As we’ve discussed before in posts about the literary scene in Ann Arbor and the music scene in Ann Arbor, the city is known to be vibrantly artistic. It’s hard to swing a visit to Ann Arbor without checking out the local arts scene. The question is where to start. You can explore art galleries and museums or you can even take an arts class yourself, leaving with more skills than you had when you first arrived. Grab your friends or simply take yourself through this exploration of the arts. Here’s your guide to enjoying the arts in Ann Arbor:

Art Galleries and Museums

Museums and galleries are a popular stop in any vacation, but especially if you’re a lover of the arts. And there are a number of art galleries and museums dedicated to art to check out in Ann Arbor. Start with the University of Michigan Arts Museum, one of the oldest collections of artwork in the country. Best of all, admission is free, although they recommend a $10 donation. And for over 2,000 works of art, exhibits, and classes, it’s well worth a small donation. Though not strictly art, you can also find some historic artistic pieces such as jewelry and sculptures at the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology.


But what about local art galleries? You can find contemporary art galleries right in downtown Ann Arbor, such as the WSG Gallery, beloved by visitors and locals alike. Even if you’ve visited before, the exhibits change frequently, so it may be worth another visit. Ave Maria Fine Art Gallery on Frank Lloyd Wright Drive has a wide variety of fine art, from artists like Betty Anglin Smith and Jean Duquoc. And of course, you don’t want to miss the Ann Arbor Art Center, featuring exhibits and events that show a wide range of art forms and mediums.

Art Classes

What if you want to try your hand at learning an art form yourself? You can find plenty of opportunities in Ann Arbor. The Ann Arbor Art Center, in addition to galleries and exhibits, offers summer art classes and date night classes where you can learn stone setting, screen printing, comic art, and much more. There’s also Paint and Pour at a gallery in Ypsilanti, where you can bring snacks, a bottle of wine, and take a painting class with a professional instructor. Painting With a Twist offers painting classes for all ages, so if you’re traveling with family, you can find something for everyone.

Art Events

Ann Arbor is full of festivals and art fairs that appear periodically, particularly in the summer. There’s a Sunday Artisan Market throughout the month of May on Detroit Street. In June, there’s the Ann Arbor Comics Festival, and on July 18, you can find the Ann Arbor Art Fair. And even in December, you have the Ann Arbor City Club Arts & Crafts Festival to look forward to.


Ready to explore the arts scene in Ann Arbor? Stay with University Inn Ann Arbor. We offer a 10% discount to parents and students visiting the University of Michigan campus, as well as parents of athletes of UM and Eastern Michigan University. Contact us today for more information on booking your stay.

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