I’ve lived in Detroit for 9 years, studied art and design at Wayne State and currently work as a designer at Cranbrook Art Museum and Cranbrook Academy of Art.
What I like about the art scene in Detroit is that most gallery owners are also practicing artists. Artist run spaces here are willing to take chances and show interesting work that’s not always necessarily economically viable.
Cranbrook Art Museum
Cranbrook Art Museum - Woodward Ave, Bloomfield Hills MI
This is one of America’s first contemporary art museums. Their collections wing spans from modernist design to contemporary art, situated in one of the most picturesque and breathtaking campuses you’ll ever encounter. It’s also one of the most important art and design institutions in the country and it’s right in our own backyard.
What Pipeline - Vernor Highway, Detroit MI
It’s a small artist-run space in Southwest Detroit that showcases many local and international artists. They tend to give artists free reign to take over and utilize every aspect of the space. The place might look completely different from one exhibition to the next depending on who the artist is.
African Bead Museum
African Bead Museum - Grand River Avenue, Detroit MI
Located in West Detroit, this place is pretty hard to miss. Its exterior is covered in striking mosaic designs that are like candy to the eye. Owned and run by Detroit native Dables, he also makes and sells beaded jewelry out of the space, and there is an impressive sculpture garden in the backyard overlooking the freeway.
N'Namdi Center for Contemporary Art
N'Namdi Center for Contemporary Art - East Forest Avenue, Detroit MI
Part gallery, part performance space, I’ve always been impressed by the exhibitions they put on. They showcase great artists and let excellent curators put on shows. There’s also a lot of diversity among the artists that they showcase.
Simone DeSousa Gallery
Simone DeSousa Gallery - West Willis Street, Detroit MI
It’s the best place in Detroit to see work by renowned contemporary artists. The majority of the work tends to come from many of the artist in residence and alumni from Cranbrook Academy.
Library Street Collective
Library Street Collective - Library Street, Detroit MI
It’s a gallery space located on Library Street in downtown Detroit. They curate and organize a lot of public art projects, activating the downtown area with art installations and murals. They also frequently partner with Cranbrook Art Museum on public programing.
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