Junior Achievement | Central Illinois Business Hall of Fame

Preston Jackson

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Artist & Entrepreneur

“Question things and stay steadfast on your yearnings to develop yourself.”

Born in Decatur, Preston Jackson grew up in a family of ten and from a young age used art as a tool to understand the world around him. He obtained his BFA from Southern Illinois University and MFA from University of Illinois before going on to teach at Millikin University, Western Illinois University, and the Art Institute of Chicago. Preston moved to Peoria in 1972 and after a time saw the need in the community for a place that artists could work together and call their own. In 1994 the concept for the Contemporary Art Center was formed and came to life on the iconic Peoria riverfront.

As an artist, Jackson specializes in bronze and steel sculpture and painting. Best known for his work with bronze castings, Jackson has also created two-dimensional pieces and large monuments. He was chosen a 1998 Laureate of the Lincoln Academy of Illinois, the highest honor given to individuals in the State. In his artwork he intends to deliver information about who we are, where we came from, and where we are headed. His work tends to be narrative in nature, with emphasis on relating the details and personalities of our past.

Preston was recently awarded a Regional Emmy for hosting “Legacy in Bronze”, a television show featuring his Julieanne’s Garden sculptures.

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