the plates they serve need the perfect pairing. The restaurant also features a wide range of excellent wines, champagnes, beers, and local brews from

Chef Shelly Thomas

Grayton Seafood Company is located at 50 Uptown Grayton Circle #1, Santa Rosa Beach, Florida 32459. For more information about hours and the menu, visit www.graytonseafood. com or call (850) 213-3683.

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Tim Williams of Café Thirty-A b y R y a n L o f t i s

W hen doing a job for more than 25 years, there’s always a danger it will start to seem stale and repetitive. What keeps Tim Williams, Cafe Thirty-A’s executive chef, inspired? Unpredictability. “In the restaurant industry, every day is different,” Williams says. “Each person who walks through the door has a different set of expectations. The challenge adds fuel to the fire. You want to make sure everybody’s happy, and not only leaving happy but exceeding expectations. If you can send somebody out going, ‘Wow, that’s really great, that’s more than I was bargaining for,’ that’s our goal every day.” Originally from Brooklyn, N.Y., Williams didn’t always aspire to become a chef. He initially dreamed of working on Wall Street, only to find actually having a job there unsatisfying. It was during a summer vacation to Cape Cod in the early 1980s that he found his true calling. He met and befriended a couple, David and Eileen Gibson, who had just bought an inn with a restaurant. The Gibsons, who had more than 20 years of restaurant experience between them, wanted Williams to work for them. His plan was to be a busboy, but they wanted him in the kitchen. “Once they threw me in there, I realized this is where I need to be,’” he says. He wanted to attend culinary school, but the Gibsons felt doing so wasn’t immediately necessary. “They said, ‘Hold on, we’ll teach you what we learned there.’ It was very hands-on training from some very talented people. I was very fortunate.” Williams returned to college in New York when the summer ended, but his days at the restaurant weren’t over: the following spring the Gibsons sent him a plane ticket to come work for them over Easter weekend. That May, the restaurant’s menu was changed from German to American. Even the wine would be American, an unheard-of development in Cape Cod at the time. The gamble paid off: following a glowing review in the Boston Globe that August, the restaurant’s business exploded. After the Gibsons sold their property, Williams went to work in Vail, Colo., but when his father became ill he returned to New York. He went back to work with David Gibson, this time at a restaurant in Syracuse, N.Y., for a year, when he returned to Cape Cod to work at a fine dining restaurant, spending 2 years there before his future wife told him it was time for him to attend culinary school. The Culinary Institute of America’s Hyde Park, NY, campus was the only school Williams considered. “Going through the core courses was a pretty good reinforcement

the people I had previously worked with knew what they were doing,” he says. But the lessons weren’t confined to the classroom. “All the instructors at school had a side business going on. I got to learn a lot working on projects they had going on.” He learned about building relationships with clients and coworkers, how to upsell to clients, how to determine what clients are looking for. The biggest lesson, however, was “they worked from the heart. It mattered to them.” One particularly noteworthy example was a professor turning down what Williams calls a “ridiculous” amount of money for an event where the clients were more concerned about pomp and circumstance than the quality of the food. “That kind of blew me away. But I never forgot it.” That commitment guides Williams’ philosophy as a chef. “You can read and be exposed to all kinds of things intellectually, but if it doesn’t feel right don’t do it. If there’s a hesitation, there’s a reason for that.” Williams worked at a Mexican restaurant while attending culinary school and continued working there after his 1992 graduation. In 1994, he moved to Atlanta to work for Hilton Hotels as an executive sous chef. He had several jobs over the years, including serving as the corporate executive chef responsible for all menu development for the Miami-based Tango Group, before opening his restaurant Dantanna’s in 2003. Williams remains a partner in Dantanna’s, which today has two Atlanta locations. While his time in Atlanta was successful, eventually Williams became ready to move on. His children were grown, his day-to-day involvement was no longer necessary at Dantanna’s, and he had grown tired of the Atlanta traffic. He fell in love with 30-A and began visiting the area as often as possible. Williams bought a property in Panama City Beach in 2016 and became a permanent resident in June 2018. It wouldn’t take long to find his new job. Williams had been considering opening a cafe or sandwich shop when an acquaintance forwarded his resume to Cafe Thirty-A’s management. A 90-minute conversation with management inspired him to take the restaurant’s executive chef position in July 2018. Williams believes the ability to manage people and products is essential for being a successful chef. “If I’m not giving the people who work with me what they need to achieve their goals, then I’m not doing my job,” he says. As for managing products, “You have to set up a system to make sure to offer the highest quality. Number one is where you purchase from and number

Executive Chef Tim Williams

You want to make sure everybody’s happy, and not only leaving happy but exceeding expectations.

two how you handle it. If you take care of it, respect it, cook it properly, and it goes out, you usually don’t have any issues.”

