10 Metro Detroit Art Exhibits to Visit This Summer

Between beach days and weekend getaways, make time to stop by local installations


Gary Baseman, Beasts of the Southern Wild (Detail), 2017. Courtesy of the Scarab Club

This season, the region’s most respected galleries and museums offer a range of works from paintings that celebrate black culture to pieces created by needle and thread. Here, a few standouts worth checking out.

#BlackID: For a look into the reality of what it means to be African-American, head to the Carr Center’s #BlackID exhibit. #BlackID features vibrant works curated by Detroit-based artists and activists Laura Gibson and Don Dudley. Running through mid-July, the exhibit investigates the many intersections of black culture, like sex, music, politics, racism, and the diasporic lineage of black people. Through July 13. Free. Carr Center, 311 E. Grand River Ave., Detroit; 313-681-5554; thecarrcenter.org

Artists Who Stitch: Creating works of art using needle-and-thread techniques, a group of over a dozen artists are showcasing their work in Detroit’s contemporary art gallery located in Midtown. Through July 14. Free. Detroit Artists Market, 4719 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-832-8540; detroitartistsmarket.org

Root of the Head: Cass Corridor’s Simone De Sousa Gallery has recently opened a three-artist exhibition. Root of the Head explores the body’s ability to transform and regenerate through a series of contemporary sculptures, paintings, photography, and collages. Through July 22. Free. Simone DeSousa Gallery, 444 W. Willis St., Detroit; 313-833-9000; simonedesousagallery.com

This is Not Detroit: Copenhagen-based artist and novelist Tal Rosenzweig’s multi-part solo exhibition explores themes of displacement, identity, and his vision of Detroit neighborhoods as a fantasy world. His seven, large-scale abstract works present a palate of rich blues and drawn waves, ships, city buildings, and primitive shapes. The exhibition also includes a one-of-a-kind Detroit newspaper displayed beside a papier-mâché wall. Through July 29. Free. Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, 4454 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-832-6622; mocadetroit.org

Xeriscape: Amid downtown’s Belt Alley is Library Street Collective’s Xeriscape exhibition. Created by a group of five female contemporary artists, the work brings perspective to issues of gender, race, identity, materiality, space, and form. The summer exhibition includes artwork both inside the gallery and outdoors in the Belt. Through Aug. 25. Free. Library Street Collective, 1260 Library St., Detroit; 313-600-7443; lscgallery.com

Color Aid: This trio artist exhibition features the works of Detroit-based sculptor and ceramicist Abigail Murray, highlighting her use of vivid colors, surface, and pattern in a site-specific installation. The display will also convey social and cultural messages through highly textured paintings by artist Ken Aptekar and photographer Peter Zimmermann. July 13-Aug. 31. Free. Wasserman Projects, 3434 Russell St., #502, Detroit; 313-818-3550; wassermanprojects.com

KRĒM: Featuring art from a group of nearly 30 celebrated illustrators, the Scarab Club’s upcoming exhibit ventures into modern mediums of expression including collages, printmaking, and photography. July 11-Sept. 8. Free. Scarab Club, 217 Farnsworth St., Detroit; 313-831-1250; scarabclub.org

Materials on Hand: This retrospective exhibition showcases 60 works from Ann Arbor-based artist Ellen Wilt’s personal and private collections. Celebrating 50 years of Wilt’s work, the exhibit features domestic objects from teapots to chairs. She also incorporates two dimensional mediums using oil, acrylic, and watercolor. The University of Michigan graduate has won numerous awards for her experimental collages and graphics. Through Sept. 9. Free. STAMPS Gallery, 201 S. Division St., Ann Arbor; 734-764-0397; stamps.umich.edu

Mihrab: Discover the stories and personalities of three Muslim women living in Minnesota and their relationship with religion and culture in the Arab American National Museum’s Mihrab exhibition. Created by Saudi American cardiologist-turned-artist Hend Al-Mansour, the portrait series draws inspiration from the architecture found in mosques. Remove your shoes and step into the installations for an authentic experience. Through Sept. 30. $8+. Arab American National Museum, 13624 Michigan Ave., Dearborn; 313-582-2266; arabamericanmuseum.org

Lost and Found: Photographs from the DIA’s Collection: The Detroit Institute of Art’s upcoming exhibition features vernacular photography — “accidental” art created by unknown or untrained photographers. Often rediscovered and recovered from flea or antique markets, online resale sites, attics, yard sales, or even found in the trash, vernacular photography documents past eras, people, and places worth discovering. Aug. 26-March 3. Free. Detroit Institute of Arts, 5200 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-833-7900; dia.org

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