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The Detroit News - - Weekend - MICHAEL H. HODGES Detroit News Fine Arts Writer

wo Mid­town photo ex­hi­bi­tions right across the street from one an­other beckon invit­ingly on this first win­try week­end.

The an­nual pho­tog­ra­phy show at Detroit’s Scarab Club and “Lost & Found,” with work by or­di­nary cit­i­zens at the Detroit In­sti­tute of Arts, il­lus­trate the medium’s range — from artis­tic fi­nesse to the punch and power of spon­ta­neous snap­shots.

Scarab’s “2018 Pho­tog­ra­phy Com­pe­ti­tion” will be up through Nov. 17. “Lost & Found” will close March 3.

Tak­ing the for­mer first, this ex­hi­bi­tion in the ven­er­a­ble art club’s airy first-floor gallery makes for a highly en­joy­able walk-through, with images that in­clude ur­ban land­scapes, pho­to­graphic ab­stracts and por­trai­ture.

“I’m a lit­tle less in­ter­ested in straight­for­ward pho­tog­ra­phy,” said Wayne State pho­tog­ra­phy Prof. Millee Tibbs, who ju­ried the show, “and more in­ter­ested in images that ask ques­tions, are a lit­tle more po­etic, or deal with the ma­te­ri­al­ity in an in­ter­est­ing way.”

That’s cer­tainly the case with John Dyk­stra’s in­trigu­ing black-and-white “Penalty Box,” in which a crouch­ing man is draw­ing the white out­lines of a cube that ap­pears to box him in.

You can reach Fele­cia D. Hen­der­son, as­sis­tant man­ag­ing ed­i­tor, by call­ing (313) 222-2557, fax­ing (313) 496-5249 or at fhen­der­son@de­troit­

By con­trast, the first-place win­ner, “Tae” by Kate Gow­man, reads like a no-non­sense color por­trait, but one in which Tibbs saw un­ex­pected force.

“‘I felt the sub­ject was re­ally giv­ing it back to the pho­tog­ra­pher in a pow­er­ful way,” she said, “and that the por­trait’s large scale made it a re­ally com­pelling image.”

El­e­gant and a lit­tle haunt­ing is “The Pear” by Dar­rell El­lis, who used to work at The Detroit News. In this image, a black woman with gleam­ing skin holds a white pear that ap­pears to be made out of glass.

El­lis took an hon­or­able men­tion for an­other por­trait, “Olusike # 3,” but “The Pear” is an equally strik­ing ex­er­cise in tonal­ity and con­trast.

Other prize-win­ners in­clude sec­ond­place Chris Ben­nett and An­to­nia Stoy­anovich in third. Three hon­or­able men­tions went to Jerry Basierbe, Daniella Go­betti and El­lis.

With “Lost & Found,” the DIA presents about 200 pho­to­graphs from 18651980 by anony­mous pho­tog­ra­phers, or lesser-known prac­ti­tion­ers, all dis­cov­ered af­ter be­ing dis­carded and donated by col­lec­tors and artists to the mu­seum.

As the wall la­bel sum­ma­riz­ing “The Found Pho­to­graph” notes, th­ese amount to a sort of folk art — “the creative ex­pres­sions of ev­ery­day peo­ple pro­duced out­side of the rules and tra­di­tions of fine or high art.”

It’s a dizzy­ing, ab­sorb­ing ar­ray, from the huge, open­ing shot that greets you of a young cou­ple a split sec­ond from a kiss, “Un­ti­tled” (at­trib­uted to Allen Stross), to a charm­ingly rou­tine shot of a woman in a straw hat with one hand on her 1960s Dodge Dart or Ply­mouth Valiant, again by an un­known shooter.

One of the most de­light­ful early pho­tos is a 1915 un­ti­tled shot by Wen­dall Hot­ter of “Herbert Hot­ter and Girl­friends, Detroit,” in which four amused women stand in a line, all lean­ing against Mr. Hot­ter, who looks mighty pleased.

Also highly en­ter­tain­ing is a se­ries of pic­tures, “Are We There Yet? Snap­shots from the Road,” the high point of which is a lit­tle boy be­tween his par­ents in a 1950s-era car who’s turned around to face the pho­tog­ra­pher in the back­seat.

Dar­rell El­lis

“The Pear,” by for­mer Detroit News pho­tog­ra­pher Dar­rell El­lis, is in the Scarab Club’s “2018 Pho­tog­ra­phy Com­pe­ti­tion” that closes on Nov. 17.

Detroit In­sti­tute of Arts

“Un­ti­tled (Group Por­trait with Cam­eras, Belle Isle Con­ser­va­tory, Detroit),” taken around 1970, is at­trib­uted to Allen Stross at the Detroit In­sti­tute of Arts.

John Dyk­stra

“Penalty Box,” by John Dyk­stra, of­fers a very eye-catch­ing il­lu­sion.

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