10 Must-Visit Contemporary Art Galleries In Detroit

Max Fletcher

Detroit’s complex and multilayered history makes it a fascinating city to discover. Although it may not be considered a typical cultural destination, Michigan’s largest city is actually home to stunning street and public art, as well as several high quality exhibition spaces. We profile ten of the best contemporary art galleries in Detroit.

© Meagen

1. Detroit Artists Market

Art Gallery

MOCAD Woodward Ave | Exterior: NEKST Murals, 2013 by DONT, VIZIE, POSE, OMENS, REVOK, and SKREW
Exterior: NEKST Murals, 2013 by DONT, VIZIE, POSE, OMENS, REVOK, and SKREW | Photo by Colin M. Day
The Detroit Artists Market is an institution located in the heart of Detroit’s arts scene. It was founded in 1932 as a venue in which local artists could sell their work. Having stood the test of time, the Market has been the oldest not-for-profit gallery in the Midwest. Located in the Midtown neighborhood of Detroit, close to Wayne State University and the Detroit Institute of Arts, this is a great place to see work from up-and-coming artists and to feel the pulse of the buzzing Detroit contemporary art scene.

2. Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit


Housed in a 22,000 square-foot ex-auto dealership designed by architect Andrew Zago, the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit stands emblazoned with murals by local street artists. Its appearance reflects its purpose; it’s urban, edgy, and constantly evolving with the rhythms of the city. A non-collecting museum, MOCAD intentionally doesn’t have a permanent display. This allows the space to transition with changing trends, consistently responding to changing aesthetics.


4731 is a notable community of artists and curators. A regenerated urban space with a creative and collaborative atmosphere, the building not only houses an award-winning gallery, but it also comprises 31 studio spaces for local artists. This innovative set-up, set to the backdrop of the charming Woodbridge area, has won 4731 multiple awards and a reputation as one of the most exciting spaces in the city.

4731, 4731 Grand River Ave, Detroit, MI, USA, +1 313 355 3273

Image Courtesy of Re:View Gallery


Founded in 2002, this gallery has been community-focused from the beginning. Committed to promoting community re-generation with culture and arts education programmes, 555 uses its resources and stature to exhibit work from talented young artists from institutions like the University of Michigan School of Art, alongside internationally known artists like Takako Miyoshi and New York-based cartoonist David Rees. Aside from hosting exhibitions, 555 rents out studio space and maintains an artist-in-residence program.

555, 2801 W Vernor Hwy, Detroit, MI, USA +1 888 495 2787

The Butcher’s Daughter Gallery

Since opening in 2009, The Butcher’s Daughter has enjoyed a high level of critical success in the Sugar Hill Arts District. It has been featured in The New York Times, The L.A. Times, and the Chicago Tribune. Hosting exhibitions on the cutting-edge of contemporary art, this space sets a high standard for the city. The gallery’s idiosyncratic name draws on the profession of founder Monica Bowman’s family, as she comes from a long line of butchers. She likes to think that a gallery curator should approach their work just like a butcher: keeping it fresh and of the highest possible quality.

The Butcher’s Daughter Gallery, 4240 Cass Avenue, Suite 111, Detroit, MI, USA +1 248 808-6536

3. The Heidelberg Project

Art Gallery

The Heidelberg Project
© soupstance / Flickr
Back in 1986, Tyree Guyton embarked on a remarkable project to revitalize Detroit’s East Side by taking to the streets and bringing art directly to the people outside of a formal gallery context. The Heidelberg Project is an open-air art gallery that Guyton and fellow artists used to transform their neighborhood into an art installation, with painted houses and colorful exhibitions. Named after the town in Germany whose university was integral to the religious and political upheavals of the Renaissance, The Heidelberg Project aims to turn Detroit into a place of artistic and cultural relevance.

4. The N'Namdi Center for Contemporary Art

Art Gallery

The N’Namdi Center has earned a reputation as a leading venue for contemporary art in Detroit. Situated in the Sugar Hill Arts District, it’s in the heart of Detroit’s art scene and has managed to distinguish itself with a strong, progressive voice. Regularly hosting exhibitions with a bearing on social issues like race relations, the N’Namdi Center is a great place to go for those wishing to gain an insight into Detroit’s cultural politics.

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