Summer Guide to Detroit Art Exhibits & Galleries


Summer Guide to Detroit Art Exhibits & Galleries

Calling All Art Lovers in Metro Detroit

Detroit has a rich history in the arts. Noted in the music scene as the birthplace of ‘Motown” and “Techno.” Detroit continues to fuel the fire of the arts and bring unique and bold pieces to fruition. The following galleries and exhibitions showcase local artists and those from around the world.


Detroit Institutes of Arts – 5200 Woodward Ave

  • Humble and Human
    June 26th, 2019 – October 13th, 2019
    In Humble and Human: Impressionist Era Treasures, a selection of more than forty Impressionist and post-Impressionist treasures from the Albright-Knox Art Gallery and the Detroit Institute of Arts traces the arc of a period that elevated the irreducible beauty of the everyday to the status of fine art. The gallery features Impressionist artists, including Paul Cézanne, Edgar Degas, Vincent van Gogh, Claude Monet, and Berthe Morisot. 
  • Guest of Honor
    January 8th, 2019 – August 30th, 2019
    The DIA welcomes Souvenir II by Kerry James Marshall as a Guest of Honor, on loan from the Addison Gallery of American Art in Boston. This piece is heavily associated with the Civil Rights Movement, and features a prominent Michigan connection. Souvenir II takes place in one of Marshall’s relative’s living room, setting the scene for a memorial, which hangs above the couch. The memorial reads “In Memory of” and features President John F. Kennedy, Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, and centered between the Kennedys is Martin Luther King, Jr.  Souvenir II is one of four in a series, narrating the loss of leaders in politics, literature, arts, and music.
  • From Camelot to Kent State: Pop Art, 1960-1975
    February 17th, 2019 – August 25th, 2019
    In the 1960s, a new generation of artists became known as Pop artists, based on their use of popular mass media—advertisements, logos, comic strips, and television. Playfully embracing new technologies, and working with master printers and publishers, Pop artists created large editions of fine-art prints. 
  • Out of the Crate: New Gifts and Purchases
    June 8th, 2019 – September 15th, 2019
    DIA Director Salvador Salort-Pons selects the artwork in this gallery that showcases some of the museum’s newest acquisitions. Visitors will gain a behind-the-scenes look into the art acquisition process. Highlights from the exhibition include Archibald J. Motley Jr.’s 1929 painting, Café, Paris that documents the experiences of American visual artists in Paris during the Jazz Age and represents the work of an artist influenced by the tenets of the Harlem Renaissance.
  • Play Ball! Transforming the Game, 1876-2019
    June 15th, 2019 – September 15th, 2019
    Celebrate the great American pastime of baseball with a new year of the DIA’s continuing series of exhibitions, Play Ball! Baseball at the DIA. This year, the exhibition will explore the rich history of professional baseball from its beginnings in the 1870s to the present. By retracing the history of both baseball and of baseball cards, the exhibition helps us consider how the growth of professional baseball was connected to other important historical events.


K.OSS Contemporary Art – 1410 Gratiot Avenue

  • Corpus
    July 19th, 2019 – September 14th, 2019
    K.OSS Contemporary Art is pleased to present “Corpus,” a new exhibition by British artist Richard Nott. The abstract works of “Corpus” are indicative of Nott’s methodology and practice, with an emphasis on line, form, texture and ‘non-color,’ including shades of brown, grey and velvety blacks.


Library Street Collective – 1260 Library St

  • Manifest Destiny
    July 20th, 2019
    Manifest Destiny, curated by Ingrid LaFleur, examines the practical implementation of the cultural movement Afrofuturism to alter destinies within Detroit and beyond. Inspired by the 400 year anniversary of West African captives brought to the Jamestowne settlement in Virginia, Manifest Destiny honors the legacy of Black-bodied people to forge their own destiny regardless of circumstance. The exhibit brings together 12 artists that explore new modes of thinking, planning, and building for the Afrofuture. 


Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit – 4454 Woodward Ave

  • Kaws: Alone Again
    May 10th, 2019 – August 4th, 2019
    KAWS: ALONE AGAIN is a solo exhibition of the Brooklyn-based artist KAWS, features five sculptures, a site specific wall work, and three paintings, this highly anticipated exhibition will occupy the main exhibition space of the museum. 
  • Martinez: Fast Eddie
    May 10th, 2019 – August 18th, 2019
    Eddie Martinez: Fast Eddie is a solo exhibition of the Brooklyn-based artist Eddie Martinez and features over 17 new paintings, this solo exhibition will occupy two gallery spaces showcasing never-before-seen paintings. Martinez’s masterful abstract compositions include the artist’s signature motif of floating heads and gestural sweeping paint strokes. 
  • Unboxing: DoubleSpeak 
    May 10th, 2019 – August 18th, 2019
    Unboxing: Doublespeak explores the boundaries between storytelling, self-perception, and moving image. The works in this exhibition engage the human voice as both material and technology, bending accepted conventions of vocal intonation and articulation vis-à-vis their application in film and media. Comprised of a suite of video installations by Mary Helena Clark, Helina Metaferia, Laure Prouvost, and Bailey Scieszka that unfold in four parts over the course of the exhibition, 
  • Nicolas Lobo: Wellness Center 
    May 10th, 2019 – August 4th, 2019
    Mike Kelley’s Mobile Homestead at MOCAD presents a new series of works by Nicolas Lobo in a solo exhibition entitled Wellness Center. Miami’s identity as a resort city built atop a crumbling ecology
 is a source of rich contemplation for Lobo’s research-intensive process. His work often focuses on points of friction within the urban milieu, from informal markets—transnational multi-service shops and relics of the leisure industry.


Simone DeSousa Gallery – 444 W Willis St

  • Alberte Tranberg: Turning the First Sod
    June 1st, 2019 – July 6th, 2019
    Simone DeSousa Gallery is pleased to present Turning the First Sod, a solo exhibition installation of sculptural work by Alberte Tranberg. Speaking to ubiquitous elements from the interior of a home, and referencing the architectural phrase Turning the First Sod—when work begins on the creation of a new structure—the installation investigates how one can identify the parts of what constitutes a home: is it the person, objects, or structures that create it? Or perhaps something else?


Photo credit: Instagram


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