Cafe Thirty-A is located at 3899 E. Scenic Highway 30A in Seagrove Beach. For more information call (850) 231-2166 or visit

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Bailey Miller b y L i e s e l S c h m i d t

“From Bones”



W ith its requirement for a keen eye for colors, lines, and textures, there’s an artistic aspect to landscape design, so it stands to reason that photographer and painter Bailey Miller has the natural gift she does as a freelance landscape artist. It’s a gig that keeps her bills paid, now that she’s left the grind of working for a large-scale landscape corporation; but by all accounts, that’s not the work that truly speaks to her soul. The daughter of a horticulturist father who, along with her mother, owns a nursery, Miller has always had a natural predisposition for plants; and while she had no formal training in botany, having pursued a degree in painting and photography, her talent for landscaping was enough that she landed a great position with a very reputable firm. But the natural artistry she possesses never really found satisfaction with the work, so when fate stepped in and forced her to evaluate what she really wanted from her life, she took the plunge and decided to go for it “hard core.” Born and raised in North Georgia, Miller’s family had always vacationed at the beach; and after living a few years on the “dreary and miserable” West Coast, she decided to take a breather at the beach to recharge. That breather turned into a permanent situation, as she’d essentially found her people — a community of like- minded artists who all seemed to support one another’s aspirations and thrive on creativity. She took a job as a gardener at WaterColor, and thirteen years later, she was still digging in the dirt, having gone down a path that she had never really planned. It’s clear that her success in landscape design stems from her creativity and her artistic nature; but her true

outlet for that is found not in plants, but in photography and painting, two pursuits that she only recently made a go of professionally. After separating from her corporate job in November 2018, she took the severance she was given and dove in with everything she had, researching her medium and seeking out all she needed to get started in her new venture. Having learned on a film camera, Miller never had any interest in digital photography. In fact, she’s never even owned a digital camera. Rather, she does something that only a limited number of photographers have the patience or the passion for: wet-collodion process. Requiring the aforementioned patience, this archaic method also requires the use of toxic chemicals and an expensive old mammoth of a camera — in Miller’s case, a 120-year-old Eastman Empire State that she lovingly calls a “mahogany beast”— as well as an understanding of photography and how to line up a shot. Not to mention how to use the ancient and cumbersome equipment. “This is not just a hobby that’s easy to learn, and it took me like five months before I could even get an image to turn out,” she admits. “It was my lesson in patience! Each picture takes about 45 minutes, start to finish; and you can never replicate that image again—it’s a one-shot deal, and if you mess it up, you can’t get that hour back.” Not one to stay inside the box, a look at her online gallery also offers a peek into her paintings. So far, in the handful of months that she’s actually been producing (spoiler alert: since going full bore into pursuing her art in February 2019, she’s created 80-odd pieces), she’s done mostly black and white renderings of iconic images — politicians, famous architecture and landmarks, and

Bailey Miller and her 120-year-old Eastman camera

celebrities — that she creates using sourced photos that she converts and then transfers by hand onto canvas using a Sharpie marker and a projector before layering them with paint. Regardless of what she puts her hand to—be it painting, photography, landscaping, or music (Miller is also a talented lyricist and musician), she feels a need to be connected in some way to art. “If I don’t paint or play music or take pictures, I feel like something is missing — like an appendage,” she says. Fortunately, she comes from a supportive family, and she’s also found patronage from someone she now considers not only her representative, but also a very dear friend. “Anne Hunter gave me my first opportunity to display my art on 30-A more than a decade ago, and she’s always been someone who inspired me to keep creating and not give up, and anytime she could give me a spot, she could. She’s a great gallerist, and she helps me keep going.”

For more information on Bailey Miller and her work, visit or call (850) 685-1852.

