Passionate People - An Evening of Subtle "Contrasts" at Hickory, NC USA Museum of Art

Friday evening, March 11, I experienced another reminder of the unexpected pleasures of life in a smaller town. Previously I've dropped by the Hickory Museum of Art photography and multimedia exhibit, "scene unseen" (Jan 22 - April 15, 2011) by my new friends Sally Fanjoy and James Labrenz. But I had not taken the time necessary to truly enjoy the exhibit. Saturday night would be the perfect time to do so as the wife and husband creative duo hosted with the museum a night of music and art. "Kontras Quartet" was to perform.

Now, I've enjoyed chamber music performances in both contemporary and traditional art museums. But, until last night, my experiences have been best described as "pleasant". I had no idea what I was in store for but having to park around back and down the street because of the full lots should have given me a clue to what I would discover inside.

The virtuosity of the Kontras provided a perfect balance to the emotional strength of James and Sally's multimedia exhibit. I thought I was only going to view photography and hear a quartet perform but what delighted the crowd was a seamless sextet - 6 artists who obviously love their community came together for a truly memorable shared performance.

Dmitri Pogorelov, Francois Henkins, Jean Hatmaker, and Ai Ishida of Kontras Quartet .

Photographer Sally Fanjoy with the Kontras

Performance Photographer Spencer Huffman caught me with HMoA Museum director Lisë Swensson being captivated by the performance. Co-creator James Labrenz is in back holding his young protegé.

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