Best Of 2016

1410 Gratiot Ave., Detroit; 313-744-6505;

If you want some wacky, cool, limited-edition artwork, Inner State is where it's at. Bringing in world-class artists from around the globe, Inner State Gallery shows are some of the best in the city. The eclectic crowd the gallery draws is pretty sweet, as well. The show that's just opened, for instance, Luke Chueh's "Damaged Goods," is filled with wry and crafty postmodern pop art.

5200 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-833-7900;

A true gem, the DIA is a marvel to behold — once, twice, 100 times. Every visit to this beautiful marble masterpiece is sure to be filled with surprises. May it be a sweet new exhibit or the acknowledgement of a Matisse you never knew was there, the DIA is full of wonders. Tired of walking around? Need a break? Check out the delicious and architecturally impressive Kresge Court. That ceiling will knock your socks off.

It's no wonder our readers recognize this amazing local photographer as the best of the best, he's constantly shooting Metro Times events at the Royal Oak Farmers Market and has residencies at V Nightclub inside MGM Grand Casino Hotel and at Dooleys Roseville every Wednesday. Don't know him by name? You'll surely recognized his signature long-tongued selfie that's he's known to do with his subjects.

This yearly film festival is one of the most respected and well-regarded. Local filmmakers and world-renowned big shots share space in this inclusive festival dedicated to good storytelling and art. Over the course of 10 days, filmgoers can catch up on 50 flicks on more than 100 screens between Detroit and Ann Arbor. While the whole festival is great, we really enjoy the Detroit Voices competition, where local filmmakers compete and show off their magnificent films set in the city we love.

What can we say? This woman is a powerhouse. When "Try Me" first started hitting the local airwaves in the summer of 2014, we knew this was an act that would reach distances much greater than the D. And we were right. While Dej is in demand across the nation, we love that she maintains a connection to the city where she was born and raised.

The noir-ish, genre-bending alt-pop band the Blueflowers have been together since 2008, self-releasing their first album the following year. Hinote and her husband, guitarist/producer Tony Hamera, lead the band. MT has called their debut a "genuinely beautiful and touching piece of work," praising Hinote's versatile and lovely voice for how it "remains note-perfect and goose bump-inducing throughout."

18 S. Perry St., Pontiac; 248-332-7884

There's an awful lot of competition in this category; we Michiganders take Halloween very seriously. Ed and Jim Terebus' haunted house, opened in 2000, held the Guinness World Record for the world's largest walk-through haunted house for a number of years. The horned mascot at Erebus is a fixture in downtown Pontiac now. The haunted house spans four full floors inside a 100,000-square-foot building constructed in 1928.

The Terebus brothers publish the Fear Finder guide, so you know they're experts on how to scare the bejeesus out of folks. This attraction is really one of a kind; their attention to detail is as awesome as it is frightening.

Baldwin Theatre, 415 S. Lafayette Ave., Royal Oak; 248-541-6430;

Headquartered in the historic Baldwin Theatre, this member-run community organization has plenty to celebrate during its 60th anniversary this year. Stagecrafters has a main stage, a black box, and a youth theater program, putting on a total of 10 shows annually. There are plenty of sure-fire, can't-miss shows in their schedule, such as The Little Mermaid and Jesus Christ Superstar, but there's some more unusual stuff in the mix: Harvey Fierstein's Casa Valentina, a play set in the 1960s about cross-dressing men in the Poconos, opens May 6, and next season offers Trevor, a play about a retired trained chimpanzee with a star-studded past.


Put on by 1xRun, the fellows behind Inner State Gallery, Murals in the Market is an intense and awesome public works project where artists from around the globe come to the D to put up beautiful murals around Eastern Market. It's cool having all of these artistic and smart people coming to the city for a week, but more amazing is the colorful art they leave behind. Want to get involved, but not an artist? Murals in the Market has an Adopt-a-Mural program where you can sponsor a mural done by your favorite artist.

Artists generally play to the ivory tower. Their work is generally directed at critics, dealers, and buyers, even if it leaves the public cold. Not so with this year's Best of Detroit choice for Best Artist: Jerry Vile has a knack for using art to capture the imagination of the average person, whether it's running the annual Dirty Show or installing a giant tub of Crisco in front of the Monument to Joe Louis.