A serioius talent pool

Long Center rocks as Steve Miller, Eva Longoria & Emmitt Smith win applause at Texas Medal of Arts

Long Center rocks as Steve Miller, Eva Longoria & Emmitt Smith win applause at Texas Medal of Arts

16, Texas Medal of Arts, March 2013, 5802, Emmitt Smith, Gene Jones, Jerry Jones
Emmitt Smith, left,  and Jerry Jones on the red carpet before introducing honoree Gene Jones at the Long Center awards evening. Emmitt Smith , Gene Jones , Jerry Jones Photo by Jon Shapley
Texas Medal of Arts, March 2013, Tricia Dewhurst, David Dewhurst, Stacey Branch, Dan Branch
Honorary chairs Tricia Dewhurst, from left, and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst join Stacey Branch and State Rep. Dan Branch. Tricia Dewhurst , David Dewhurst , Stacey Branch , Dan Branch Photo by Jon Shapley
23, Texas Medal of Arts, March 2013, 5912, Eva Longoria
Honoree Eva Longoria Eva Longoria Photo by Jon Shapley
Austin Photo Set: News_texas medal of arts awards_march 2013_Andy Brown, Kejda, Pete Herzog
Travis County Democratic Party chair Andy Brown, left, joins  Kejda and Pete Herzog at the Texas Medal of Arts Awards gala. Photo by Jon Shapley
12, Texas Medal of Arts, March 2013, 5749, Marita Fairbanks, Chris Harrison, Kelli Blanton
Co-chairs Marita Fairbanks, left, and Kelli Blanton join emcee Chris Harrison, host of The Bachelor, (also Kelli's cousin). Marita Fairbanks , Chris Harrison , Kelli Blanton Photo by Jon Shapley
Austin Photo Set: News_texas medal of arts awards_march 2013_Caroline Meyerson,Steven Wilbanks
Caroline Meyerson and Steven Wilbanks are among the 1,000 guests. Photo by Jon Shapley
Austin Photo Set: News_texas medal of arts awards_march 2013_Amari Josey and Grace Kelly
Amari Josey of Austin and Grace Kelly of Austin among early arrivals at the Long Center. Photo by Jon Shapley
19, Texas Medal of Arts, March 2013, 5830, Gregory Fourticq, Sara Dodd Spickelmier, Suzanne Deal Booth, Carlos Martinez
Gregory Fourticq, from left, Sara Dodd-Spickelmier, Suzanne Deal Booth and Carlos Martinez. Gregory Fourticq , Sara Dodd Spickelmier , Suzanne Deal Booth , Carlos Martinez Photo by Jon Shapley
11, Texas Medal of Arts, March 2013, 5739, T. Boone Pickens, Toni Brinker, Charlotte Jones Anderson, Gene Jones, Jerry Jones
T. Boone Pickens, Toni Brinker, Charlotte Jones Anderson and Gene and Jerry Jones. T. Boone Pickens , Toni Brinker , Charlotte Jones Anderson , Gene Jones , Jerry Jones Photo by Jon Shapley
10, Texas Medal of Arts, March 2013, 5728, Jesus Moroles, Susan Budge, Charmaine Locke, James Surls
Previous honoree Jesus Moroles, from left, Susan Budge, Charmaine Locke and honoree James Surls. Jesus Moroles , Susan Budge , Charmaine Locke , James Surls Photo by Jon Shapley
6, 5693, Texas Medal of Arts, March 2013, Jim Nelson, Shawn Stephens, Jim Jordan
Jim Nelson, executive director of the Houston Ballet, Shawn Stephens, and Jim Jordan, president of the board of trustees of the Houston Ballet. Jim Nelson , Shawn Stephens , Jim Jordan Photo by Jon Shapley
14, Texas Medal of Arts, March 2013, 5762, Emmitt Smith, Marita Fairbanks, Kelli Blanton, Pat Smith
Emmitt Smith, Marita Fairbanks, Kelli Blanton and Pat Smith. Emmitt Smith , Marita Fairbanks , Kelli Blanton , Pat Smith Photo by Jon Shapley
37, Texas Medal of Arts, March 2013, 6174, Chris Harrison
Emcee Chris Harrison. Chris Harrison Photo by Jon Shapley
Austin Photo Set: News_texas medal of arts awards_march 2013
Charles Yang performs on the violin. Photo by Jon Shapley
71, Texas Medal of Arts, March 2013, 6879, Charles Yang, Steve Miller and Ray Benson
Charles Yang, from left, Steve Miller and Ray Benson ended the show with an impromptu jam session. Charles Yang , Steve Miller , Ray Benson Photo by Jon Shapley
Austin Photo Set: News_texas medal of arts awards_march 2013_Gigi Antoni
President and CEO of Big Thought, Gigi Antoni, accepts the award for Arts Education. Photo by Jon Shapley
33, Texas Medal of Arts, March 2013, 6105, The Art Guys
The Art Guys perform. Photo by Jon Shapley
16, Texas Medal of Arts, March 2013, 5802, Emmitt Smith, Gene Jones, Jerry Jones
Texas Medal of Arts, March 2013, Tricia Dewhurst, David Dewhurst, Stacey Branch, Dan Branch
23, Texas Medal of Arts, March 2013, 5912, Eva Longoria
Austin Photo Set: News_texas medal of arts awards_march 2013_Andy Brown, Kejda, Pete Herzog
12, Texas Medal of Arts, March 2013, 5749, Marita Fairbanks, Chris Harrison, Kelli Blanton
Austin Photo Set: News_texas medal of arts awards_march 2013_Caroline Meyerson,Steven Wilbanks
Austin Photo Set: News_texas medal of arts awards_march 2013_Amari Josey and Grace Kelly
19, Texas Medal of Arts, March 2013, 5830, Gregory Fourticq, Sara Dodd Spickelmier, Suzanne Deal Booth, Carlos Martinez
11, Texas Medal of Arts, March 2013, 5739, T. Boone Pickens, Toni Brinker, Charlotte Jones Anderson, Gene Jones, Jerry Jones
10, Texas Medal of Arts, March 2013, 5728, Jesus Moroles, Susan Budge, Charmaine Locke, James Surls
6, 5693, Texas Medal of Arts, March 2013, Jim Nelson, Shawn Stephens, Jim Jordan
14, Texas Medal of Arts, March 2013, 5762, Emmitt Smith, Marita Fairbanks, Kelli Blanton, Pat Smith
37, Texas Medal of Arts, March 2013, 6174, Chris Harrison
Austin Photo Set: News_texas medal of arts awards_march 2013
71, Texas Medal of Arts, March 2013, 6879, Charles Yang, Steve Miller and Ray Benson
Austin Photo Set: News_texas medal of arts awards_march 2013_Gigi Antoni
33, Texas Medal of Arts, March 2013, 6105, The Art Guys

