- Associated Press - Thursday, June 9, 2016

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) - A photo exhibition at the University of Michigan Museum of Art offers views of parts of Detroit neighborhoods before they’re fully illuminated by new street lights.

Titled “Overnight,” the exhibition by Detroit-based architect Catie Newell opens Saturday at the Ann Arbor museum and runs through Nov. 6. The assistant professor at the university’s Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning is fascinated with light and darkness.

“I’ve always been interested in darkness and the night,” she said in a statement. “Colors look different. Things have a different hierarchy, based on what’s lit and what’s not.”

The Public Lighting Authority was set up several years ago in Detroit to deal broken lights across the city. Tens of thousands of new LED lights have been installed and about 65,000 are expected to be up by the end of 2016. They’re twice as bright and use less electricity than older lights.

Fewer than half of the city’s 88,000 streetlights were believed to be working before the efforts began. Burned out bulbs, deteriorated infrastructure and the theft of copper wiring by people seeking to profit from sales of the metal for scrap left swaths of the city in the dark.

The exhibition at the Irving Stenn Jr. Family Gallery includes copper, aluminum and LEDs - a reference to the city’s streetlights. And as Detroit’s new streetlights come are installed, Newell said she looks for spots of light surrounded by darkness to document.

“The lights are coming back, and we’ll lose that darkness,” Newell said.

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