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'Visually stunning, thought-provoking narrative art' on display

MONMOUTH, Ill. – The “visually stunning, thought-provoking narrative art” of Preston Jackson can be seen through Sept. 22 at Monmouth College.

Titled “Lessons from Other Times,” the exhibit is on display in the Len G. Everett Gallery on the upper level of the College’s Hewes Library.

A professor emeritus at the School of the Art Institute in Chicago, Jackson will be on campus Aug. 25 for a reception in the gallery from 3-4:30 p.m. He will speak about the exhibit at 3:30 p.m.

A prolific artist, Jackson is known for his varied and wide-ranging styles, including bronze abstract figurative work, monumental steel and cast bronze sculpture, and two-dimensional work. Much of his large-scale sculpture centers on the past and future of American society, both in a historical and a philosophical context. His works have been exhibited widely throughout the United States.

Jackson’s recent work deals with American history – both precise depictions of well-known historical figures as well as innovative portrayals of individuals whose lives, though unfamiliar to us, are part of our history he wants us to learn.

“The intent of the work is to cause the viewer to see things they may not have considered before, or perhaps to examine them from a different, more universal perspective,” he said.

Jackson said his role as an artist is “to effect change, to educate and set the stage for changes in the way we as humans behave.”

“I want to focus attention on the need for social change,” he said. “I think that part of the role of the artist should be to convince those in power to do the right thing with the power that they have, and to fight social injustice wherever it occurs.”

Jackson received a bachelor’s of fine arts degree from Southern Illinois University and a master of fine arts degree from the University of Illinois.

In addition to teaching in Chicago, Jackson also teaches children’s art, painting, sculpture and tai chi at the Contemporary Art Center of Peoria. He and his wife, Melba, maintain homes in Dunlap, Ill., and Chicago.