Preston Jackson Civil War Monument Dedication

Under gray skies and sprinkles Decatur native and artist Preston Jackson unveiled his commissioned sculpture titled, “African American Civil War Monument” in downtown Decatur on August 1, 2009.  A gathering of several current and past Decatur city council members, others instrumental in commissioning the work, and about 150 members of the public came to view the unveiling.

The monument stands over 10 feet tall and features depictions of Abraham Lincoln, Fredrick Douglass and African American Civil War soldiers in bronze relief and 3-D sculpture.  Dr. Jeanelle Norman, Mayor Michael McElroy, Evelyn Hood and the Mr. Jackson spoke to the crowd assembled around the monument.  A round of applause went up as the monument was finally unveiled to the public.

Preston Jackson "African American Civil War Monument"

(Click on picture for larger view.)

Videos of the event:

Preston Jackson

The Unveiling

2 Comments, RSS

  1. Eric K. Johnson August 7, 2009 @ 8:03 pm

    I recently read an article in which Mr.Jackson gave tribute to his (and mine as well)High School Art Teacher, Ms. Justeen Bleeks.
    She was a really cool “Liberated way before her time” Artist /Teacher who was an inspiration to many.
    Just think of the true value of those who chose to teach!
    Without Ms. Bleeks we might have missed out on Mr. Jackson’s splendid/gripping art work.
    I can still visualize Ms. Bleeks standing(often sternly) at her podium wearing her bright multi- colored scarf thrown carelessly around her neck…and I always smile…at her style.
    She was a real piece of work,Herself!
    Eric K. Johnson

  2. Kris

    Kris August 7, 2009 @ 9:10 pm

    Eric, thanks for sharing that. I think most art teachers tend to be pretty liberated and “before their time.” I might be a bit biased since I’m a graphic artists myself. Mr. Jackson seems like a very cool guy. He reminded me of a taller Sammy Davis Jr when I saw him in person last week.

    My favorite teacher was from Richland actually – a history teacher I had way back. He was a defense attorney for Champaign but taught part-time at Richland. He showed the class a film he and his friends made (he was Civil War reenactor too), and it was pretty funny. It was supposed to be a Western. I’d love to see it again because to this day, I don’t have a clue what the meaning of that film was. His teaching style was a little unorthodox but I liked it. Some people didn’t like his tests because they were all essay but that’s right up my alley! I’m good at writing BS. 🙂 I think his last name was Dedman.

Comments are closed.