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Beds are a recurring motif in Alec Soth's current exhibit, "Sleeping by the Mississippi," up through December 5 at the Museum of Contemporary Photography. Shot during a series of road trips up and down the storied waterway, the 25-odd images of life in river towns from Minnesota (the photographer's current home) to Louisiana include lyrical depictions of an old woman sitting on the edge of her mattress, Charles Lindbergh's boyhood bed, and an abandoned iron frame drowning in the lush foliage of the riverbank. Veteran river guide, musician, painter, and Delta Blues Education Fund director John Ruskey, who ditched college in favor of rafting down the river in 1982, will give a free talk titled "Driftwood, Detritus, and Dreams Along the Mississippi" at 6 PM on Tuesday, December 2, in conjunction with the exhibit. The museum is at 600 S. Michigan; call 312-663-5554 for more information.

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