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South Side of Heaven

Anna Kuperberg's photos of home

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Why is it that you only really appreciate something close to you when you see it through someone else's eyes? Anna Kuperberg's photographs of south-city children, taken mostly in and around the neighborhoods near the old Lemp Brewery and Cherokee Street, are documents of a world that exists now and in close proximity to our everyday lives. This a St. Louis many people are familiar with, and it seemingly has no mystery nor wonder that needs revealing.

And yet Kuperberg's black-and-white series, South Side, does indeed uncover a new world. Her photos of familiar children at play, showing off for the camera or apparently just passing through Kuperberg's viewfinder unaware of her presence, have a timeless quality peculiar to the south side. Although most of the photos date from the past ten years, the people in them reveal no chronological clues; this could be 1978 or 1968 or 1998. The shirtless toughs flexing in Muscles II (pictured) may be the younger version of the men in Muscles I, or the offspring of these men, or the parents. The uncertainty is part of the charm. Welcome to the south side, where times may change but life stays very much the same.

Currents 92: Anna Kuperberg, a collection of Kuperberg's photography, is on display in Gallery 337 of the Saint Louis Art Museum in Forest Park (314-721-0072) from Friday, September 10, through November 28. The south side remains on display 24 hours a day. -- Paul Friswold

Who You Calling Old?
A new photo exhibit

Crown Candy's wares are delicious and inviting, and, in a different way, so is its surrounding neighborhood, which the old soda fountain helps anchor. The historic area, blandly named Old North St. Louis, is plenty lively, and its residents have captured it on 35-millimeter film. See the 'hood in Photography Project: Old North as a part of UM-St. Louis' Point-of-View series. This exhibit is so cool, two openings have been scheduled: The first is Wednesday, September 8, from noon to 1 p.m. in Room 362 of the Social Sciences & Business Building (UM-St. Louis campus, 1 University Boulevard); the second is Friday, September 10, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Old North St. Louis Restoration Group office (2800 North 14th Street). For more info visit or call 314-516-5257. -- Alison Sieloff

Shredding at the Sheldon
Tearing it up on the strings

FRI 9/10

To the roster of "extreme" things (extreme biking, extreme hiking, yadda-yadda-yadda) that've come down the pike lately, add "extreme guitar." Huh? Well, it's nothing you can fire up via a barre chord and beer -- though that's slammin' good fun, definitely. No, think Andrés Segovia, Merle Travis, Doc Watson: stuff you can't touch, not with the tallest Marshall stack.

Hear for yourself at 7:30 p.m. at the Sheldon Concert Hall (3648 Washington Boulevard; 314-533-9900), where the guitar's extremities will be surveyed by hotshot fingerpicker Doyle Dykes at the Extreme Guitar concert. This show is a benefit for the Music for Life Alliance and a celebration of local musical-instrument dealers Fazio's Frets & Friends' 26th anniversary. St. Louis aces Dave Black and Tom Byrne open the show, and there's a post-concert jam session in the Sheldon Ballroom. Tickets cost $20 to $25 and are available at Fazio's (14239 Manchester Road; 636-227-3573) or through MetroTix (314-534-1111). -- Alex Weir

Dance 'all Days

FRI 9/10

Stop getting crumbs in your keyboard! Head out for lunch for the next three Fridays -- and get it to go, so you can enjoy it outside at a free noon dance performance. ANNONYArts presents Dine on Dance at Kiener Plaza (Seventh and Market streets) this week, Market in the Loop in University City next week (bring a chair) and at St. Louis Union Station September 24. For more info call 314-721-0052. -- Alison Sieloff

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