Photo courtesy of Ann Arbor Art Center
The Ann Arbor area’s main cultural facilities—like the University of Michigan Museum of Art and the Cranbrook Art Museum—enjoy large crowds of both locals and visitors. But the region harbors several fabulous art galleries, where local, national and international artists display their talent. These are free to visit and always offer the chance to purchase a piece to start or continue your collection.
With so many galleries, we decided to make a definitive guide. Always check the hours of operation for a gallery before visiting, as many of them hold odd hours. And don’t be intimidated—all of these local galleries are casual, open and friendly. Happy exploring!
543 Deer Street, Plymouth
Located in Plymouth, Lotus Art Gallery is a contemporary art gallery featuring works from several local artists, including Barbara Wood, Tarkay, Fabienne Delacroix, Thomas Arvid and Charlene Mitchell. Using a lotus flower, a symbol of enlightenment, as their logo and namesake, Lotus Arts Gallery is a realization of a vision for a place where art could be enjoyed by all in a warm and welcoming space. Explore a diverse selection of art styles and mediums, including both two-dimensional and three-dimensional works of art.
306 South Main Street, Ann Arbor
Photo courtesy of WSG Gallery
Located on Main Street in downtown Ann Arbor, WSG Gallery showcases original fine art including paintings, prints, drawings and sculpture. The team’s special exhibits change every six weeks and you can often attend free artist talks, receptions and other special events, too! To preview their current exhibit, click here, and follow the team on Facebook here.
24 Frank Lloyd Wright Drive, Ann Arbor
Situated throughout the corridors at Domino’s Farms Office Park, the Ave Maria Fine Art Gallery is focused on displaying artwork created by modern-day artists. Their space is full of colorful, vibrant works that exude powerful energy as well as softer paintings that offer stillness. With over 200 works for you to view and an entire gallery gift shop for you to explore—there’s bound to be a piece of art here that will catch your eye.
118 South Main Street, Suite B, Chelsea
River Gallery opened its doors more than 10 years ago and has been nourishing the arts community of Southeastern Michigan ever since. While one of their main purposes is to bring art to many residential, corporate and healthcare spaces in the area, they are also well known for curating numerous off-site exhibits at a variety of locations. Click here for a full list of their upcoming events.
117 West Liberty Street, Ann Arbor
Located in downtown Ann Arbor, the Ann Arbor Art Center is our local headquarters for enjoying art exhibition, connecting with local artists, and learning new art skills. Their education experiences are available for all ages, and topics cover everything from painting and ceramics to jewelry making and metalsmithing! But in addition to offering a wide range of classes, they also feature rotating exhibitions where you can view community artwork before making your own.
7885 Jackson Road, Suite 1, Ann Arbor
Barickuda Gallery from truArt Studios is a multi-use creative space hosting a number of events and a complete art gallery. Barickuda is operated by a small, elite team of local artists and features a mixture of some of Ann Arbor’s most exciting emerging artists and some of the region’s most established creators. Click here for information on their current exhibitions and shows.
1133 Broadway, Ann Arbor
Yourist Pottery Studio is the brainchild of local accomplished artist Kay Yourist. The popular gallery showcases plenty of Yourist’s own pottery along with the work of celebrated clay artists, potters, printmakers, sculptors and painters. In addition to being a great spot for perusing local art, the gallery also gives back to the community by providing a slew of art classes and lectures. So if you’re interested in learning something new, check out their calendar to see what interesting subjects they’ll be teaching this month!
201 South Division Street, Ann Arbor
Photo courtesy of Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design at the University of Michigan
Established with the generous support of the University of Michigan alumna Penny W. Stamps, the Stamps Gallery is a dynamic space for the entire community to experience the Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design’s scholarship, values and transdisciplinary creative work. Here, you’ll find the work of students and other upcoming artists in a variety of mediums including painting, sculptures and short films.
208 Wilson Hall, Rochester
For more than 40 years, the Oakland University Art Gallery (OUAG) has delivered diverse, museum-quality art to metro Detroit audiences. From September to May, the OUAG presents six different exhibitions—from cutting-edge contemporary art to projects exploring historical and global themes. The gallery also presents lectures, performances, tours, special events and more. Click here to see what interesting happenings are coming up this month at the gallery!
796 North Mill Street, Plymouth
Red Twig Gallery is a cozy art gallery located in the heart of Plymouth’s historic Old Village. Inside, you will discover an extensive array of fine jewelry, prints, select home decor, Motawi Tiles, gifts, pottery and more. While they’re open Tuesday through Saturday throughout most weeks of the year, they’re also always open outside of their regular hours by appointment.
What about you?
Let us know what local art gallery is your favorite in the comments!