Preston Jackson came from a family of ten children growing up in the small city of Decatur, Illinois. He became a storyteller and an artist at an early age. In his artwork he intends to deliver information about who we are, where we came from, and where we are headed. His training is in the field of metal fabrication, both steel and foundry cast metals, as well as in painting. The materials used most often in his pieces are cast bronze, steel, and stainless steel. His work tends to be narrative in nature, with emphasis on relating the details and personalities of our past.
In 1998 he was chosen a Laureate of the Lincoln Academy of Illinois, the highest honor given to individuals in the state. Mr. Jackson was recently awarded a Regional Emmy for hosting Legacy in Bronze, a television show featuring his Julieanne's Garden sculptures.
Distant Paths Preston Jackson’s bronze and stainless steel sculpture was installed on the Purdue University campus on Friday, April 11, 2014 to celebrate the College of Liberal Arts’ 50th anniversary. The work, which towers 14 feet high, features four people in dynamic postures, looking out in different directions. Jackson describes the work “as routes of travel and attitudes and also the social influence — the reason people move from place to place. It’s about immigration, the psychology of immigration. My cues come from the African American experience, forced movement, the Middle Passage, crossing over and after, the hardships of being captured and brought over to America. I want them to see a oneness, a oneness in humanity, a oneness in the human experience.”