In celebration of Martin Luther King Day, Irwin House Gallery, Chene Parc, and the City of Detroit Office of Arts, Culture and Entrepreneurship will present a conversation with Detroit artist, Jonathan Harris, on his artistic practice, his rapidly evolving journey in the arts and his, now famous, Critical Race Theory painting.
Created for an exhibition curated by Harris in November 2021 at Irwin House Gallery, the painting’s viral voyage began when it was shared in early December by The Other 98% – “one of the biggest and loudest voices in the progressive social media world, reaching 7-15 million people every day.” Other social justice forums followed by reposting images of the painting and The Detroit Free Press was the first to take it to print, followed the Detroit Metro Times, leading to widespread media coverage. Harris and the art have since appeared on Roland Martin Unfiltered, with Marc Lamont Hill on BET News, and with Cryss Walker on CBS, and been featured in print in BLAC Magazine, Black Enterprise, the Grio and multiple other local and national news publications. At the start of 2022, Harris was additionally named one of eight artists to watch by The Detroit News.
On behalf of Rochelle Riley and the Detroit Office of Arts, Culture and Entrepreneurship, Detroit’s Chief Storyteller, Eric Thomas .will open the MLK Day event and introduce the panelists, including special guest, Cornelius Godfrey – Supervisor of Educational Equity, Inclusion and Community Relationships in the Troy School District and co-founder of Affirm Celebrate Advocate, a community organization focused on meeting the needs of students and families of color.
The MLK Day Conversation will explore the mind of the artist, the art, and how it has impacted the conversation; the rise and re-branding of Critical Race Theory and, hopefully, how we might all affect change. The event takes place from 3:00 – 5:00 p.m. on Martin Luther King Day, Monday, January 17, 2022 at Chene Parc, in the First National Building at 660 Woodward, Downtown Detroit, 48226.
The event is free to attend, but space is limited and tickets are required. Guests may register and obtain tickets via Eventbrite HERE.