Felicia Grant Preston is a retired art instructor and visual artist. She was raised in Chicago’s inner city where she attended Chicago Public Schools. Her talent was recognized as a child and she received nurturing and encouragement from her parents and teachers. Preston received a BA in art from Southern Illinois University in 1976, an MS ED from Northern Illinois University in 1979, and an MA from Chicago State University in 2003. In addition, she has studied at the University of Illinois, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Governor State University and The Savannah College of Art and Design. Her work has been included in the Paul R. Jones collection at the University of Delaware, which is considered the largest collection of African American art. Recent publications include the University of Delaware’s 2005 date book, Abstract and All That, University of Delaware exhibition catalogue, and African art: the Diaspora and beyond by Daniel T. Parker.
Preston’s work has been exhibited in Chicago at the Museum of Science and Industry’s Black Creativity exhibition, A.R.C. Gallery, Woman Made Gallery, R.H. Love Contemporary Gallery, Artemisia Gallery, Hyde Park Art Center, South Side Community Art Center, Susan Woodson Gallery, Beacon Street Gallery, Nicole Gallery, The South Shore Cultural Center, Neleh Artistic Expressions and Guichard Gallery to name a few. She has also exhibited at The Arsenal Gallery in New York, Fort Wayne Museum of Art Alliance, in Fort Wayne Indiana, Vaughn Cultural Center in St. Louis Missouri, The Art Exchange Gallery in Detroit Michigan, The Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah Georgia, Florida Community College in Jacksonville Florida, Art Jaz Gallery in Philadelphia Pennsylvania, in addition to numerous private collections.
As a deeply spiritual woman and self-proclaimed colorist, I feel blessed to have been given the ability to express my passion for life and color with the world as an artist. I am constantly experimenting with new ways that I can apply color to various surfaces. Mixing mediums and creating or using textures allows me to apply color in layers, allowing each layer to have its own voice, and the combined voices create their own symphony of color.
If in the life of an individual the highest and best that we can leave to the world is our God given gifts, then my work is my gift to the world. My legacy to leave is my love of color, and my passion for creativity is what comes through me as an expression of God. I believe that the arts are given to us to heal. If you think about it, when we are engaged in, taking in, or experiencing a work of art, even if only momentarily we shut out the problems of the world and focus only on the beauty and the healing that the work provides. Whether it be a musical expression, a dance or theater performance, a comedic expression or visual works of art, if only momentary we are able to release and be at peace. I am grateful to be the vessel from which is delivered to the world a vehicle of healing. I am grateful that when I leave this world, that I leave the best of me.