Preston Jackson received his Master of Fine Arts (MFA) at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Since then he has worked as a professor at many different schools. He currently is a sculpture professor and head of the Figurative Area at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Jackson is also the owner of Side View Gallery at the Contemporary Art Center in Peoria.
In 1998 Jackson was inducted as a Laureate for the Arts by the Lincoln Academy of Illinois.
King Park in Urbana is also home to a Jackson sculpture, inspired by the legacy and ideas of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.