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Hidden Passions, Creative LivesWhat a fabric artist, an unusual brand of storyteller, and a map collector have in common.
create_introFABRICATIONS: Melissa Matson, principal violist in the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, creates “improvisational” monoprint and screen-printed fabrics. She sells and displays her work at shows and in galleries throughout the region. (Photo: Adam Fenster)

Most of us have more than one interest or talent. If we’re lucky, we get to pursue at least one of them as our “day job.”

And what about those other callings? For many of us, they’re hobbies. But for some people, they become something serious—more akin to a second area of expertise.

Since March 2015, the Memorial Art Gallery has been on a mission to discover such people and bring them to the museum to share their pursuits as part of a series called “Hidden Passions: Inspiring Conversations about Hyphenated Lives.”

Jonathan Binstock, the Mary W. and Donald R. Clark Director of the Memorial Art Gallery, says that what unifies participants in the series is the unique expression of a creative impulse.

He established the series as a first step in a mission to place the museum at the center of a regional conversation about creativity. He calls it “an opportunity for the public to share their visions for a creative world with us and with each other.”

Now in its third season, the program includes presenters from throughout Greater Rochester. Here are a few examples from the University community who have shared their “Hidden Passions.”

For more about the series, visit the museum’s website at