With the new renaissance happening in Detroit right now, the area is filled with art and restaurants popping up everywhere. It seems like almost around every corner is a new art installation or shop opening up. Throughout the city you can see new art almost daily, and the majority is free for public consumption. From the giant Shepard Fairey on the side of one of the sky scrapers downtown (his giant mural to date) to graffiti artists the city is booming with creatives and here are some of the best places to see artwork for free.
The Belt and the Z Lot
The Belt, also known as the Art Alley, is an ever changing art install between the two halves of the Z Lot. The Z lot is something to see on its own with murals from international artists on every floor making it one of the unique places to park in the city. If you can’t remember what floor you’re parked on you may remember the mural in the very least.
But that alley between the two parts of the parking garage? It boasts entrances to restaurants, small bars, shops and murals that are updated and added to all the time. It’s a quick walk through the alley to most destinations in the area, while you walk under the lights and enjoy the art as you pass.
The weekend destination for most people in metro-Detroit, Eastern Market is a great spot to pick up fresh meats and produce, among other things. But back in 2013, the area invited a group of German graffiti artists The Weird to come in and do murals on some of the old warehouses and buildings.
Driving around the Eastern Market area can be a great way to take in some of these murals. And since the original murals went up in 2013 some have been added and others changed. It’s always a new experience that can be enjoyed any time of the day or week.
The Heidelberg Project
A neighborhood clean up turned art installation – the Heidelberg Project is one of the weirdest and neatest installs in the city. Made with found art and with structures on the blocks of Heidelberg area in downtown Detroit, the area is constantly changing and updating with more items.
Despite the arson attempts to the project, the Heidelberg Project is still a destination to this day. A mixture of clocks, newer builds and items still fill the fields throughout the area. However, the founder Tyree Guyton has slowly started dismantling the project to make it a bit easier to control and curate.
Known around the world for their beautiful custom pottery pieces and unique glazes, Pewabic Pottery is a place to visit for amazing gifts and art pieces. Not only can you find great items to add to your pottery collection and home, but you can sign up for classes at the studio and learn how to make them yourself.
Stop into Pewabic Pottery during their normal business hours to tour their studio for free on a self guided tour. Check their events page for open houses and charity events as well.
The People Mover
It’s known for taking you to all of the events throughout downtown Detroit, and to ride the People Mover is only 75 cents a person. But did you know that almost each of the stations along the way has an art install that you can hop out and enjoy? Just be sure you don’t cross the exit turnstile and you can enjoy the art at each station and hop back on. From Pewabic Pottery murals, statues, paintings and more – there is a lot to explore on a quick train ride downtown.