The arts scene in Detroit has hit a turning point.
For decades, the city seemed stuck with a reputation of being a post-industrial cultural wasteland. But in recent years, Detroit seems to have achieved a certain hip factor in the art world at large.
Of course, the Motor City wasn't actually a cultural wasteland. In fact, what could be considered the city's worst years proved to be a fertile ground for developing entire artistic movements, from the "tribes of the Cass Corridor" to techno music. But despite its legacy of creativity, Detroit has struggled to get the coasts to take it seriously.
Not anymore. Now, it seems the art world is coming to us.
Witness the rise of endless trend pieces by the likes of The New York Times, repeatedly touting the story of Detroit as a haven for artists. Witness the stir caused by Brooklyn, N.Y.'s Galapagos Art Space, when it announced that it was moving to Detroit in search of cheaper rent.
Perhaps the turning point occurred in 2010, when rocker Patti Smith famously declared that New York City had "closed itself off" to the young and the struggling and suggested artists find a new city — like Detroit. It wasn't long before "#MovetoDetroit" graffiti started appearing, and real estate developers put up billboards pointing to Detroit, "Just west of Bushwick."
Perhaps Detroit's art scene is as it's always been, and it's just the art world's attitudes about it that have shifted. This shift is perhaps no more palpable than in 2015.