Deborah Weinstein has spent the last six years photographing the congregation of the Bible Fellowship Apostolic Church in East St. Louis. Through her serendipitous meeting with church-goer Delorise, Weinstein encountered a world outside her own. The African-American church experience, with its joyous gospel music, after-service community meals and beautiful outfits, is exceptionally photogenic, and Weinstein captures it all in lush black-and-white portraits. But rather than attend services just long enough to create a nice, full series and then depart, Weinstein returns regularly to BFAC, and not as an observer. Now she's a friend, an extended family member, a part of the larger community. She attends Delorise's mother's birthday party every year and maintains that she would be at Sunday services even without her camera. Fortunately, she does bring her camera, and she has a wealth of beautiful photos to show for it.
Weinstein's show, Anointed: Making Connections in an Apostolic Community, has the warm feel of a family album. There's an intimacy in the faces, a sense of openness and love, that comes partly from the religious backdrop, but mostly from the subject knowing there's a real person behind that camera. Anointed opens with a public reception from 7 to 9 p.m. at Subterranean Books (6275 Delmar Boulevard, University City; 314-862-6100) on Friday, July 15. The show remains up through August 15. -- Paul Friswold
It's Magic Sundaes on Saturday
Though it consistently ranks among the nation's top family attractions, here's a secret: The Magic House (516 South Kirkwood Road, Kirkwood) technically isn't magic. The cool tricks demonstrated in the house's fascinating displays are easily explained by scientific principles such as static electricity, pulleys and widgets. But from 6 to 9 p.m., the Magic House lives up to the first half of its name as ice cream sundaes, floats, face painters, magicians and more transform into funds for a teen recreation area at Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital during Scoops of Fun. In addition to the regular exhibits, families can construct palaces at Sandcastle Beach and take a trip through Arthur's World. Tickets are $5 to $35 and can be purchased by calling 314-577-5605 or by visiting www.glennon.org. -- Kristie McClanahan
Hey, Slow Down! Spend time with your food
When you eat at your favorite restaurant, do you know, in the deepest, darkest chamber of your soul -- the part that knows pro wrestling is fake and The O.C. is inferior to the early seasons of 90210 -- that your food arrived on an eighteen-wheeler belonging to a certain food-services provider? Let Schlafly Bottleworks (7260 Southwest Avenue, Maplewood; 314-241-2337 or www.schlafly.com) set you free. On the second Wednesday of each month, Bottleworks hosts SLOWednesdays, during which certified gourmands, budding foodies and the just-plain-hungry can slow down and appreciate the origins of truly good food. On Wednesday, July 13, at 7 p.m., SLOWednesday features the products from two Missouri farms: eggs and lamb from Prairie Grass Farms and hydroponic vegetables and herbs from Show Me Fresh Farms. The farmers give free talks, and Bottleworks' menu offers special items to showcase these farmers' harvests in slow fashion. -- Ian Froeb
Sweet as Candy
Johnny Depp, schmonny schnepp. The original, Gene Wilder-enhanced Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory screens at 1 p.m. at Webster University's Moore Auditorium (470 East Lockwood Avenue; 314-968-7487) for a mere $5. Ostensibly a kids' film, the picture is actually a scathing indictment of Western consumerism and gluttony, and is cited by that wonky Bono as a major influence on his political philosophy. Look for U2 to (anemically) cover the Oompa Loompa song any day now; best to enjoy the brilliant original one last time. -- Paul Friswold