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Two noteworthy photography exhibits at the Gage and Loyola Museum of Art and the Indiana Arts Commission introduces a new license plate for supporters.

Chicago Reader in Black & White: Next Thursday, the Gage Gallery will host a reception for the opening of a photography show of work that appeared in the Chicago Reader in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, long before the iconic alternative weekly introduced color into the simply great design work of one of the publication’s founders, Robert McCamant. I was fortunate enough to be a staff writer at the Reader back in the day when you could count on excellent photography to accompany and showcase your written work. And that’s where I met Kathy Richland, Marc PoKempner, Yvette Marie Dostatni, Lloyd DeGrane and a handful of other brilliant artists whose names I’m forgetting, whose work is undoubtedly in the show. This photo of the President-to-Be was taken by Marc PoKempner for a profile of Barack Obama in December, 1995 when he was campaigning door-to-door for state senator. (He won.)

Richard Renaldi’s Touching Strangers at Loyola University Museum of Art (LUMA): This photo exhibit, also a book published by Aperture, opened last Friday but will be on display until August 2. The photographer has spent the last eight years working on a series of pictures posing strangers together “in ways that people usually reserve for their loved ones and close friends,” as the LUMA web site says. The Renaldi exhibit is held in partnership with Loyola’s School of Social Work, which has its 100-year anniversary this year.

Indiana Arts Commission’s New Plate: The Indiana Arts Commission is issuing a new license plate in June with a re-designed IAC logo and a $40 price tag. Twenty-five dollars of the cost goes to the state cultural trust fund which provides revenue to arts education programs, including South Shore Arts. You can get the new license plate at any BMV location or online at www.IN.gov/bmv, where most of us have an account anyway.

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