With the dynamic talents of rocker  Steve Miller, Asleep at the Wheel's Ray Benson and young cross-over violinist Charles Yang in play, the 2013 Texas Medal of Arts Awards gala 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 Austin-based Texas Monthly, which was recognized as Corporate Arts Patron and, two veterans of the popular Desperate Housewives nighttime soap Eva Longoria for Multimedia and Ricardo Chavira for Television, the latter unable to attend.

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 fine art sculptor James Surls and Greater Tuna talents Joe Sears and Jaston Williams. Add the Art Guys, brought in for entertainment purposes, wearing white jumpsuits covered in cymbals. They clashed against one another as the "William Tell Overture" blasted from a boom box. And then there was the dashing emcee, Dallas native Chris Harrison, host of ABC's The Bachelor.

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 the ceremony that followed in the theater were Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and NFL great and Dancing With the Stars champ Emmitt Smith (accompanied by his glam wife Pat). They, along with close friend T. Boone Pickens, introduced award recipients Gene Jones (wife of Jerry) and daughter Charlotte Jones Anderson, recognized for their inspiration and guidance with the Dallas Cowboys Stadium art program. The duo received the Individual Arts Patrons Award.

"We wanted more than a football stadium," Gene said of the 50 pieces of contemporary art that fill the sports facility. "Our dream was to bring sports and art together and provide more exposure for both."

Rounding out the contingent of award recipients were Houston Ballet for Dance, Dallas-based Big Thought and director Gigi Antoni for Arts Education and the Kimball Art Foundation as Foundation Arts Patron.

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 and then joined  Benson and Yang, who had his own stirring performance earlier, in the finale performance of Buddy Miles' blues classic "Texas."

Among the 1,000 guest were honorary chairs Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and Tricia Dewhurst, a member of the Texas Cultural Trust board; board chair Karen Oswalt; Long Center namesakes Teresa and Joe Long; art force Suzanne Deal Booth; University of Texas president Bill Powers' assistant Nancy Brazzil; recently transplanted Houstonian Mica Mosbacher; State Sen. Leticia Van de Putte; government affairs specialist Dean McWilliams and wife Andrea; Texas Association of Business CEO Bill Hammond; Travis Democratic Party chair Andy Brown; Amanda Fox; and Marion and James Bell.