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Clarkson: Hinsdale Library photo exhibit about creativity, connection and community


What would a picture of hope look like? This is not a rhetorical question. We can see what hope looks like — and it will have many different interpretations and portrayals — in a photography exhibit called After Supper Visions opening in the Hinsdale Public Library Feb. 15 and running through March.

The display in the Quiet Reading Room will have photographs of three artists, who are also guests at Catholic Charities of Chicago’s weekly Tuesday night supper for the poor, the homeless and the near homeless and who participate in the After Supper Visions photography program.

The Rev. Wayne Watts, Catholic Charities administrator Ellen Gorney and photographer Jody O’Connor started the program to offer those who came for supper a chance to grow and connect with their environment. They began to offer instruction and cameras to guests who were interested, said Maureen Kelley, a Hinsdale resident who has volunteered with the project for the past 10 years.

Kelley quoted theologian Thomas Merton as saying “Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.” She sees how the art of photography has offered that opportunity to the Catholic Charities supper guests. Those in the photography program have had a chance to create, connect and communicate through the medium of photography and, through that process, to grow.

I am anxious to see the exhibit and meet the artists at the opening reception from 6-8 p.m. Feb. 15. The reception is free and open to the public. For more information, go to www.aftersuppervisions.com, www.catholiccharities.net or www.hinsdalelibrary.info. A larger exhibit with the photographs of all After Supper Visions photographers will be on display June 8 to 10 at Catholic Charities, 721 N. La Salle St., Chicago.

Crazy Stressed’ parenting

I remember laughing, and I remember nodding when Michael J. Bradley, Ed.D., came and spoke at a Community Speakers Series event in the spring of 2013, so I can heartily recommend going to hear him speak when he returns to address village parents on “Crazy Stressed: Saving Today’s Overwhelmed Children” later this month.

In 2013, the topic was “Loving Your Teen Without Losing Your Mind,” and while I thought the proposition of staying sane and simultaneously loving the teen was an impossibility, Bradley’s experience, wisdom and the approachable way in which he presented the talk and suggestions left me feeling hopeful in the sometimes isolating and worrisome business of parenting a teen.

He will bring that same sense of humor as well as clinical background and anecdotal evidence to his talks here, which will be offered on two times and dates: from 7-8:30 p.m. on Feb. 21 and from 9:30-11 a.m. on Feb. 22 at The Community House, 415 W. Eighth St., Hinsdale.

It is free and open to the public, but advance registration is requested. Go to www.d181foundation.org to register. Bradley’s books include “Yes, Your Teen Is Crazy,” “Yes, Your Parents Are Crazy: A Teen Survival Guide,” “The Heart and Soul of the Next Generation,” and most recently “Crazy Stressed,” which will be available at the talks.

Parent resources

As can often happen when looking around on the internet, I was searching for something else when I happened upon something really neat: a parent list of referrals for student support services. This list, available on the Hinsdale Central PTO website, though not endorsed or sponsored by the PTO, is a list of positive referrals for support services which satisfied parents have shared.

Please note the use of the word “positive,” meaning the parents who submitted the references feel these professionals are worthwhile. It is anonymous and includes services and recommendations for parents seeking advice for students who suffer eating disorders, for example, or are struggling with depression, various forms of ADHD or have executive functioning issues, just to list a few. Visit www.hcpto.org/parent-list to view it or to consider adding any service providers worthy of recommendation.

Wild family dinner

Speaking of families, I know that family dinner is supposed to be a sacred and regular part of family life, difficult as that is. Thank you Clarendon Hills Park District for a family dinner and family entertainment combined in “Dine With The Animals,” scheduled for 5:30-7 p.m. on March 2 at The Community Center, 315 Chicago Ave., Clarendon Hills.

It will feature a pizza dinner, crafts and an exotic animal show. Visit www.clarendonhillsparkdistrict.org for more information.

Sara Clarkson is a freelance columnist for Pioneer Press.



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