Pictorial history of Champaign includes development of UI

By Melissa Mitchell

Where's Billy?

Waldo - the elusive star of the "Where's Waldo?" children's books - is
nowhere to be found in the cover illustration of a new book by photographer
and Parkland College library director Raymond Bial. But observant readers
of "Champaign: A Pictorial History" may be able to identify the UI's Billy
Morrow Jackson in the illustration on book's dust cover, which he created.

Like Alfred Hitchcock before him, Jackson - an internationally known
painter and professor emeritus of art - delights in casting himself in
cameo roles in his art. The dust cover of Bial's book - a collection of
vintage photographs accompanied by brief historical text - is a mural-like
rendering of a downtown Champaign scene, based loosely on a circa 1900
photograph that appears in the book. Jackson said the scene captures
elements of "Victorian times up until the 1950s," illustrating gradual, but
constant, changes in the face of the community over time.

Jackson said he sometimes likes to incorporate his own image into his work
because "it makes it a lot more personal. It's also convenient because I
have a model right here under my nose." And, he added, the self-portraits
serve as "subliminal records of my own changes through the years."

"Champaign: A Pictorial History includes more than 400 photographs that
document the city's development since its establishment in the mid-19th
century, when it was known as West Urbana. The photographs, acquired from
private and public collections, reflect the city's evolution in from
various angles - in terms of its landscape, its institutions and the life
styles and dress of its people.

Among the institutions covered in the book, of course, is the UI. While
some of the photographs of university and campustown scenes are familiar to
UI history buffs, others are published here for the first time, according
to Bial.

The book, which has a limited printing, is available on a first-come,
first-served basis through First of America Bank, 30 Main Street,
Champaign, Ill. 61820 



UIUC -- Inside Illinois -- 1994/01-20-94