Contemporary art is defined as works produced after World War II. The most well-known artist in this genre is Andy Warhol, who created art drawn from pop culture – to wit, the creations of Campbell’s soup cans and Marilyn Monroe. Warhol’s painting titled “Eight Elvises” sold for $100 million in 2009, elevating him to the ranks of master artists like Van Gogh, Renoir and Picasso. Detroit is fortunate to have gaggles of galleries that showcase contemporary art.


Cranbrook Academy of Art and Museum
39221 Woodward Ave
Bloomfield Hills, MI 48304
(248) 645-3300

Hours: Wed, Sat, Sun – 10 a.m. to 5 p,m, Thurs and Fri – 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Price: $8 – Adults, $6 – Seniors, $4 – Students

Cranbrook Academy of Art is the United States’ top-ranked, graduate-only program in architecture, design and fine art, and 4th overall among the 220 Master of Fine Arts programs across the nation. It’s almost a given that anything produced here is accepted as crème de la crème. Its first sculptor in residence, Carl Milles, is known world-wide for his fountains and statues. Numerous internationally-acclaimed artists, critics and curators mentor current junior scholars as part of the educational curriculum. The museum’s newest exhibit, “George Nelson: Architect/Writer/Designer/Teacher” comes from Europe, and runs June 17 through October 14. Permanent exhibits include work by Charles and Ray Eames, Harry Bertoia, Maija Grotell, Carl Milles, Robert Motherwell, Roy Lictenstein and Andy Warhol.

David Legg, Broken at Speed (credit: David Legg)

Detroit Artists Market
4719 Woodward Ave
Detroit, MI 48201
(313) 832-8540

Hours: Tues to Sat – 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Price: Free admission

“The Detroit Artists Market has kept its simple, straightforward mission relatively unchanged for 80 years,” said Nancy Sizer, director of the market, “bringing artists, the public and collectors together in one place, to promote contemporary art.” The DAM organizes an annual scholarship exhibit, among the seven different exhibitions featured each year. Most recently, it promoted works by selected students, alumni and faculty from the Center for Creative Studies. Over 3,300 artists have shown their work at DAM over the past 80 years, and the selections change with every show, whether in sculpture, painting or even functional furniture. “The Detroit Artists Market: The First 80 Years” show is on display at the Detroit Historical Museum through May 24. More than 100 pieces of art were curated into that exhibit to showcase DAM’s eight decades of creativity.


The Scarab Club
217 Farnsworth St
Detroit, MI 48202
(313) 831-1250

Hours: Wed to Sun – 12 p.m. to 5 p.m., additional evening and weekend hours for special events
Price: Free admission

The Scarab Club was founded in 1907, “to promote the mutual acquaintance of art lovers and art workers; to stimulate and guide toward practical expression the artistic sense of the people of Detroit; to advance the knowledge and love of the fine arts in every possible manner; and to maintain a clubhouse for entertainment and social purposes as well as to provide working and exhibit facilities for artist members.” Some of the most-loved artists include Patricia Hill Burnett and Charles Alexander. On the second floor is a large banquet room where famous guests sign their names on the overhead beams. Norman Rockwell’s signature is there, marking the night his wife’s fur coat was stolen from the building.

Related: Best Children’s Museums In Detroit


The Glass Academy Gallery
25331 Trowbridge St
Dearborn, MI 48124
(313) 561-4527

Hours: Wed to Fri – 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Sat – 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Price: Free admission

The Glass Academy Gallery showcases brilliant works of art, hand blown by local artists. Festivals are held throughout the year when the public can purchase unique art for under $200 per piece. Around Easter, the gallery shows whimsical birds, chicks, nests and various eggs. In the fall, hundreds of pumpkins grace the gallery shelves. The pieces rival any glass art found on the Venetian island of Murano, and as a whole, represents better quality because no piece is imported from the orient. Throughout the year, workshops are offered so you can experiment with glassblowing your own paperweight, flower or glass coin.

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Wyland’s Art Studio
37637 Five Mile Road, Suite 361
Livonia, MI 48154
(800) 558-8278

Hours: Vary depending on location
Price: Vary depending on location

Robert Wyland (the “green” artist) is famous for painting ocean scenes with whales and colorful sea life. He grew up in Madison Heights, where he began painting murals in his basement, bedroom and on his parents’ wooden headboard. Wyland is unique because his gallery is part of the outdoor landscape – he paints massive scenes on entire sides of buildings, such as on the Broderick Tower in Detroit. With art galleries around the world and special exhibits on cruise ships, Wyland offers abstract displays. He sails on Princess Cruise Lines with art connoisseurs, spending days and evenings with cruise guests, was the official artist of the Beijing Olympics and coordinated a mile-long 205-mural panorama with artistic contributions from thousands of children. Fame takes him around the world, and is considered by the elite to be the greatest living contemporary artist in the world. He appears on PBS broadcasts, commercial television, green environmental rallies, conservation programs and in-person at local events when he is in town visiting family and friends.

Romero Anton Montalban-Anderssen is the winner of the 2009 first prize in journalism from the Detroit Working Writers Organization. He earned a Juris Doctor degree from Wayne State University School of Law. He has seasonal residency in Detroit Michigan, The Italian Riviera, and Honolulu Hawaii. His work can be found at