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The Gift of the Artist b y A n n e H u n t e r

their giftedness is accepted by others, the child is incapable of repressing their capabilities. As such, they fastidiously seek out the tools for expression. Doors open for the inherently gifted child by the sheer force of their own nature. They source positive results and are recognized as prodigy children. The second method is through an activating experience, either by trauma or through an epiphany. Maria Montessori (1967) outlined four stages of growth that she referred to as the four planes of development. The four stages begin at birth and extend to adulthood, from age 0 to 24 years (p. 18). I feel that, if during this developmental time, an individual undergoes a trauma on any scale, the will to survive the trauma turns a card over and the gift appears. Conversely, if the individual has a positive experience resulting in an epiphany, or an “ah-ha” moment, the card is also activated. The third method is through work. Attainment of giftedness can be activated through work, diligence, training, and study; however, in artistic expressions it is often evident to me when training, rather than the forces of nature, is the cornerstone of activation. A primitive expression of a natural gift, supported by knowledge, education, and practice, rather than the study of it forced into action, is the preferred experience. An example of this is found in the myth surrounding Mozart and Salieri. In the play by Aleksandr Pushkin (1832) Salierie describes the attainment of his gift through work in contrast to Mozart’s natural inherent gift. “I was the learned one. To art I made out of facility, And facile I became: my fingers gained. A dry obedient dexterity. My ear reliability. I deadened. The sounds, dissected music like a corpse. Proved harmony by algebra. And then, then only did I dare, with all my lore, yield to the bliss of my creative fancy.” Silverman, L. K. (2013). Giftedness 101. New York, NY: Springer Pub. Co. Montessori, M (1967). The Absorbent Mind. New York, NY. Holt, Rinehart and Winston. Pushkin, A. (1832). Mozart and Salieri. A. Wood (Translator) Dufour Editions; 2nd edition.

Photo by Aranka Israni

Doors open for the inherently gifted child by the sheer force of their own nature.

The three characteristics that are most important to me in the identification of giftedness are: a connection to nature and natural objects; an affinity for expressing understandings; and independent thought, coupled with a desire and receptiveness for learning from and sharing with others. When any or all of these characteristics are activated, the result is the expression of “the gift”. Until now, my experience with giftedness has been on the receiving end, through the adult output of artworks, rather than in developmental or formative stages of childhood. The class studies this week have opened my eyes to the broader discussion and insights into the unsolved riddle of gifted people in my field: how they present their gifts to society and why gifts often remain dormant within an individual. Silverman (2013) has stated that “invisible gifts do exist. When they are deeply buried, the individual, and everyone in the person’s world, may be completely unaware of them. If they do not receive nourishment from the environment, they may never flower to achievement” (p.1). My experiences in the art world have led me to believe that giftedness is an inherent and typically dormant trait in all humans; unless the giftedness card is turned over or activated. For example, imagine that inside each individual is an endless deck of gifted cards. When any one of those cards is flipped over, that particular gift is activated. From fifteen years of working with artists, I’ve concluded that there are three activating factors of giftedness, all of which are rooted in childhood; and some of which can become activated later in life. I refer to the first activating card as inherent. This occurs when the child is born out of the womb with the will for expressing one or all of their gifts. The inherent child is born with their cards already turned over, activated, and ready to put into action. Whether or not

Anne Hunter

T his question of giftedness is often posed to me by friends, neighbors, parents, and colleagues, relative to scouting and curating artists for my galleries. Now in the current pursuit of a Master of Education, I am taking a course called Educated the Talented and Gifted , taught by Dr. Ann Batenbug, Clinical Associate Professor at Southern Methodist University. In our second week of classwork, she posed the question, “How do you know if a child is gifted.” This issue’s Cultural Column includes excerpts of my response.

For more information: Anne Hunter Galleries, 25 Central Square, Seaside, FL,

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Design with the Tides b y L i e s e l S c h m i d t

