Chief Curator Jeffrey Uslip explains the personal narrative of artist Jesse Howard
Willis Ryder Arnold/St. Louis Public Radio

At a time when religion and free speech often seem at odds, the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis is hosting a show that unites these principles. According to Chief Curator Jeffrey Uslip artist Jesse Clyde Howard’s work is one gigantic expression of religion as an act of free speech.

“This work is honest, it is absolutely precise, it is unmediated, there’s no pulling punches,” said Uslip. “This is who Jesse was. He was a staunch believer in free speech and the first amendment.”

Mark S. Abeln

St. Louis folklorist John Oldani has published a new book on the region's folklore and traditions, this time about the Christmas holiday.

The book, Christmas in St. Louis, includes more than 200 iconic St. Louis Christmas photographs by Mark S. Abeln, as well as historic photos from the archives of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Among the book's highlights are:

(via Flikr/FallenPegasus)

Have you ever heard the story of the grandma who sees a young man in Dierberg's and says he reminds her of her dead grandson, then uses his sympathy to trick him into paying for her groceries? What about the the phrase "you know you're from St. Louis when Velveeta is your favorite kind of cheese?" If so, then you have an idea of the content of John Oldani's books.