Preston Jackson


Preston Jackson is a painter, sculptor and educator who has created many public art sculptures in the Central Illinois area. He works in metal, both steel and foundry cast metals, and also paints. His paintings and sculptures cover many styles, from abstract to "emotionally charged realism."

Jackson began his career as a professor of art at Western Illinois University from 1972 to 1989. He later moved to the Art Institute of Chicago in 1989 as a professor of sculpture, where he would go on to teach for 32 years. He was appointed chair of the Sculpture Department from 1994 through 1996 and is currently a professor emeritus.

Best known for his work with bronze castings, Jackson has also created two-dimensional pieces and large monuments. Jackson is the recipient of five state public art commissions through the state’s Capital Development Board. His works include a life size bronze Jean Baptiste Point du Sable in Peoria; bronze façade and doors for the Cahokia Mounds Museum; a Martin Luther King memorial bust for Danville, Illinois; “Let’s Play Two,” a bronze relief of Ernie Banks for ESPN Zone in Chicago; “Dr. Dan,” a bronze bust of surgeon Dr. Daniel Hale Williams for Northwestern University and a cast bronze sculpture of Irv Kupcinet for the City of Chicago. Jackson’s major exhibitions and shows include: “Duo Exhibit,” 1995, in Rockford and “Bronzeville to Harlem,” shown since 1997 in nine different cities.


Jackson’s lectures and workshops have been presented at Oklahoma City, Chicago, St. Louis, Jackson, Mississippi, Decatur and Bloomington, Illinois. His work has been displayed across the United States in exhibitions, and he was named the 1998 Laureate of the Lincoln Academy of Illinois.

Currently, he serves as a professor of sculpture and the head of the figurative area at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and is owner of the Raven Gallery, home to the Contemporary Art Center of Peoria

To see a Google Earth map of the locations of Preston Jackson's sculptures, click HERE