T o scroll through the design images posted on Mary Ellen DiMauro’s Instagram account, it’s clear that her aesthetic runs to pieces that are easy, breezy, casual, and beachy. They seem to breathe a liveliness that almost opposes the lack of color, their freely flowing forms in no way constricting or confining, but rather forgiving and freeing the body to move. There’s no hint of body- con lines, no resemblance to bondage or bandage- wrap or “skinny” anything. Instead, the pieces are draped in such a way that they celebrate the female form without so closely following its contours. “Most of my work is inspired by the female form, S curves, and the way a particular fabric drapes on the body — especially on the bias cut,” says the young designer, who originally hailed from Athens, Georgia, and studied design at University of Georgia. “My typical aesthetic is soft, comfortable designs that flow and have some sort of raw trimming details that show the beauty of imperfection.” As someone who got her best training by getting hands-on with thrift store finds that she would take apart to study their construction and then use to create new pieces, DiMauro’s appreciation for imperfection is, perhaps, one of her differentiators, as it translates into the way she can visualize a piece where others might not. It also gives rise to the uniqueness in each design and each garment, something that her customers certainly value. “People love most that my clothing is unique — they’re not going to see anyone else wearing the same thing, and they can feel that it was made with love.” She became an aspiring designer at the age of ten, when she got her first sewing machine from her grandmother as a Christmas present. But DiMauro didn’t really get serious about creating her own designs until college, when she completed an internship where she learned garment construction, sustainable fashion, and redesign. “It was a really educational time for me because I was able to deepen my knowledge of how clothes are made. I also created my own patterns and had my first fashion show,” she recalls. The fashions she creates are undeniably pieces with a “beachy” feel. The garments are made of fabrics whose weight, texture, and tonal neutrality exude ease and a carefree effortlessness that one associates with days spent along the shoreline, with toes sunken into soft sand and sea-salted air ruffling one’s hair. Little wonder that she

classic in a way that does not restrict them to a particular time or trend. They seem inspired by something just outside of the conscious mind, giving them an appeal that won’t soon be washed away by the tides, and that’s been one of the greatest secrets of her success—especially now that she’s set up shop in 30-A. “My typical buyer is

Mary Ellen DiMauro

here to relax at the beach and wants some- thing she can be comfortable lounging in while she’s at home, by the pool, or at the beach; but also, something that she can dress up and wear out to dinner with her friends,” DiMauro says. Obviously that versatility is one that has served her well. And as she continues creating her designs, no doubt DiMauro will gain an even greater following that will sweep her into a current far beyond her

finds inspiration from her surroundings, now having staked her claim at 30-A, where she has a new shop at Watersound that sells her line. It can be said that she almost goes with the flow, as she doesn’t confine herself to one specific process when it comes to creating her designs, but rather lets the materials speak to her. “My creative process varies,” she says. “In some cases, I’ll take a new fabric and drape it right over a dress form and let the drape of the material dictate the design; this is often how I make one-of-a-kind custom dresses. More of my staple items have started from a sketch, which I use to draft a flat pattern and create a mock up. Once I have that, I tweak the mock up to end up with a final garment.” Whatever method she uses, DiMauro seems to have no shortage of creativity waiting to be unleashed. The pieces she makes feel fresh and different, yet somehow

greatest imaginings, where her pieces become inspiration for other young designers with a dream, much the way that she has been inspired by others. For any designer, that is one of the greatest achievements; and DiMauro is well on her way.

To see Mary Ellen DiMauro’s collection, visit her shop at 27 Hub Lane, Inlet Beach, FL 32461 or online at

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Emerald Coast Theatre Company b y S u s a n L . C a n n i z z a r o

T he desire to enrich and entertain the Emerald Coast community through education and professional theatre motivated Nathanael and Anna Fisher to open Emerald Coast Theatre Company. Once they both finished grad school in 2012 they decided to make the move to Miramar Beach, close to the area that Anna called home as a child. After seeing the tremendous growth and opportunities in the region they knew this was the right time and place to share their passion. “We really got our start when we collaborated with the Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation and offered the very first after-school theatre program in January 2013. We originally had 10 children signed up. Now we have over 470 children signed up in our various educational programs,” says Nathanael. They saw an opportunity for elementary children to get involved in theater in Walton County, especially where there were no opportunities for middle school children. After they launched their first program, they kept adding more, including an education theater program, theater for young audiences, and professional theater for adults that hosts plays and musicals throughout the year. Nathanael and Anna have seen first-hand how their programs have changed children’s lives. “Kids are sometimes very shy when they start with us. Then after taking some classes and performing, they really blossom and often have the lead on the stage. Parents will tell me, “we cannot get them to talk at home and now they are on the main stage!” When the show is over, the children are so proud of themselves and the parents are so proud as well,” says Anna. “As a producer and theater educator you see the self confidence blossom in these kids, they are a product of what they have accomplished. They are not just learning to create a play but learning to interact with other humans, create story structure and enhance language skills, enhance their memory, and get valuable exposure to music. So much that happens in a rehearsal is beneficial for children,” adds Nathanael. He says some parents will admit they can’t get their children out of bed during the week, yet these same kids will get up early on a Saturday for one of their Middle School programs. “Theater is inclusive, there are no cliques. You see 25-30 kids come together to put on a show that has structure and allows the kids to be highly involved. They can come and be weird and we love and support that,” says Nathanael. “Kids are under enough pressure — we want to offer a safe place to creatively play and we start with children as young as 4 with our Little Rascals program.”

