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Press Room -- Illinois State Museum, Springfield

  Illinois State Museum Nationally-known Artist Preston Jackson   

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SPRINGFIELD – On Thursday, October 10, 2013, 6:30-8:00 p.m., the renowned figure-based artist Preston Jackson will talk about his work currently on display at the Illinois State Museum and present a short PowerPoint discussing his other works.  Jackson is one of over fifty artists included in the Museum’s current exhibition Figurism: Narrative and Fantastic Figurative Art.  The celebrated Peoria artist will also speak about his role as head of the figurative area at the School of the Art Institute, and how he has used his African American heritage as subject in his art. This event is part of the visiting artist lecture series entitled Figuratively Speaking held on the second floor of the Museum on the second Thursday of October, November and December.  The seriesis partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency through federal funds provided by the National Endowment for the Arts and with funding from the Springfield Area Arts Council.  Admission is free, and the public is invited to attend.

From 1972 to 1989 Jackson was Professor of Drawing and Painting at Western Illinois University before becoming Professor of Sculpture and Head of the Figurative Area at the School of the Art Institute, Chicago. Currently Professor Emeritus from the SAIC, Jackson is co-founder of the Contemporary Art Center in Peoria. Jackson’s public commissions include: the bronze doors and facade at Cahokia Mounds, the nine-foot bronze likeness of the late Chicago Sun-Times reporter Irv Kupcinet at the corner of Wabash and Wacker in Chicago and the 1908 Springfield Race Riot Memorial in Springfield, to name a few. His current civic commission is an oversized bronze sculpture of Richard Pryor, to be sited in the late comic’s hometown of Peoria. Jackson has had many solo and group exhibitions regionally and nationally. His studio work explores social issues, politics, racism, ethnicity, oppression, cultural identity, memory, and history. His work is in numerous public and private collections. In 1998, Jackson received the highest honor bestowed upon citizens of the state—Laureate of the Lincoln Academy of Illinois. He splits his time between Peoria and Chicago. For more information on the artist, visit www.prestonjacksonart.com/ 

Figurism: Narrative and Fantastic Figurative Art brings together historical and contemporary body-based art by over fifty artists from the Illinois State Museum collection. The exhibition emphasizes the power and the range of the narrative and expressive uses of the figure in Midwest art. The artworks were selected to create a better understanding and consideration of different representational styles and the ability of the figure to carry feeling, memory, and experience. They were also selected with an eye toward something fantastic—a heightened sense of the super-real or super-natural—whether through aggressive, expressive form, high-keyed color, inventive graphics, or ambiguous situations.

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The Illinois State Museum is dedicated to inspiring people of all ages to discover and care about Illinois’ natural and cultural resources and artistic heritage.The Museum’s extensive collections and research activities provide the foundation for exhibitions and public programs that tell the story of the land, life, people, and art of Illinois. The Illinois State Museum is located at 502 S. Spring St. (on the corner of Spring and Edwards Streets) in Springfield and is open from 8:30 - 5:00 Monday through Saturday and from 12:00 - 5:00 on Sunday. Admission is free.  Parking is available nearby and the building is ADA accessible.



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