Creative Things To Do In and Around Detroit

Guardian Building in midtown Detroit

Creative Things To Do In and Around Detroit

Detroit has such interesting history over the past century, which is shown in the art and culture of the community. From booming business in the early 1900’s with beautiful architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright and art deco in business buildings, to the folk art of today’s artists using found objects. No matter your style, you’ll find some inspiring art.

Museum of Contemporary Art

Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, in their words, “presents art that contextualizes, interprets, educates and expands culture, pushing us to the edges of contemporary experience’. Visit MOCAD and you’ll find contemporary visual, literary, music and performing arts.

Heidelberg Project

Heidelberg Project is in the heart of the city with a mission to improve the lives of people and neighborhoods through art. Here is a fun link to actually see the art in progress via Google Earth.

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N'Namdi Center for Contemporary Art

N’Namdi Center for Contemporary Art provides local artists a home for their art through both indoor and outdoor performance areas, and four exhibition spaces. They also claim to be one of the finest private collections of African American art in the world, across a variety of genre.

Detroit Institute of Arts

Detroit Institute of Arts is located in Midtown in the Beaux-Arts building, designed by Paul Cret, covering 658,000 with more than 100 galleries. Their collection of art is among the top six in the United States, including Vincent van Gogh’s Self-Portrait and Diego Rivera’s Detroit Industry.

Detroit Historical Museum

Detroit Historical Museum originally opened as a single room in 1928. Now it hosts traveling exhibits, curated exhibits from their own collections as well as their permanent installations like “Doorway to Freedom: Detroit and the Underground Railroad”.

Cranbrook Art Museum

Cranbrook Art Museum is located in Bloomfield Hills, a short drive north of Detroit. The 319-acre Cranbrook Educational Community is home to the Academy of Art, K-12 Schools, Institute of Science, house, gardens and the Art Muesum. Browse through the gardens to see works from world famous architects. In 1989, it was designated a National Historic Landmark.

African Bead Museum in Detroit

African Bead Museum houses 18 outdoor installations, bead gallery, N’kisi House and African Language Wall on one block in Detroit. Started by Olayami Dabls to create a space for people to understand the power of their African heritage.

Hamtramck Disneyland within Detroit
photo by Thanin Viriyaki

Hamtramck Disneyland is the ultimate of yard art, begun by Dmytro Zylak. He started the work in 1992, built on top of two garages he owned. It is referred to as Hamtramck Disney land for the bright cheerful folk art located in Hamtramck, a city located within the Detroit boundaries — worth a drive by during your visit.

Guardian Building in midtown Detroit

Stop by the Guardian Building in downtown Detroit’s financial district just to take a look at their art deco lobby. It was built in a different, when Detroit was bustling with activity and successful businesses. The building is a National Historic Landmark.

Detroit Industrial Gallery

Detroit Industrial Gallery is another small quirky folk art home, this one built by Tim Burke. His yard includes whimsical sculptures that evolve every day, as Tim adds more color to his home.

And, don’t forget to bring home some souvenirs from your trip to Detroit. Check out the fabric stores in and around Detroit.

Check out the bead shops in and around Detroit

Check out the yarn shops in and around Detroit

Browse through more of our ideas and suggestions for creative places to visit on your travels.

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