PEORIA — The votes are in, and Peoria’s own Preston Jackson made the cut.
The Peoria-based sculptor is number six on the list of top 10 Illinois artists of all time. Two other central Illinois artists are also on the list — Lorado Taft, who was born in Elmwood, and Olof Krans, who was from Bishop Hill.
The poll is part of The Illinois Top 200 project to celebrate the state’s 200th birthday this year. The Illinois Top 200 is a joint initiative of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, The (Springfield) State Journal-Register and the Illinois Bicentennial Commission.
Voters are invited to choose their 10 favorites in 20 different categories, ranging from the greatest businessmen to favorite actors. Voting on the top actors from Illinois is currently underway. Votes can be cast at www.IllinoisTop200.com.
Below is the list of winning artists:
1. Frank Lloyd Wright – The Chicago-based architect achieved worldwide fame for his “prairie school” of design and an emphasis on harmony between buildings and the environment.
2. Lorado Taft – A lifelong Illinois resident, Taft was a renowned sculptor who is probably best known today for the 50-foot-tall “Eternal Indian” statue near the Ogle County community of Oregon, and the Alma Mater statue at the University of Illinois.
3. Louis Sullivan – Sullivan was the “father of skyscrapers” who popularized the architecture philosophy that form follows function. He helped develop the first Chicago School of architecture, a style of steel-frame buildings clad in masonry.
4. Mies van der Rohe – After a successful career in Germany, Mies fled the Nazis and moved to Chicago, where he pioneered the “less is more” approach. He emphasized modern materials, straight lines and minimal ornamentation.
5. Olof Krans – In middle age, with no training, Krans began painting his memories of childhood in the religious community of Bishop Hill in Henry County. His stiff figures, telling details and vivid colors give a dreamlike quality to his paintings.
6. Preston Jackson – Jackson is best known for bronze and steel sculptures that explore moments in history. A Decatur native, his subjects include Martin Luther King, Richard Pryor and Springfield’s 1908 race riot.
7. Bertrand Goldberg – In an era when Chicago was dominated by boxy, muscular buildings, Goldberg embraced flowing curves. He is best known for Marina City, two towers on the Chicago River that resemble corn cobs.
8. Theaster Gates – Gates is a painter, sculptor, potter and teacher. He is also an urban planner using art to revitalize a decaying neighborhood in his native Chicago.
9. Vivian Maier – Maier spent 40 years photographing street scenes in Chicago, New York and Los Angeles. Yet she kept those photos private during her life. It was only after Maier’s death that her work was discovered.
10. Kerry James Marshall – Marshall is known for large-scale paintings and sculptures that focus on African-American life and history, often in ordinary, everyday settings — a park, a housing project, a living room.