“Shrek Jr. The Musical”

Photo courtesy of Emerald Coast Theatre Company

As a producer and theater educator you see the self confidence blossom in these kids, they are a product of what they have accomplished.

and continue to look for outreach programs, create more summer camps, and continue to offer after school programs so we can enrich more lives of children and adults,” says Nathanael. They are offering several professional productions throughout the year including productions and musicals including The Fantasticks and Pinkalicious The Musicial. “We want them to come as a family to see our shows, which offer a high-quality professional theatre experience,” he adds. To find out more about Emerald Coast Theatre Company visit or call (850) 684-0323. 560 Grand Blvd. Ste. 200, Miramar Beach, FL.

Sherry Londe is a former dancer, local volunteer, and founding board member who also started The Leading Ladies volunteer brigade. “I truly believe in ECTC’s mission, it gets the kids involved, the parents get involved, and I see the positive impact on the whole community. The VIP Membership program has different levels of giving and it has allowed school children to get to our shows and outreach programs,” she adds. If a school is not able to provide the funding for this experience, it is offered for free and often it may be the first production they have ever seen. ECTC is located at 560 Grand Boulevard, just upstairs from the Williams Sonoma Store. “We are thrilled with our partnership with Grand Boulevard and we just love our space. We have attracted a great audience base in Sandestin, including the whole west end of 30-A. We will continue to stay in the area

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High Blood Pressure… Myths and Solutions b y D r . B a r t P r e c o u r t

S adly, there are over 80 million Americans diagnosed with high blood pressure, also known as hypertension. This statistic in my opinion is crazy, mostly because this condition is beatable. The bad news… High blood pressure increases the risk of developing some types of cardiovascular disease or even death from heart disease. The good news… You can do something about this. Even cure your own hypertension! Let’s first review some of the myths most of us have been told about high blood pressure. Then I will outline some ways you can improve your heart health. MYTH #1: IT’S GENETIC Do we have the genes and genetic characteristics of our parents? Of course we do. Does that mean all of our dysfunctions are their fault? No. Too often I hear patients that have been diagnosed with high blood pressure and subsequently put on meds tell me that their doctor said it was genetic. Just because your daddy, uncle, cousin, or neighbor had it does not mean you will too. What’s more import is your “Epi-genetics.” This means the way your lifestyle, environment, and habits effect how your genes are expressed. The foods you eat, stress, alcohol etc. If these are similar to your parents then yes, you will likely experience the same health issues that they did. MYTH #2: IT’S A HEART PROBLEM. High blood pressure is not a heart issue. In fact, your heart does not determine how high or low your blood pressure is; this is the job of your adrenal glands. These are two little glands located on top of your kidneys that help you manage stress. When you have more stress, whether it’s emotional, chemical, or physical, your adrenal glands signal your heart to raise or lower blood pressure to help manage the demands of stress. A diet high in sugar or processed foods will create a chemical stressor. That stress is due to a nutritional deficiency. Therefore, the adrenal glands signal the heart to increase rate and pressure to get more vitamins and minerals to your body. Yes! High blood pressure is often a sign of a nutritional deficiency. B vitamins and magnesium are often deficient in diets with sugar, processed foods, and alcohol.

SIMPLE SOLUTIONS: Get more sleep! Get better quality sleep. Our bodies rest and recover when we sleep. Poor sleep habits are very stressful to your body and will keep you stuck in sympathetic dominance, also known as “fight-or-flight”. If alcohol or sugar is consumed before bed you will likely decrease the quality of your sleep and not feel fully rested. Drink more water. Dehydration is another common stress that is overlooked. Ideally you should drink half your body weight in ounces of water daily. This is too easy not to implement. Many of my clients have helped manage their blood pressure by staying properly hydrated. GET YOUR ADRENAL GLANDS TESTED. Reducing stress, hydrating better, and eating plenty of vegetables is the ideal way to reduce high blood pressure. Yet another smart strategy is to get your adrenal gland function tested. It’s an easy at home saliva test that you can get from your doctor. This test will let you know how healthy or dysfunctional your adrenal glands are. If your adrenals are tired or over-producing cortisol, your blood pressure will be difficult to manage and you may end up on more meds. One thing I’m certain of is that high blood pressure has never been caused by a lack of medications. Although the meds might provide a quick fix to lower the numbers, they will never fix the root cause. TAKE ACTION! High blood pressure may be one of the easiest health issues to fix on your own. Yet it will require some self- love and some action. The self-love comes in the form of loving yourself and your health more than you love the doughnuts, sugar, or wine. The action involves you improving your diet, getting some daily exercise, and quieting the mind. It’s too easy not to. And…. You are worth it!

