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How to spend a whole day enjoying Detroit's artistic offerings (without going to the DIA) 

24 hour arty people

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Afternoon

After getting your second wind, you might want to head to Signal-Return, also in Eastern Market, where you can engage in some art-making of your own. The shop specializes in the old-fashioned art of letterpressing, utilizing presses dating back to the 19th century. They host workshops where you can learn the craft and earn studio time.

Another location steeped in history is Pewabic Pottery. For more than 100 years, this eastside ceramic studio has manufactured the tiles for which it's become world-famous. But they also offer classes, workshops, lectures, and more — plus, its a great place to pick up a gift that's made in Detroit.

If you're in Midtown, there's a plethora of stellar art galleries to check out that aren't the nearby DIA. The G.R. N'Namdi Gallery has built a reputation for long championing both black artists and abstraction painters. You can also check out the Detroit Artists Market, which prides itself as the city's oldest continuously operating nonprofit gallery and has featured plenty of high-profile artists, as well as Cass Corridor then-unknowns through the years. More recent is the Re:View Contemporary Gallery, which boasts a stable of current artists and prime real estate on Willis Street.

If you don't feel like being stuck indoors, though, you can check out even more outdoor art. Perhaps the granddaddy of Detroit's offbeat public art is Tyree Guyton's Heidelberg Project, a sprawling, neighborhood-sized project that will soon celebrate its 29th year of invoking endless "is it art or is it junk?" debates. Or you can cruise the Grand River Creative Corridor, starting roughly at Grand River Avenue and Rosa Parks Boulevard, and enjoy a stretch of (legally sanctioned) street art from artists from a range of skill levels.

Evening

As the day winds down, you might find yourself in the mood to relax with a few local craft beers. Head to Motor City Brewing Works, whose "This Week in Art" series spotlights a different local artist each Wednesday. The brick-oven pizzas are an added bonus. Another ideal location for that great beer and art combo is the UFO Factory in Corktown, which features quirky interior art directed by local artist Davin Brainard and rotating art exhibitions on its walls.

Late night

At this point, maybe you'll be lucky enough to be invited to some sort of weird artist loft party. We couldn't say exactly where to go — it seems like we're only ever invited by a friend who knows a guy who knows a guy — but these go way late into the night, you'll meet the next famous artists before they get famous, and there's usually some awesome techno DJs to boot.

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May 27, 2020

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