Preston Jackson Presents "The New Normal for Art"

Famed Illinois sculptor, painter, and lecturer Preston Jackson will make the final presentation for our Club's “The New Normal” program series at our Monday, September 21 club meeting. Preston will envision the post pandemic world from the perspective of impacts on art. Members may participate in person at Maldaners Upstairs or online via Webex. Because of Covid-19 restrictions, members of the public are invited to view this presentation virtually, and the program session will begin promptly at 5:30 p.m. Advance registration before 10:00 a.m. September 21 is required for nonmembers. The link for the registration form is provided below. A link for viewing the program virtually will be sent to those who register. Please join us from the comfort of your own home to contemplate the future of art.
The Covid 19 pandemic has dramatically impacted presentations of art of all types in all types of venues from live performances in theaters and clubs to presentations of figurative art in galleries, studios, and outdoor parks. Preston will discuss how the pandemic has affected the arts and what the future for art presentations will be.
A nationally known and respected Illinois sculptor, painter, and lecturer, Preston’s artworks have been exhibited across the United States. He was born and raised in Decatur, Illinois.  He attended Oakley Elementary School, Stephen Decatur High School, and Millikin University. He is also a well-respected musician. While at Millikin he played jazz guitar with his group, Preston Jackson and the Rhythm Aces. He received his B.F.A. from Southern Illinois University. In 1972, he received his M.F.A. in sculpture from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, under the mentorship of sculptor Frank Gallo. From 1971-1972, he served as an instructor of drawing and painting at Millikin. He was a professor of art at Western Illinois University from 1972-1989. He became a professor of sculpture at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1989, and he chaired the Sculpture Department there from 1994-1996. In 1994, he founded the Contemporary Art Center of Peoria, where he maintains his primary studio and the Side View Gallery.  In 1998, he received the prestigious honor of being named as a Laureate of the Lincoln Academy of Illinois. He was awarded a Regional Emmy for hosting “Legacy in Bronze,” a television show featuring his cast bronze sculptures. In 2008, he was named as a Professor Emeritus at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and he continues to hold that title.
As an artist, Preston specializes in bronze and steel sculpture and painting. He is best known for his work with bronze castings, but has also created two-dimensional pieces and large monuments.  His works are featured throughout Illinois, including the cast bronze columns memorializing the 1908 Springfield Race Riot in Springfield, a larger than lifesize sculpture of comedian Richard Pryor in Peoria, a lifesize bronze of Jean Baptiste Point du Sable in Peoria; a lifesize figure of Miles Davis in Alton; the bronze façade and doors for the Cahokia Mounds Museum in Collinsville, and a cast bronze sculpture of newspaper columnist Irv Kupcinet for the City of Chicago. His Illinois works also include stainless steel and bronze sculptures for McCormick Place West in Chicago, the Chicago Transit Authority, the Peoria Civic Center, and numerous works in other cities. An exhibition inspired by African American oral traditions, “Fresh from Julieanne’s Garden” has been shown in Chicago; Peoria; Madison, Wisconsin; and other cities. His acclaimed installation “Bronzeville to Harlem” celebrated the Harlem Renaissance and the vitality of African American life.