Detroit is art 

The Detroit art world is constantly in flux. Galleries open and close; community art and performance venues struggle to find audiences and effectively market themselves. The city is a haven for artistic creation, yet artists lack a stable gallery scene and networking groups to support themselves. Incredible spaces — abandoned industrial buildings and dilapidated yet potentially beautiful homes — are perfect locales for indie art ventures, but they can be harder to purchase and renovate than most would imagine.

The city’s hippest gallery, C-POP, recently ended regular business hours and is open by appointment only due to a lack of art buyers to pay the bills.

And the most venerable showcase for the fine arts, the Detroit Institute of Arts, is under a massive renovation and expansion project that has closed two-thirds of the museum’s exhibits.

But as Metro Times set out to provide readers with our first guide to the arts, we were impressed at the number of high-quality arts and cultural venues — grassroots and world-class alike — in the city and its near suburbs.

In this special arts issue of Metro Times, we’re not attempting to be comprehensive, but instead to provide a guide to the very best of those venues. It’s certain we’ll miss some deserving locales — write and let us know what you think should be included in the future.

Also, this issue of Metro Times is presenting a mini-gallery of Detroit artists and art displayed at city galleries. The selection is meant to provide a taste of the diversity the city has to offer.

We hope you have as much fun reading the issue and viewing the art as we did sampling our city’s rich cultural feast.

Detroit = Downtown
By Vince Carducci
Detroit’s art scene shares New York City’s uptown-downtown dichotomy.

Gallery guide
By Metro Times staff
A Metro Times rundown of prominent local art galleries.

A cultural colonization
By Sarah Klein
Hamtramck’s Planet Ant has a varied history and a strong presence.

Theater guide
By Metro Times staff
A Metro Times roster of local stages.

Uplift the senses
By Ann Mullen
An outsider looks in at the Chamber Music Society of Detroit.

Music fusion
By Eddie B. Allen Jr.
The DSO: It's not just for Cellos anymore.

House music
By Eddie B. Allen Jr.
The Detroit Opera House offers a world-class lineup of opera and ballet.

Lisa M. Collins is Metro Times Arts & Culture Editor. Send comments to

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