Local artist works to immortalize famous comedian in his hometown

By WEEK Producer

June 7, 2013 Updated Jun 8, 2013 at 10:26 PM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- The late comedian Richard Pryor once said that he loved Peoria because the people here are down to earth.

Now, a Peoria artist is looking to have Pryor permanently rooted in his hometown. Famed artist Preston Jackson says he is almost done with a clay mold of a seven foot tall Pryor statue. Eventually, the tribute to Pryor will be cast in bronze. It is called 'More than a Comic.'

Jackson says the original plan was to have it in the Peoria Riverfront Museum, but through no fault of his own, those plans fell through.

"I said to myself, I'll get this piece done and cast even if I have to pay for it myself. I didn't want to lay the burden on his relatives or Jennifer, or anyone like that because I realize the need and the importance of this piece."

Despite Jackson's generosity, a fund has been established at the community foundation of central Illinois.

Anyone interested in donating to the project can call (309) 674-8730.

The statue is hoped to be completed by late summer or early fall.

To submit a comment on this article, your email address is required. We respect your privacy and your email will not be visible to others nor will it be added to any email lists.