Texas Medal of Awesome
After releasing initial details for next year's Texas Medal of the Arts Awards (TMAA), the Texas Cultural Trust (TXCT) has revealed the full lineup of 2023 honorees — and Austinites will recognize a few local names.
Taking place in venues across Austin, the two-day biannual event recognizes the creative contributions of Texans across multiple disciplines, from music to architecture, film, design, and beyond. Next year's honorees also span multiple geographical regions, with recipients representing Houston, El Paso, and everywhere in between.
“We are beyond thrilled to resume the TMAA celebration, after having to postpone and cancel in 2021 due to the pandemic, with an extraordinary lineup of talented Texans who have each inspired and captivated their communities, our state, and beyond,” says Texas Cultural Trust CEO Heidi Marquez Smith. “Our organization strives to spotlight the vital role the arts play in our state and our everyday lives. Texas has such a rich cultural heritage that deserves to be recognized, invested in, and celebrated.”
So, without further ado, the 2023 Texas Medal of Arts Honorees are:
- Arts/Health: Center for Performing Arts Medicine, Houston
- Lifetime Achievement/Musical Theatre: Carole Cook, Abilene
- Music: Christopher Cross, San Antonio
- Music/Songwriter: Miranda Lambert, Lindale
- Architecture: Miró Rivera Architects, Austin
- Visual Arts: Deborah Roberts, Austin
- Design: Lela Rose, Dallas
- Literary Arts: Benjamin Alire Saenz, El Paso
- Film/Producer: Taylor Sheridan, Weatherford
- Dance: Septime Webre, Brownsville
- Film/Actor: Luke Wilson, Dallas
“I was really moved to hear that I would be a recipient of the Texas Medal of Arts Award,” said 2023 TMAA Honoree (and Austinite) Deborah Roberts. “As a native Texan, I’m extremely proud.”
Austinites will recognize Roberts' work from multiple galleries across the city, but perhaps especially from her incredible mural Little man, little man, which graced the 7th Street wall of The Contemporary Austin Jones Center a few years ago. A mixed media artist, Roberts' work has been exhibited internationally across the U.S. and Europe, including the Whitney Museum of American Art (New York, New York); LACMA (Los Angeles, California); the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (Richmond, Virginia); and many more.
Austin-based architecture firm, Miró Rivera Architects, was founded by Miguel Rivera, FAIA and Juan Miró, FAIA. Born just a few days apart in Puerto Rico and Spain, respectively, the pair first crossed paths while working at Gwathmey Siegel & Associates Architects in New York City. Miró married Rivera's sister, Rosa, and moved to Austin in 1996, where Miró went on to teach at the University of Texas School of Architecture and serve as Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs for four years. Miró Rivera Architects designs a wide range of projects, from residential to educational, and they have received more than 100 design awards in their decades-long practice, including 40 American Institute of Art (AIA) awards.
The TXCT's signature two-day event will begin on February 21, 2023, with the Arts Alive! Reception at Commodore Perry Estate, culminating with an Awards Show and Gala Dinner at the Long Center for Performing Arts on February 22, 2023. This year's events are co-chaired by Linda LaMantia, civic leader and artist dedicated to supporting and promoting the arts and education; Judy Robison, philanthropic advocate for prioritizing equity in access to the arts for all children; and world-renowned fashion designer and 2019 TMAA Honoree Brandon Maxwell.
Besides Maxwell, previous honorees have included Matthew McConaughey, Jamie Foxx, ZZ Top, Willie Nelson, Dan Rather, Neiman Marcus, H-E-B, Robert Rodriguez, Walter Cronkite, Lawrence Wright, Sandra Cisneros, Lyle Lovett, Texas Monthly, and many more. In total, the TMAA have celebrated 118 Texas leaders and luminaries since its inception in 2001.