Art and culture a priority at Hinsdale Public Library

I am heading to Oak Brook's Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art this weekend to see, among other things, a cinnabar screen encrusted with carved gemstones. The screen was a birthday present to the Chinese emperor Qianlong in 1791, and since my own birthday is fast approaching, it seemed like a good time to research gift ideas. Right now, I just can't decide between asking my wife for a gem-encrusted cinnabar screen or just a night off from doing the dishes.

To free up some money in my family's gift budget, I am checking out a Museum Adventure Pass. (I'm getting it from my home library, so Hinsdale's will still be available for you!) At this museum, the pass allows visitors half off the entry price. Many other museums all around the city and state have deals like this - including free admission to the Brookfield Zoo and Chicago Botanic Garden and even some gift shop discounts. Review all our offerings at or just talk to us at the library.

You don't need to venture to far-flung Oak Brook to see brilliant works of art. We have quite the permanent collection here at Hinsdale Public Library - and just about every week we also see Hinsdale residents young and old making their own art. The library's strategic plan - which debuted early last year after a long and in-depth conversation with the community - let us know how important the arts are to Hinsdale residents, and we plan to continue to offer exhibits, programs and resources so our patrons can express themselves and learn.

Over the next few months, this focus will be very apparent. Please make time to visit our Quiet Reading Room this June to see the work of InJung Oh, a Hinsdale resident from South Korea who is lending us some of her beautiful artwork to display for the summer. (Her reception is on Wednesday, June 12, at 6:30 p.m.) Oh will also come to the library next Saturday, May 4, to lead a children's painting workshop (registration required).

Oh is a resident at the Zhou B Art Center in Chicago, run by the internationally renowned Zhou Brothers. You may know them from their stunning painting on the library's second floor or from an illustrious career that has taken them from China to Chicago, the White House and around the world. Truly, they are world class artists - and they will be right here at Hinsdale Public Library on Saturday, May 11, signing copies of their children's book, "Flying Paintings."

More hands-on opportunities to partake in the arts will be available all spring. Adults can learn how to quilt, frame pressed flowers, paint with watercolors and more. Kids and teens can make bracelets, birds nests, photo magnets - and can even learn to sew on the library's sewing machines. Recurring programs like our Maker Club for kids and our Needlecraft Night for adults offer a chance to get to know other creative Hinsdaleans. You can register for any of these events on our website.

Whether you are a connoisseur of the arts or just a creative person looking for ideas, come get inspired by legendary and brilliant artists, and then unleash your own creative side all summer long.

- John Kokoris is marketing and outreach manager at Hinsdale Public Library.