Release Date: 
Wednesday, July 27, 2022

“Pledge Allegiance,” first solo show for alumnus Jonathan Harris

self-portrait of Jonathan Harris
A self-portrait of artist Jonathan Harris, who studied studio art and graphic design at HFC.

Detroit-based artist and HFC alumnus Jonathan Harris – who made headlines at the end of 2021 with his polarizing painting called “Critical Race Theory” – now has a solo show called “Pledge Allegiance”.

The show is at the Nicole Tamer Art Gallery inside the David Whitney Building in Detroit.

“Pledge Allegiance” opened July 21 and runs until Monday, August 22, from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. This is Harris’ first solo show. Harris studied graphic design and studio art at HFC from 2006-07 and again from 2019-20. This show continues Harris’ narrative of social and racial justice that is prevalent in his artwork.

“I want to tell the stories of different people coming from different life paths, wanting to be loved and embraced for who they are and where they come from – ‘Here I am, please love me,’” said Harris. “‘Pledge Allegiance’ features large-scale black, red, white, and blue paintings of Americans and their relationship to themselves and their identities as Americans. The desire to be loved and embraced for the multitudes we contain. At the forefront is the relationship between showing up as who we are and being met equally as an American with similar hopes, dreams, and aspirations for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

Bringing awareness to world happenings through art

In “Pledge Allegiance,” Harris presents photographs he captured of Detroit residents from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences, highlighted by an oil enamel technique on canvas resulting in graphic, high contrast portraits without the use of a brush.

“Jonathan's work is emotive and will move you in unexpected ways. He stands out in his ability to connect viewers to current events and the African-American experience,” said Nicole Tamer Art Gallery curator and founder Nicole George. “Bringing awareness to social and world issues are goals that he strives to accomplish through this visual and curatorial work. I am proud to help share his art on a large scale in this publicly-accessible space.”

Admission to “Pledge Allegiance” is free. For questions or more information, contact George at

Related content:
Visit Harris' professional website