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Performing Art
Brian Haverlock and Sabrina Small. Photo by Heidi Kurpiela.
Arts and Entertainment Wednesday, Jul. 11, 2012 8 years ago

Scene & Heard

by: Heidi Kurpiela Contributing Writer

+ Artistic duo says, 'Sayonara, Sarasota' 
The joint farewell show of s/ART/q artists Brian Haverlock and Sabrina Small at Clothesline Gallery & Boutique has been one long happy/sad send-off, that’s for sure.

“Moving Through Time,” which closes Saturday, July 21, at Clothesline Gallery, is a well-deserved celebration of the couple’s work dating from 2005 to 2012.

The show, which includes a few collaborative efforts, will cap off its one-month run with a reception from 6 to 8 p.m. July 14, at the gallery’s Pineapple Avenue location.

Small and Haverlock, both of whom I profiled for this section in 2010 and 2011, respectively, are planning to leave Sarasota to pursue other opportunities.

Small is returning to her hometown of Philadelphia, and Haverlock is moving to Montclair, N.J., to get his M.F.A. from Montclair State University.

“We’ll only be a two-hour commute from each other,” Small says. “Definitely more than a five-minute bike ride, but not too bad.”

With their portfolios and lovable personalities, I predict gallery doors will fly open wherever they go.

+ Speaking of bittersweet good-byes …
Eight years ago, I showed up at Jack Perkins’ front door at 5:45 a.m. to comb Casey Key Beach for sea-turtle nests with his wife, Mary Jo.

I was writing a story on Mote Marine’s sea-turtle volunteers. It was one of my first feature assignments for The Observer.

I remember when I showed up that morning, a towering man with a white beard greeted me from his second-story balcony.

“Mary Jo will be right down,” he said, his voice breaking the dawn.

I knew Perkins was a revered journalist who had worked for David Brinkley at NBC and as the host of “Biography” on the A&E channel, in addition to a million other things.

However, I wasn’t there to interview him. I was there to see his wife. As I shuffled across the street to a quiet stretch of beach, I thought to myself, “Someday, I’ll sit down and talk shop with him.”

Not long after that, Perkins jumped into the first season of “A Gulf Coast Journal,” and, for whatever reason, I failed to follow up on an interview.

That is, until this issue — my last issue as The Observer’s arts and entertainment editor.

When I contacted Perkins to see if he was free for a chat, I explained I was leaving the paper to try my hand at freelance magazine work. I told him it was only fitting that I end with him on the cover.

He said, “For you? You bet.”

So, dear readers: I leave you this week with a story of a journalist whose meandering career path inspires both the writer and adventurer in me.

When I showed up at Perkins’ house, he greeted me, once again, from the upstairs balcony, reminding me that no matter how many years go by, some things never change.

I started at The Observer in November 2004, a few months after graduating from Buffalo State College with a degree in journalism. I was hired to write for the now-defunct Osprey Observer. I wanted the job so bad. I must have called the Longboat office 10 times to inquire about my resume. I think Matt Walsh hired me so I’d stop calling and emailing him. I remember him telling me he liked my “persistence,” which I took as code for “annoying relentlessness.” When the Osprey paper folded, I became community editor of the Sarasota Observer. In 2009, I moved onto Diversions. To be brief, working for the paper has taught me more than I could ever sum up in a column blurb. I carry a little piece of every story I’ve ever written, which is the most valuable tool for which a journalist could ever ask.

Editor’s note: Look for incoming Arts and Entertainment Editor Mallory Gnaegy’s first column in the July 19 issue.

WBTT’s ‘Songbirds of the ’70s’:

The Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe’s musical revues are always a crowd favorite. Wisely, the troupe has decided to kick off its Summer Sizzler series with “Songbirds of the ’70s,” an all-female revue written and adapted by Artistic Director Nate Jacobs. The cast features Nisi Pierre, Jnana Cooper, Tsadok Porter, Naarai Jacobs and Ebony Lavender doing diva soul like no other songbirds in town. I assure you “Proud Mary” never sounded so loud and so proud. The show runs Wednesday, July 18, through Sunday, July 29. For tickets, call 366-1505 or visit

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