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Thursday, Feb. 7, 2008 04:23 pm

“Tell the truth”

Preston Jackson gets commission for riot sculpture

Preston Jackson, at the installation of his show at UIS in 2006
Untitled Document Preston Jackson’s bronze and steel sculptures — from his “Martin Luther King Memorial Bronze Bust” in Danville to his “Stainless Steel and Cast Bronze Relief of Gwendolyn Brooks” in Chicago — dot cityscapes across Illinois. Now Springfield will host its very own Jackson creation, thanks to a $300,000 grant from the Capital Development Board. Janet Grimes, the board’s executive director, announced Tuesday that the city of Springfield has commissioned Jackson to create a sculpture commemorating the 1908 Springfield race riot. When it is completed, the sculpture will be placed in Union Square Park, adjacent to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum. Most of Jackson’s work involves depictions of well-known historical figures and events. In a recent press release Jackson said that he is honored to be chosen as the city’s sculptor. “It is fitting that the subject of the commission is so very much related to the subject of my own personal work, which I have been researching for some time,” said Jackson, who teaches sculpture at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. “I hope to create a piece that will tell the truth about our past, with emphasis on healing through understanding.”
Jackson was the subject of an Illinois Times cover story [see Marissa Monson, “Witness,” Sept. 7, 2006]. He also designed the cover for last year’s Capital City Visitor, an Illinois Times-produced guide to area attractions.
Contact Amanda Robert at arobert@illinoistimes.com.
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