2019 Texas Medal of the Arts Awards

Photo credit: Tyler Schmitt

The Texas Cultural Trust’s Texas Medal of Arts Award is Texas’ most respected arts recognition. The 10th biennial awards on February 26-27 honored 11 Texas luminaries and organizations, including four recipients from the Upper East Side of Texas, for their contributions to the arts. This year’s honorees included Matthew McConaughey for film, Brandon Maxwell for design, Mark Seliger for photography, and Boz Scaggs for music.

Co-chaired by Leslie Blanton and Leslie Ward, the Arts Alive! Cocktail Reception kicked of the 2019 TMAA celebration on the evening of February 26. 2019 honorees, past recipients, members of the Texas Cultural Trust Board of Directors, sponsors, and elected officials were in attendance. The event was designed to bring the arts alive with special lighting and decor, live music performances including Charles Yang, 2004 Texas Young Master recipient and members of the Vidal M. Treviño School of Communications and Fine Arts. Guests also enjoyed culinary creations from esteemed Texas chefs including Chef Tyson Cole (Loro), Chef John Tesar (Knife) and Chef Rick Lopez (La Condesa) and Rebecca Mason (Fluff Bake Bar).

Photo credit: Tyler Schmitt

On the morning of February 27, honorees and their families gathered at the Texas Governor’s Mansion for the Rise with the Arts Brunch, where Governor Greg Abbott and the First Lady presented medals to each honoree. Following the medaling ceremony, the First Lady hosted a colorful brunch for the honorees and sponsors on the lawn.  

Texas artists were honored with a glamorous Red Carpet Reception at the Long Center for Performing Arts, followed by the Awards Show and Gala Dinner on the evening of February 27. This star-studded night kicked off with an exclusive reception, where honorees walked the red carpet behind a stunning step and repeat made up of over 25,000 silk rose petals.

Matthew McConaughey walked the red carpet and enjoyed the awards with his wife, Camila Alves, mother, Mary Kathlene McCabe, and three children, Levi, Vida and Livingston. 

Photo Credit: Tyler Schmitt

At age 34, Brandon Maxwell became the award's youngest recipient and the first to be recognized for fashion design. Glamorous Texan Lynn Wyatt, Brandon's "forever muse" and the voice behind his latest ad campaign, presented the award to Brandon and walked him down the red carpet. Fresh off a whirlwind weekend at the Oscars, where he dressed Lady Gaga in her Oscar-winning ballgown, Brandon expressed gratitude to his family and educators for providing him with access to arts education, stating "I believe that my life would never have taken me to the places it has if it were not for art programs." He also said, "I never dreamed of being able to make anything of my life. Really, I just wanted to work every day to do something that I thought mattered and that could also make people feel good, so I'm very honored to be recognized with this award." 

Photo credit: Tyler Schmitt

Brandon shared the stage with fellow honoree Mark Seliger, who was recognized for photography. Like Brandon, Mark Seliger had just wrapped up his work at the 2019 Academy Awards, where he shot over 90 portraits inside Vanity Fair's Oscar Portrait Studio. 

Mark Selinger​
Photo credit: Miguel Angel

During the awards show, each honoree was recognized for their contributions to the arts in between legendary performances by 2019 honorees Grammy Award-winning Boz Scaggs, Tony Award-winning Jennifer Holliday, Grammy Award-winning Ray Benson and Van Cliburn International Piano Competition medalist Kenny Broberg. 

Boz Scaggs
Photo credit: Miguel Angel

The Gala Dinner took place on the H-E-B Terrace and featured a stunning 111-foot art installation by contemporary artist Susan Scafati Shahan, which hung over from the gala tent. 

The awards were attended by more than 1,000 people and raised nearly $1.8 million in support of  increased access to the arts and arts education in Texas. 

Here is the full list of 2019 Texas Medal of Arts honorees:
Matthew McConaughey, Film, Austin, formerly from Longview 
Brandon Maxwell, Design, Longview 
Mark Seliger, Multimedia, Houston, attended college in Commerce 
Boz Scaggs, Music, Plano 
Conspirare, Music Ensemble, Austin 
Craig Dykers and Elaine Molinar, Architecture, San Antonio and El Paso 
Trenton Doyle Hancock, Visual Arts, Houston 
Stephen Harrigan, Literary Arts, Austin 
Jennifer Holliday, Theatre, Houston 
Vidal M. Treviño School of Communications and Fine Arts, Arts Education, Laredo 

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