Dr. Bart M. Precourt

Dr. Bart M. Precourt, D.C., is a Holistic Doctor, chiropractor, acupuncturist and nutritional consultant. For nearly 20 years he has helped people get healthy, lose weight and create healthy sustainable lifestyles. He currently practices in Seagrove Beach, FL at Balance Health Studio, For a consultation, contact Balance Health Studio at (850) 231-9288. Reducing stress, hydrating better, and eating plenty of vegetables is the ideal way to reduce high blood pressure.

IN SUMMARY: Eat right, move right, sleep right, and think right!

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I n the way a small-town grocer is beloved by his customers for stocking the food they like and remembering which cuts of meat their more frequent shoppers choose, Art & Soul 30a has endeared itself to our region. Co- owners Sandy Gross and Christine Ramey appreciate art, the beach, and its people like no one else; and since opening in May in Seagrove Beach, they’ve showcased local artists and their work with vision and style. Christine Ramey is an artist herself, whose creations include paintings and mixed media pieces. With a great creative soul, Ramey also writes the blog mentioned on the shop’s Art & Soul 30a b y E l l e n H o w l e

because I think it’s extremely important for local artists to be able to show their work in the area and not be over- powered by out of town artists that have no real connection to the South Walton area.” Some of the work Art & Soul shares is from local artist Donna Jangula, who was also with Synchronicities. When Ramey and Gross opened their new business, they asked her to join them there. “I’m concentrating on watercolor, acrylic, and oil right now,” says Jangula. “I am addicted to art!” After Hurricane Michael, she moved to Santa Rosa Beach, living only a couple of miles from Art & Soul. Now she has many pieces of art in the shop, including 9 pieces of wood, recovered from the hurricane that she’s painted. “I’ve lived here for 11 months now

Facebook page and website. Ramey has also published a children’s book, I Love the Beach, with local musician Frank Faust. “I spent a lot of time on 30-A when I first moved here,” she says. “I loved the community and all the different artists and artwork available. I couldn’t have imagined opening my gallery anywhere else.” She adds that because her artwork involves the architecture and visitors to 30-A, it helps her create even more ideas as she drives to and from the gallery each day. Sandy Gross is also an artist but says becoming a professional photographer wasn’t in the forefront of her mind. She recalls, “For the first six months I lived here, I walked the beach nearly every day and began taking hundreds of photos. After doing some editing, I ran the photos by a few of my most honest critics and they saw what I was seeing. I had uncovered a hidden talent.” She now sells her photography at Art & Soul, as well as being co-owner and bringing visibility to other artists. Local photographer Bill Horn, of Fish Haven Photograph, has some of his prints hanging in the shop. He has worked 50 years as an amateur and the last five as a professional photographer. “I love their emphasis on the local art and the importance of documenting the beach lifestyle,” says Horn. “I like working with them

and will be here another six or eight, but I know I will stay with Art & Soul, even after I go back to Panama City.” Gross and Ramey have built a loyal following in the Santa Rosa Beach area because they want to showcase local talent inside their business. Gross says that when people find you, it’s the best way to find artists who want to sell their art. “We end up getting a lot of local artists who walk right in and almost immediately want to sell their art here. We love that feeling!” They also want to be involved in community efforts. The pair has donated pieces for an upcoming event and silent auction in Seaside to benefit the Children’s Volunteer Health Network, an organization that provides a mobile dentistry clinic for the local elementary schools. Gross says that one of the reasons she loves her business is that 30-A has a unique vibe. “I love the homes, the people, the artsy vibe, and of course, the beaches, where I get my inspiration for my photography. I’ve visited many areas throughout the U.S., Mexico, and Florida. When I finally discovered this area, my soul immediately knew this is where I belonged.” Art & Soul is located at 5399 East Scenic Hwy 30a, Suite 4, Santa Rosa Beach, FL, 32459. Call them at (850) 231-3213. Hours are Tuesday – Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday: 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Christine Ramey & Sandy Gross

We end up getting a lot of local artists who walk right in and almost immediately want to sell their art here. We love that feeling!

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