Keeping up with the Joneses

Grey's Anatomy star, architect and artist among Houstonians to receive top Texas arts honor

Grey's Anatomy star, architect & artist receive top Texas arts honor

Chandra Wilson Grey's Anatomy
Chandra Wilson. Photo courtesy of ABC
Rick Lowe in Vickery Meadow neighborhood in Dallas
Rick Lowe Photo by Alison V. Smith for the Nasher Sculpture Center
Chandra Wilson Grey's Anatomy
Charles Renfro
Rick Lowe in Vickery Meadow neighborhood in Dallas

Dallas philanthropic duo Gene Jones and daughter Charlotte Jones Anderson recently summoned the press, Texas Cultural Trust board members and friends, and arts patrons to AT&T Stadium in Arlington to announce the recipients of the Texas Medal of Arts Awards 2015. The charitable prowess of the co-chairs and the enormity of the venue were only hints of the greatness to come at next month's ceremony in Austin.

Those with Houston ties on the list include Project Row Houses founder Rick Lowe, Grey's Anatomy co-star Chandra Wilson and architect Charles Renfro.
 
Lowe, who lives in Houston, was a recent recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship genius grant. Wilson was born in Houston and started her theater career at Theatre Under the Stars (TUTS) and attended Houston's High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. Renfro, a Baytown native and Rice University graduate, is a partner in the New York-based firm Diller Scofidio + Renfro, whose projects have included the redevelopment of the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, the High Line and a new opera theater at Rice.
 
The full list of this year's Medal of Arts recipients, who hail from all over the Lone Star State: 
  • Music: T Bone Burnett (Fort Worth)
  • Film: Jamie Foxx (Terrell)
  • Dance: Kilgore Rangerettes (Kilgore)
  • Visual Arts: Rick Lowe (Houston)
  • Literary Arts: Lawrence Wright (Austin)
  • Theatre: Robert Schenkkan (Austin)
  • Architecture: Charles Renfro (Houston)
  • Television: Dan Rather (Wharton)
  • Television: Chandra Wilson (Houston)
  • Corporate Arts Patron: Dr Pepper Snapple Group (Plano)
  • Individual Arts Patron: Margaret McDermott (Dallas)
  • Multimedia: Emilio Nicolas (San Antonio)
  • Arts Education: Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts (Dallas)
  • Standing Ovation Award: Ruth Altshuler (Dallas)
  • Lifetime Achievement Award: The Gatlin Brothers (Seminole)
Anderson and Ray Benson of Asleep at the Wheel spoke about the important work being done by the Texas Cultural Trust, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary, and how excited they are about this new and remarkable group of honorees. 
 
"We have a belief that the arts and sports truly do belong together," Anderson said. "When we set out to build AT&T Stadium, we knew that we needed to attract people beyond the world of sports. We wanted to reach beyond the fields and reach people with a collective interest in the arts."

 

Anderson and Benson also offered a little taste of what's to come at the main event (luncheon, awards and gala dinner) taking place Feb. 24-25 at the Long Center for Performing Arts in Austin: Performances by Benson, the Gatlin Brothers and maybe even honoree Jamie Foxx.

Other VIPs expected to attend are emcees Troy Aikman and Joe Buck and former first lady Laura Bush, herself a former Texas Medal of Art winner, who is presenting the Standing Ovation Award to Ruth Altshuler. 

Past honorees include co-chairs Charlotte Jones Anderson and Gene Jones, emcee Ray Benson, Eva Longoria, ZZ Top, Willie Nelson, Tommy Lee Jones, Walter Cronkite, Lyle Lovett, Anheuser Busch Companies, Texas Monthly, Neiman Marcus, and Exxon Mobil. 

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CultureMap editor-in-chief Clifford Pugh contributed to this report.