Professor of Art
Preston has taught at Ball State University for 37 of the past 38 eight years (and counting), spanning five numerical decades, serving under 9 of the 15 university presidents. Serving as the school’s Atrium Gallery Supervisor, his teaching has included the lithography and serigraphy curriculum—encouraging appropriate use of digital technology; intaglio and relief printmaking; and courses in the drawing curriculum.
Preston earned BFA/MFA (1972/1975) degrees from Indiana University-Bloomington, teaching serigraphy (1973-1975); studied with distinguished professor Rudy Pozzatti; Marvin Lowe; Norman Ackroyd, London, England, and, Alma Eikerman, distinguished professor of jewelry and silversmithing; was the private printer of serigraphy for professor Henry Holmes Smith (photography); worked at Landfall Press, printer and publisher of fine art prints, Chicago, IL (1976); and taught printmaking and drawing at Truman State University, Kirksville, MO (1977-1978).
He curated, and authored commentary on prints from the Ball State museum for exhibitions celebrating the bicentennial of the invention of lithography by Alois Senefelder. Preston received the 1982 Ball State University Outstanding Creative Endeavor Award; has exhibited in/won many awards (including best-of-show in an all-media competitive exhibition) in international/national/regional exhibitions; has his work included in private/public/corporate collections; served an artist-in-residence; has presented museum/gallery/conference talks including one filmed and aired for over two years on PBS in the Cincinnati area; and, has participated in several printmaking national workshops and conferences.
According to Professor Preston, “I design and compose order using elements of chance to assimilate controlled and uncontrolled happenstance. Whether for printmaking or drawing, my primary visual tools are line, color, texture/pattern, and frottage, which are used to meld organic and geometric shapes into controlled compositions. Frottage reflects Edgar Degas’ pastel drawings utilizing disparate paper materials, including cardboard, attached to drawings that were in-progress in order to extend the drawing for compositional concerns; textural corrugation of the cardboard added yet another elegant and intriguing visual element and energy to Degas’ masterpieces. I strive for inventiveness and practicality to all things I approach, and bring the quest and encouragement for individual visual-voice, and a non-stereotypical mentality to my own work and my students’ work.”