Figures, Monuments, Steel & Society

Figurative Metal Sculpture & the Dialogue of Teaching

Sunday, July 28, 2002, 7:30 – 9:30pm

Preston Jackson, a leading Chicago artist and educator, is a prime example of an established artist who is exceedingly generous in devoting his time to teaching others, and who seeks to make art accessible to all. Jackson’s bronze figurative work, monumental steel sculpture and small abstract pieces reflect his concerns about the direction society is taking; common themes include protests against war, racism, sexism, violence and injustice.

One of Jackson’s major pieces is Bronzeville to Harlem, a large-scale work depicting the heyday of the Harlem Renaissance period. Bronzeville to Harlem consists of 300 small bronze figures in an 125-foot neighborhood of approximately 30 buildings; the painted steel and cast bronze installation continuously evolves with new ideas and images, kinetics, sound and lighting.

Join us for a presentation of his work, a discussion about how his teaching philosophy both engages his students and invigorates his art, and a demonstration of his metalworking techniques and processes.

Jackson’s commissioned works include “Let’s Play Two”, a sculpture of Ernie Banks at the Chicago ESPNZone; the Martin Luther King Memorial Bust in Danville, IL; a memorial sculpture at the Fire Training Academy, Peoria, IL; and a memorial sculpture to Frederick Douglass in the Champaign Public Library, Champaign, IL. Monumental works include the bronze building façade and entry doors at the Cahokia Mounds Museum, Cahokia Mounds, IL. He is represented in numerous collections, including Purdue University, the Union League Club, Illinois State Museum and the University of Illinois.

Jackson earned a B.F.A. in painting at Southern Illinois University in 1969, and an M.F.A in sculpture from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1971. He taught at Millikin University and Western Illinois University before joining the faculty of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. From 1994 to 1996, Jackson was the Chair of the Sculpture Department, and currently serves as the Head of the Figurative Area. In 1998, Jackson was chosen as Laureate of the Lincoln Academy of Illinois, the highest honor given to individuals in the State.

Learn more about Preston Jackson at

Art, Science and Creation through Chaos

Kinetic & Environmental Sculpture

Sunday, August 25, 2002, 7:30 – 9:30pm

Ned Kahn is a sculptor, kinetic artist and scientific phenomenon visionary, whose internationally acclaimed works both delight the eye and provide visibility into some of nature’s most dynamic systems.

Working with fog, wind, sand, fire and light, Kahn’s interactive works respond to their surroundings and swirl, whirl, flow and dance, as tornado vortices illuminate properties of air and water, dunes of sand sculpt ever-changing landscapes, and copper filaments emulate the plate tectonic motion of earthquakes. By blurring the lines between art and science, Kahn coaxes natural phenomenon to reveal their turbulent and complex behaviors, as he manipulates metal, sand and glass to create microcosms of the natural world.

Join us for a presentation of his work, a discussion about the techniques and processes he uses in working with the laws of nature, and learn how this unique visionary embraces sculpture to show what happens when the forces of nature are unleashed.

Kahn earned his B.A. in Environmental Studies at the University of Connecticut, and has been a professional artist for 15 years. Articles and reviews include the New York Times, ArtWeek, the LA Times Magazine, Weatherwise Magazine, and the Wall Street Journal.

Kahn’s work is a cornerstone of many exhibits in San Francisco’s Exploratorium, and his commissions are represented nationally in The Chabot Observatory in Oakland, CA, the Rose Center for Earth & Space at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, and the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, CO. His work may also be seen in the Adler Planetarium in Chicago, IL and the New York Hall of Science. International commissions include the Ontario Science Center in Toronto, Canada, Technorama in Winterthur, Switzerland, and the Kai Museum in Ryozen, Japan.

He is the recipient of numerous honors, including awards from the National Science Foundation, a Sculpture Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, the California Arts Council Fellowship and the Bernard Osher Cultural Award. Collaborations include work with Laurie Anderson on the Stories from the Nerve Bible Tour.

Learn more about Ned Kahn at


The Art of Luminosity & Light

Illuminated Sculpture & Large-Scale Neon Works

Sunday, September 29, 2002, 7:30 – 9:30pm

Michael Hayden admits to being very interested in Light. For more than 30 years he has explored light as a medium, and it remains the most important and unifying component in his “Lumetric” sculptures. His work includes architectonic sculptures for public spaces, including “The Sky’s the Limit”, an monumental illuminated neon installation in the United Airlines Terminal at O’Hare Airport in Chicago, IL.

Hayden collaborates with architects, designers, engineers, landscape architects, technicians, composers, poets, and other artists to create works that are large in scale and massive in scope, often measuring hundreds of feet and weighing multiple tons. In addition to his artistic vision, Hayden is an avid inventor and community citizen who works to create unique experiences in light that are engaging, inviting and readily understandable to people from all walks of life.

Join us as he presents his work, discusses how scientific principles and aesthetic concerns guide his vision, and speaks about the challenges and opportunities of working big with light.

Hayden’s professional career spans 37 years, during which he has worked extensively both solo and in collaboration with other artists, architects, designers and builders. His work has been exhibited in hundreds of shows, including 36 one-man shows throughout the world.

Hayden serves on the board of numerous professional and cultural organizations such as the Alliance of Technology and Arts, the Luther Burbank Center of the Arts and the California Museum of Art, and is an elected member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Artists.

In 1984, he founded Thinking Lightly, Inc. with his wife and fellow artist Kristina Lucas, and in 1999 received a patent for his design of Spectr@Lite(TM) a unique glazing material that adds holographic color and texture to glass and architectural elements.

Learn more about Michael Hayden at