Overflowing with talent

Rocker Steve Miller, Jerry Jones, Eva Longoria and Emmitt Smith collide at arts party of the year

Rocker Steve Miller, Jerry Jones, Eva Longoria and Emmitt Smith collide at arts party of the year

16, Texas Medal of Arts, March 2013, 5802, Emmitt Smith, Gene Jones, Jerry Jones
Emmitt Smith , Gene Jones , Jerry Jones Photo by Jon Shapley
23, Texas Medal of Arts, March 2013, 5912, Eva Longoria
Texas Medal of Arts Award recipient in from Hollywood for the evening. Eva Longoria Photo by Jon Shapley
71, Texas Medal of Arts, March 2013, 6879, Charles Yang, Steve Miller and Ray Benson
This trio brought the house down at Long Center in Austin with the rendition of "Texas." Charles Yang , Steve Miller , Ray Benson Photo by Jon Shapley
3, 5675, Texas Medal of Arts, March 2013, Nancy Bass, Richard Fagin, Linda Gibbons, Elizabeth McElroy
A number of Dallasites joined the party in Austin. Nancy Bass , Richard Fagin , Linda Gibbons , Elizabeth McElroy Photo by Jon Shapley
11, Texas Medal of Arts, March 2013, 5739, T. Boone Pickens, Toni Brinker, Charlotte Jones Anderson, Gene Jones, Jerry Jones
The award team arrives together for the Texas Medal of Arts Awards gala. T. Boone Pickens , Toni Brinker , Charlotte Jones Anderson , Gene Jones , Jerry Jones Photo by Jon Shapley
Texas Medal of Arts, March 2013, Tricia Dewhurst, David Dewhurst, Stacey Branch, Dan Branch
The lieutenant governor and his wife, left, serve as honorary chairs of the awards program. Tricia Dewhurst , David Dewhurst , Stacey Branch , Dan Branch Photo by Jon Shapley
14, Texas Medal of Arts, March 2013, 5762, Emmitt Smith, Marita Fairbanks, Kelli Blanton, Pat Smith
The Smiths flank the gala chairs, both from Houston. Emmitt Smith , Marita Fairbanks , Kelli Blanton , Pat Smith Photo by Jon Shapley
10, Texas Medal of Arts, March 2013, 5728, Jesus Moroles, Susan Budge, Charmaine Locke, James Surls
Honorees past, far left, and present, right. Jesus Moroles , Susan Budge , Charmaine Locke , James Surls Photo by Jon Shapley
33, Texas Medal of Arts, March 2013, 6105, The Art Guys
Houston-based The Art Guys perform their hijinks in white jumpsuits and cymbals to the sounds of the William Tell Overture. Photo by Jon Shapley
16, Texas Medal of Arts, March 2013, 5802, Emmitt Smith, Gene Jones, Jerry Jones
23, Texas Medal of Arts, March 2013, 5912, Eva Longoria
71, Texas Medal of Arts, March 2013, 6879, Charles Yang, Steve Miller and Ray Benson
3, 5675, Texas Medal of Arts, March 2013, Nancy Bass, Richard Fagin, Linda Gibbons, Elizabeth McElroy
11, Texas Medal of Arts, March 2013, 5739, T. Boone Pickens, Toni Brinker, Charlotte Jones Anderson, Gene Jones, Jerry Jones
Texas Medal of Arts, March 2013, Tricia Dewhurst, David Dewhurst, Stacey Branch, Dan Branch
14, Texas Medal of Arts, March 2013, 5762, Emmitt Smith, Marita Fairbanks, Kelli Blanton, Pat Smith
10, Texas Medal of Arts, March 2013, 5728, Jesus Moroles, Susan Budge, Charmaine Locke, James Surls
33, Texas Medal of Arts, March 2013, 6105, The Art Guys

With the dynamic talents of rocker Steve Miller, Asleep at the Wheel frontman and Texas Music Scene's Ray Benson, and young cross-over violinist Charles Yang in play, the 2013 Texas Medal of Arts Awards gala in Austin morphed from sedate ceremonial evening into a high-voltage concert that had many in the Long Center for the Performing Arts jiving in their seats.

Presented by the Texas Cultural Trust, the biennial salute to Texas talent and cultural leaders honored individuals and entities from across the state, including Gene Jones and her daughter, Charlotte Jones Anderson, recognized by the Texas Cultural Trust as Individual Arts Patrons. Also honored were Big Thought and executive director Gigi Antoni for Arts Education and the Kimbell Art Foundation as Foundation Arts patron. Miller, who grew up in Dallas, received the Music Award.

 The jolt of energy to the evening was provided by award recipient Miller, who performed his "Fly Like an Eagle" and "Abracadabra."

Garnering much of the red-carpet attention before the tented dinner and ceremony were Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and NFL great and Dancing With the Stars champ Emmitt Smith (accompanied by his glam wife, Pat). They, along with T. Boone Pickens, introduced award recipients Gene Jones and Anderson, both recognized for their inspiration and guidance with the Cowboys Stadium art program.

"These girls took the hand-off and ran with the ball for those who can't run with the ball," Jerry said.

In response, Gene told the gathering of more than 1,000, "We wanted more than a football stadium. Our dream was to bring sports and art together and provide more exposure for both."

Any questions that Texas' vast talent pool runs the gamut from the deliciously ridiculous to the sublime were firmly put to rest with the cross-section of artists spotlighted, including award recipients Eva Longoria (Multimedia Award) and Greater Tuna talents Joe Sears and Jaston Williams (Theater Award). The Houston-based Art Guys, wearing white jumpsuits covered in cymbals, added their own bizarre notes as they crashed against one another as the William Tell Overture blasted from a boom box. Dallas' own Chris Harrison, host of ABC's The Bachelor, served as emcee.

The jolt of energy to the evening was provided by award recipient Miller, who performed his "Fly Like an Eagle" and "Abracadabra" with 2011 Medal of Arts recipient Benson in one set. Then Miller joined Benson and Yang, who had his own stirring performance earlier, in the finale performance of Buddy Miles' blues classic "Texas."

Rounding out the contingent of award recipients were Ricardo Chavira (unable to attend) for Television and Texas Monthly as Corporate Arts Patron.

A number of the guests attended from Dallas, including Toni Brinker, Nancy Bass, Richard Fagin, Linda Gibbons and Elizabeth McElroy.